Liverpool begin their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Wolves on Monday night, with Jurgen Klopp confirming changes will be made to the starting XI.
After a non-stop festive period for the Reds, culminating in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat away to Man City, Klopp says “we have to make changes.”
“We have to, that’s clear, we came through the intense period now, somehow OK,” he explained.
“But of course we have to make changes. How many I don’t know, but we have to, there’s no chance for anything else.”
Here are five players we believe it would be beneficial to start at Molineux.
With Nathaniel Clyne joining Bournemouth on loan, opportunities at right-back have now opened up for certain individuals.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold sure to be rested and Joe Gomez still on the sidelines, Rafa Camacho has every chance up stepping up against Wolves.
The young Portuguese has been linked with a move away of his own, to Sporting Lisbon, but he has been named in Liverpool’s matchday squad.
Camacho has actually invariably played a more attacking role for the under-23s this season, often on the left, but he is versatile enough to impress at right-back – as he did in pre-season.
Hugely exciting 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever may even make his debut, but that seems less likely.
Liverpool haven’t handed an academy product a debut since January 2017 – Harry Wilson against Plymouth Argyle – so it would be nice to see that change.
Naby Keita‘s Liverpool career still hasn’t quite taken off, with a combination of injuries and patchy form seeing him struggle for rhythm.
The Guinean didn’t feature at all against City on Thursday so it would be a major surprise if he wasn’t awarded a start at Molineux.
Keita has often been used in a left-sided role in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but it would be nice to him in his preferred central midfield berth on Monday night.
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This isn’t necessarily something we’re that keen on seeing in the match itself, but more as a way of strengthening Liverpool’s squad depth between now and May.
Adam Lallana feels like a player from the Reds’ past these days, with the team moving on significantly while he has stood still.
While a summer exit feels inevitable, he can still be a potential asset between now and the end of the season, but he needs to gain some match sharpness, in order to be a more reliable figure off the bench in the title race.
Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum aren’t expected to start, while James Milner may also be rested, paving the way for Lallana to play.
He hasn’t scored a goal since the final day of the 2016/17, which is staggering, and it is time he started to actually impact on games, rather than simply showcasing his Cruyff-turning ability.
Xherdan Shaqiri was signed to add squad depth, with Liverpool guilty of not having good enough players for FA Cup games in the past.
The Swiss is primed to come in and wreak havoc against Wolves, having only made a second-half cameo at the Etihad on Thursday evening.
The Reds’ much-famed three is certain to be broken up – all three may be rested – and Shaqiri will love playing the role of the main man.
He has been a fantastic signing, combining guile, dribbling ability and end product to devastating effect, and he can be the difference-maker as Liverpool begin their FA Cup campaign.
Such is the balance and quality that Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah give to Liverpool, it is no surprise to see Daniel Sturridge struggling for playing time.
His very best days may be behind him but the striker still possesses that eye for goal, slick touch and clever movement that can cause any defence trouble on his day.
Sturridge is expected to lead the line for the Reds when they take on Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, giving him a great chance to prove his worth.
It would be his first start since the 3-1 win away to Burnley away to December and he will be a key presence as Klopp’s men aim to reach round four.
Potential Liverpool XI: Alisson, Camacho, Lovren, Van Dijk, Moreno, Fabinho, Keita, Lallana, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi.