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Liverpool line-ups vs Chelsea – Takumi Minamino in as formation changes and defender dropped


UPDATE: Liverpool team news and starting line up for Chelsea has now been confirmed – full story here.

Ian Doyle – Takumi Minamino starts

A big night for Liverpool and some big changes afoot.

But how strong should Jurgen Klopp go in the FA Cup?

I’d go reasonably strong with a couple of spaces for some promising youngsters.

In goal is easy – that’s Adrian, who has had to wait a bit for another game. Who knows, this might even be his last one this season.

James Milner is back and he’s one the left of the defence, with Neco Williams fully deserving another crack on the right.

*Chelsea vs Liverpool LIVE team news and match updates

Centrally is where there is intrigue. Joel Matip is a cert, and I’d have Joe Gomez in alongside him after the England man missed out at Watford over the weekend.

Having thought about it a bit, I’m advocating a formation change.

Adam Lallana’s came at Stamford Bridge suggests he’s ready for a go in midfield, where Fabinho needs more minutes to get sharp in a two.

Curtis Jones has another opportunity to impress, and he can maraud down the left, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is on the right.

Takumi Minamino can maraud in behind sole striker Divock Origi, who is much better down the middle.

My team (4-2-3-1): Adrian; Williams, Gomez, Matip, Milner; Fabinho, Lallana; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Jones; Origi

Paul Gorst – Mohamed Salah retained

The FA Cup has provided something of an interesting subplot to Premier League proceedings for Liverpool this season, but with Everton vanquished and Shrewsbury eventually discarded on two memorable Anfield nights, just how seriously with Jurgen Klopp take this one at Chelsea?

Liverpool may as well have a right old crack at the world’s oldest cup competition, right? For me, I’m going to give a little blend of both youth and experience and hope that gets the job done about Frank Lampard’s men.

Neco Williams is at right back with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez at the back with Andy Robertson on the left.

Midfield-wise, I’m going to plump for Fabinho, Adam Lallana and Curtis Jones with a front three of Takumi Minamino, Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi.

My team (4-3-3): Adrian; Williams, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Fabinho, Lallana, Jones; Salah, Origi, Minamino

Caoimhe O’Neill – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in attack
Liverpool will want their trip to London to be a more pleasant occassion than the one they experienced at the weekend.

The Reds continue their search for silverware at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup.

Adrian starts in goal with youngster Neco Williams given another chance to impress at right-back.

Joe Gomez and Joel Matip make their welcomed return to the centre-back command post.

James Milner comes in at left-back with Liverpool hungry for a place in the next round, but Andy Robertson in need of a rest.

Fabinho is working his way back up to speed and this game will help him get closer to finding his rhythm. Adam Lallana pairs up with the Brazilian and rising star Curtis Jones is awarded another cup start.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins the attacking roster for this one. The Englishman is on the right wing with Divock Origi racing up the centre and Takumi Minamino filling the space vacated by Sadio Mane.

My team: (4-3-3) Adrian; Williams, Gomez, Matip, Milner; Jones, Lallana, Fabinho; Minamino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi

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Chelsea vs Liverpool matchday

Chris Beesley – Full-strength side

Right, the dream of becoming another team of ‘Invincibles’ and getting a golden trophy for the Anfield cabinet is over so no messing about at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool are still going to win the Premier League, and by some distance, possibly even with a record high points tally but what’s more important now they can’t finish unbeaten (even if that was ever high among the priorities – surely you try to clinch the title early and play the kids in the final weeks when you’re hopefully in the latter stages of the Champions League/FA Cup) is the amount of trophies you can collect.

Liverpool have only ever done the double once, in 1986, haven’t won the FA Cup since 2006 and they’d love to be able to emulate old foes Manchester United’s treble of 1999 if they can also retain the Champions League.

So after doing his utmost to disregard the world’s oldest football competition as collateral damage for the previous two rounds but still getting through, now is the time for Jurgen Klopp to stick in all his big guns for the heavyweight clash at Chelsea because if they come through this tie they’re only 90 minutes away from Wembley.

My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

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