Liverpool set for captaincy change as Jurgen Klopp's midfield options boosted


Liverpool’s League Cup campaign resumes on Wednesday as the Reds travel to AFC Bournemouth in this season’s fourth round.

Jurgen Klopp’s side ran out 3-1 winners over Leicester City at Anfield last month to set up a midweek trip to the South Coast, with the German expected to again make a plethora of changes to his starting XI against the Cherries.

With Liverpool in Europa League action this season, Klopp has already been making full use of his squad as the Reds balance Premier League and European action.

Coming into Wednesday’s tie off the back of a 3-0 home victory over Nottingham Forest, we take a look at some of the changes the German will be considering making.

Having been handed his first start for Liverpool against Toulouse last Thursday, Luke Chambers could come back into the starting XI at left-back as the Reds manage Kostas Tsimikas carefully after losing Andy Robertson to injury. Calum Scanlon is also an alternative.

Joel Matip is likely to start at centre-back, with Jarell Quansah partnering him if both Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate are rested.

Meanwhile, Joe Gomez is set to take the captaincy as the club’s longest-serving player and should start at right-back with Trent Alexander-Arnold afforded a night off. Meanwhile, Caoimhin Kelleher starts in goal in place of Alisson Becker.

Curtis Jones comes back into the starting XI as he is handed vital minutes after serving a three-match ban in the Premier League, with Wataru Endo reinstalled as the holding midfielder.

Withdrawn just before the hour-mark against Forest, Ryan Gravenberch could keep his place in the engine room. However, Harvey Elliott is also an option, if not selected in the front three, while academy graduate James McConnell could also be handed his full Liverpool debut as an alternative.

Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, and Bobby Clark would also be options if fit, but it remains to be seen how close the trio are to making their returns from injury. Assistant manager Pep Lijnders is expected to offer an injury update in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference.

Brought on as a substitute against both Toulouse and Nottingham Forest, Cody Gakpo should start in attack for the first time since suffering a knee injury against Tottenham Hotspur last month to hand his side a welcome boost.

Harvey Elliott is likely to start on the right-wing, as he did against Toulouse, if Ben Doak remains sidelined. Withdrawn just before the hour-mark against Forest, Diogo Jota could complete the attacking trio.

Luis Diaz understandably missed Sunday’s win over Forest following news that his parents had been kidnapped in Colombia. While his mother has since been rescued by the police, the location of his father remains unknown at the time of writing, with the winger’s availability remaining unclear while the situation is unresolved as a result.

Possible Liverpool starting XI (4-3-3): Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Chambers; Gravenberch, Endo, Jones; Elliott, Gakpo, Jota.

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