SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

BRIGHTON AND HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 12, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) chats with former player Brighton & Hove Albion's Adam Lallana during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brighton now missing 3 first-choice starters ahead of Liverpool FA Cup tie

Liverpool are not the only side facing a number of absentees for Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie, with Brighton now missing three of their key starters.

The Reds head to the AMEX this weekend looking to book their place in the fifth round, doing so without seven senior players.

Fabio Carvalho and Nat Phillips have added to the absentees list, joining Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Arthur.

It makes Jurgen Klopp‘s starting lineup easier to predict, though a plethora of options in the midfield does at least give the manager a decision to make.

Klopp’s counterpart, Roberto De Zerbi, is also facing big calls as he plots for a second victory over Liverpool in just over a fortnight, with two new issues following their 2-2 draw at Leicester.

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 23, 2021: Brighton & Hove Albion's Adam Lallana during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Manchester City FC at the AMEX Stadium. Manchester City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Adam Lallana was forced off on the half-hour mark last Saturday, with De Zerbi telling reporters ahead of the FA Cup tie that “he will be out for a couple of weeks.”

He also revealed that centre-back Levi Colwill would miss out, with a quad injury expected to keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.

“I am sorry for him because, for us, the left centre-back is very important,” De Zerbi was quoted by the Argus.

“Lewis Dunk is a top player but he is on the right and we lose some line passes from the left.”

As the Italian noted, in Colwill’s absence Dunk has shifted to the left side and Jan Paul van Hecke taking his place on the right, with Joel Veltman filling in later on in the draw with Leicester.

2JJ65BW Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo during a pre-season friendly match at Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2022.

Brighton will also now not include Moises Caicedo in their squad, with The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reporting that he has been told to stay away until after the transfer deadline.

This comes following a post on the midfielder’s Instagram that saw him ask for a move away this month, with bids already rejected from Arsenal and Chelsea.

Youngster Facundo Buonanotte is sidelined, too, with Jakub Moder another long-term absentee.

It remains to be seen how this affects De Zerbi’s selection plans, or whether it will prove costly, though it should be pointed out that Brighton already beat Liverpool 3-0 earlier this month with midfielder Pascal Gross at right-back.

“We can play without Adam, or Alexis [Mac Allister] for example as we proved,” the manager added on Friday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 1, 2022: Brighton & Hove Albion's Brighton & Hove Albion's manager Roberto De Zerbi (R) embraces Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We can do that because of the number of players, the young players are improving and are ready to play.

“It will be a different game, the last game was difficult, against Liverpool it will always be difficult.

“On Sunday we want to win and to play well. It’s possible to play better than we did against Leicester.”

Predicted Brighton XI: Sanchez; Lamptey, Veltman, Dunk, Estupinan; Gross, Mac Allister; March, Sarmiento, Mitoma; Welbeck