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Liverpool predicted lineup vs Arsenal

Liverpool begin Mohamed Salah’s temporary absence with a huge FA Cup third-round tie away at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

The Egyptian icon has been the Reds’ leading figure in attack but his departure for the Africa Cup of Nations means other stars in Jurgen Klopp’s squad will have to replace his consistent output in front of goal.

Standing between Liverpool and a place in the fourth round are Arsenal, with whom they drew 1-1 in their recent Premier League clash during the festive period.

Here’s the side Klopp may send out at the Emirates Stadium.

Diogo Jota

Jota’s goals will be needed in Salah’s absence / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – Caoimhin Kelleher has often been deployed as Liverpool’s cup keeper in recent years, though Klopp may opt for the experience of his Brazilian shot-stopper with other key stars unavailable.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Saw his wonderful December form rewarded with a nomination for the Premier League’s Player of the Month award. He’ll need to see off competition from the likes of Dominic Solanke, Son Heung-min, Cole Palmer and Michael Olise among others to claim the prize.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – Was showered with praise recently by defensive partner Van Dijk, who said the Frenchman has “everything” needed to “be at the absolute top of centre-backs”.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – Another Reds star up for a major gong, Van Dijk was named among the nominees for the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11.

LB: Joe Gomez – With Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas still out, the versatile Gomez is in line for another start at left-back.

CM: Ryan Gravenberch – Liverpool will be without Dominik Szoboszlai for this tie and the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Fulham next week, leaving Dutchman Gravenberch to fill the energetic void.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – Returned from injury against Newcastle, which was timely given replacement Wataru Endo is unavailable until Japan’s run at the Asian Cup finishes.

CM: Curtis Jones – Apparently used to tell “anyone willing to listen” that he supported Arsenal in his youth. Has beaten the Gunners three times with the Reds but hasn’t scored against them in eight games.

RW: Diogo Jota – Salah’s absence opens up a starting spot for natural finisher Jota, who has returned to full fitness with goal contributions against Burnley and Newcastle.

ST: Darwin Nunez – Another player tasked with chipping in without Salah, Nunez ended a 12-game goal drought on Boxing Day but can’t afford to go on such a barren run again.

LW: Luis Diaz – Didn’t feature in the FA Cup last season, with his last appearance in the competition being the final victory over Chelsea in 2022.


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