Liverpool had to postpone the 1st leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final due to a reported COVID outbreak but now Jurgen Klopp has admitted that most of those tests were actually false positives.
The Reds boss has revealed that only Trent Alexander-Arnold is positive meaning there are no fresh cases in the squad. The unwanted delay means Liverpool will face Arsenal in the 1st leg this week.
The Anfield outfit did play their FA Cup game vs Shrewsbury Town but that delay last week means Klopp has had the chance to see most of his other COVID positive players return to training. And this is a huge respite since the German has had to send out several key players on international duty.
Jurgen Klopp has a long list of absentees going into this game but on paper, they are still the favourites to pick up a win on Thursday. Also, Arsenal did not have the best of games during the weekend as they were knocked out of the FA Cup and looking at that performance the Liverpool players will gain even more confidence.
Liverpool team news vs Arsenal:
Alisson Becker is still recovering from COVID and there’s a big chance Caoimhin Kelleher holds onto his place in the side.
Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate played in central defence vs Shrewsbury Town but against Arsenal, Joel Matip is expected to partner the Dutch international.
A touch of class from Bobby Firmino! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/IlwPkKz9lr
— 90min (@90min_Football) January 9, 2022
TAA has tested positive which means the versatile James Milner is going to play as the right-back with Robertson playing on the other side.
Fabinho returned to the side to score a brace in their FA Cup win and he will start in the defensive midfielder’s role. Naby Keita has gone for the AFCON while Thiago is out injured so Curtis Jones is going to play as the third midfielder – alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Sadio Mane and Mo Salah have both headed for international duty so the attacking department is a major cause of concern for the Liverpool boss. Divock Origi remains an injury doubt but Firmino’s return from injury is a big boost for Klopp.
With two of his best players gone, the Liverpool manager will have to use someone like Oxlade-Chamberlain or Minamino on one of the wings while Diogo Jota operates on the other flank.
Liverpool predicted line up vs Arsenal:
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): Kelleher; Robertson, James Milner, Van Dijk, Joel Matip; Fabinho, Jones, Henderson; Diogo Jota, Firmino, Chamberlain/Minamino.
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Stats via Fotmob