Paul Gorst – Milner returns and Diaz takes a break
It’s unclear what kind of team Jurgen Klopp could field tonight with the FA Cup final on the horizon.
Premier League hopes are technically still alive, but with a third trip to Wembley coming up on Saturday afternoon, and the title looking tougher after the draw with Tottenham, Klopp’s side will be interesting.
In goal, Alisson Becker keeps his place in front of a four-man defense made up of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Kostas Tsimikas. Andy Robertson has been carefully handled lately and this game could be the perfect place to fully rest the Scotland captain.
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In midfield, I recall James Milner after his excellent performance against Newcastle United, with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson also in the engine room. I keep Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara for Wembley.
Up top, Luis Diaz can drop out with Diogo Jota leading in the middle. The Colombian has been outstanding since his arrival in January but no player has played more than his 61 games for club and country this season so he may have a rare break. On the bench if necessary.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexandre-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Jota, Mané.
Ian Doyle – Many Changes
Can Liverpool still win the Premier League? Sure! Will they win the Premier League? Probably not. They can, however, most certainly win the FA Cup, the final of which takes place on Saturday. And that could enter Jurgen Klopp’s thinking at Aston Villa tonight, although it’s more likely that efforts against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday will be the biggest influence on team selection. Anyway, I would make changes. Loads of them.
In goal remains Alisson Becker. And while Virgil van Dijk also keeps his place, the rest of the defense does not. So say hello to Joe Gomez at right-back, Kostas Tsimikas at left-back and Joel Matip at centre-back.
The midfield is also seeing quite a rotation. Jordan Henderson may stay but fall into the defensive role, with James Milner and Naby Keita returning to take over the engine room at Newcastle United the other week. The alternative is to give Curtis Jones a run-out ahead of Keita.
Up top, Mohamed Salah is the mainstay because he needs to score a goal, but I would bring in Diogo Jota on the left and Divock Origi in the middle. And if you think they’re an interesting team, just wait and see what I have planned for Southampton next week if things go wrong tonight…
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Milner, Keita; Salah, Origi, Jota.
Charlotte Coates – At first things get complicated
Well, it’s the last week of the FA Cup, but before Liverpool can start thinking about lifting another trophy, they have a huge game to play in the Premier League title race as they take on Aston Villa tonight.
Steven Gerrard will want the Reds to win the title, but he knows his job is to deliver results for Villa and that’s exactly what he will try to do tonight at Villa Park.
Here’s how I think Jurgen Klopp will field Liverpool tonight as Alisson Becker keeps his place in goal with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas at full-backs – the latter giving Andy Robertson the chance to rest. Virgil van Dijk will be partnered with Joel Matip in the heart of defense and Fabinho will sit right in front of them. Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita will be either side of Liverpool No.3.
Now, this is where things get complicated. Luis Diaz must keep his place on the left of the front three with Sadio Mane lined up in the middle and Mohamed Salah needing a goal down the right side.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Keita, Thiago; Salah, Mané, Diaz.