Liverpool lineup vs. Fulham – 1 guaranteed starter and Elliott or Diaz?

Jurgen Klopp‘s mind has been made up for him in several positions, but he still faces decisions over his forwards to play Fulham in the League Cup.

Liverpool are without another game for 11 days, so Klopp will likely play a strong team against Fulham. With increasingly sparse midfield options, how that looks is up for debate.

The boss will be keen to take a lead down to London for the second leg, and capitalise on a positive Anfield after Sunday’s FA Cup win at Arsenal.


Team news

Here’s what Pep Lijnders revealed in his press conference:


Liverpool’s XI vs. Fulham

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with two-goal hero Curtis Jones (L) after the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We know who Liverpool’s goalkeeper will be for the League Cup semi-final – Lijnders confirmed to Liverpool’s official website that Caoimhin Kelleher “will start.”

With Alexander-Arnold out injured, Conor Bradley will surely come in at right-back, due to Joe Gomez being needed to cover at left-back. Two of Ibrahima Konate, Jarell Quansah and Virgil van Dijk should take the centre-half positions.

We know Van Dijk “will be back in the squad,” so Konate’s ability to play two games a week is the only thing keeping us unsure of his starting place.

Wataru Endo and Szoboszlai’s absences make the midfield fairly simple to pick, but the front three less so, with Diogo Jota anticipated to be ready for his first start since November.

Here is how Liverpool will likely begin the match:

This is how Liverpool would line up:

Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Gravenberch, Jones; Elliott, Jota, Diaz

With Diaz playing himself back into form, Klopp could choose to go with the front three that made the difference in the second half against Arsenal.

That would see Diaz play on the right, with Jota and Nunez featuring in the other two attacking positions – Elliott would drop to the bench.

There is also the possibility that Quansah starts next to Van Dijk, with the youngster proving he is more than good enough to put in a commanding performance.

  • Gomez remains at left-back, despite Luke Chambers and Owen Beck pushing for a spot
  • Diaz replaces Elliott on the right as Jota plays up front or on the left
  • Conor Bradley starts for the fifth time in his Liverpool career

Here’s how this alternate team would look:

Kelleher; Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Gravenberch, Jones; Diaz, Jota, Nunez

Whatever side the manager picks, it should be strong enough to beat Fulham. However, injuries to key players doesn’t help the rhythm of the team.

Like Lijnders said in his press conference, “this squad has so much talent, so much power and as long as counter-pressing is there, everything else is replaceable.”