Liverpool may make 18 changes in next 3 games to keep Klopp dream alive | Football | Sport

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Liverpool look set to be without Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai for their next three matches as the squad seek to keep their dream of sending Jurgen Klopp off with multiple trophies in May alive. Alexander-Arnold was yesterday ruled out of the upcoming Carabao Cup final against Chelsea after re-aggravating a knee injury while Szoboszlai has suffered a recurrence of a hamstring issue too.

The Hungarian midfielder is also at risk of missing the cup final. And Jurgen Klopp may have to rotate his squad heavily for their two Premier League matches against Brentford and Luton before the trip to Wembley.

The Reds travel to the Gtech Community Stadium to face the Bees on Saturday (12.30pm) before hosting Luton at Anfield next Wednesday (7.30pm). The Carabao Cup final takes place on Sunday February 25 (3pm).

Minus Alexander-Arnold, Szoboszlai and Thiago Alcantara – all of whom have gone down with injuries in the past fortnight – on top of Joel Matip and Stefan Bajcetic already being out and Mohamed Salah only just returning, Liverpool’s squad will be tested. They are likely to go as full strength as possible away at Brentford to start with.

Salah is still on his way back from injury which should see the front three from the win over Burnley – Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez – keep their places after all scoring. The returning Conor Bradley should take Alexander-Arnold’s place with Elliott in for Wataru Endo and Ibrahima Konate replacing Jarell Quansah.

Alisson will also return in goal after recovering from illness. Joe Gomez should likewise be back in the squad after returning to full health but might be benched with the view to starting against Luton just a few days later.

Against Luton, Klopp will hope Salah is fit enough to start which would allow him to give Nunez and Diaz midweek rests. The pair will likely start against Chelsea. Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota could join the Egyptian in the XI against the Hatters.

Another five changes could come in defence and midfield. Virgil van Dijk is expected to start both league matches but the rest of the defence around him against Luton should be different. Kostas Tsimikas, Gomez and Quansah should displace Andy Robertson, Bradley and Konate.

Alexis Mac Allister and Curtis Jones could be rested in favour of Endo and Ryan Gravenberch. The quintet of Robertson, Bradley, Konate, Mac Allister and Jones – like Nunez and Diaz – will be fancied to start against the Blues under the iconic arch.

Alisson, Van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Salah, provided he’s fit enough to start a second match within days, should complete the line-up versus Chelsea. Jota will be the man to play over Salah if the top goalscorer is not yet deemed fit enough for back-to-back starts.

Alexander-Arnold and Szoboszlai would have been fancied to play over 180 minutes across the three matches if they were fit, so their absences are a significant blow. But Klopp will hope the likes of Bradley and Elliott can make sure the pair are not too badly missed. And he’ll hope his changes can keep the team fresh without proving too many tweaks at once that hurt the team’s rhythm.

Potential Liverpool XI vs Brentford: Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott; Diaz, Jota, Nunez

Potential Liverpool XI vs Luton: Alisson; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Elliott, Gravenberch; Salah, Jota, Gakpo

Potential Liverpool XI vs Chelsea: Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott; Diaz, Nunez, Salah

Injured players: Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Szoboszlai, Thiago, Bajcetic, Doak

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