Jurgen Klopp is currently facing challenges with an increasing number of injuries as he prepares for Liverpool’s upcoming match against West Ham United.
Wednesday night’s match against West Ham United presents Klopp with several decisions regarding player selection due to the injuries.
While the Carabao Cup typically offers opportunities for team changes and rotations, the stakes are high this time. The competition has already witnessed the exit of several prominent Premier League teams, and a semi-final spot awaits the winner.
Klopp likely views the potential two-legged semi-final as a thrilling opportunity, especially considering the chance to secure a place at Wembley.
Reflecting on the past, Klopp holds fond memories of winning the trophy in 2022. He also recognises the boost it gave the entire club, motivating them to compete on multiple fronts throughout the rest of the season.
The Europa League is set to continue next year, while the FA Cup is scheduled to start next month at Arsenal. This could potentially provide a boost for title-contending Liverpool in the latter part of the season. However, before these events unfold, Liverpool face a challenging quarter-final match against David Moyes’s West Ham. This match comes at an inconvenient time due to Liverpool’s current injury concerns and the fact that it is sandwiched between visits from Manchester United and Arsenal.
Saturday’s match against the Gunners is crucial for Liverpool, as a win could place them at the top of the Premier League by Christmas. However, the lineup for Wednesday’s game depends on unavailable players.
Caoimhin Kelleher is set to take over as goalkeeper, replacing Alisson Becker. He played a significant role in the 2021/22 season, notably scoring the decisive penalty against Chelsea in the final.
Joel Matip’s season-ending injury complicates Klopp’s choices for center-backs. Jarell Quasah has had a standout season, making it likely for him to be included. The decision now lies between partnering him with Virgil van Dijk or selecting Joe Gomez, who is eager to play regularly.
Alternatively, Gomez could start at right-back, allowing Trent Alexander-Arnold to move into midfield, especially with Alexis Mac Allister sidelined. If the injury keeps out the Argentina World Cup winner, Wataru Endo might be called upon for the Arsenal game.
Overreliance on Kostas Tsimikas on the left side has become a concern. Despite his recent good form, the absence of Andy Robertson, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery since October, amplifies the risk. An injury to Tsimikas would be detrimental to the team’s balance.
Luke Chambers could step in as a replacement. However, ensuring the right balance poses a challenge for the manager. This situation presents an opportune moment for Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones to be given starting roles. The decision on who takes the No.6 position remains to be seen.
Ryan Gravenberch is unavailable due to an injury sustained against United. Additionally, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are still sidelined.
That makes it seven first-team players currently out of action, a growing concern at this crucial juncture of the season.
Diogo Jota is also sidelined due to a hamstring issue, leaving Klopp with the challenge of selecting from his remaining options for the forward positions. Darwin Nunez, who hasn’t scored in 10 matches, could benefit from a starting role to rejuvenate his form. However, Klopp might lean towards choosing Cody Gakpo instead.
Given the limited options, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz are likely players to play, as suitable replacements are scarce. It would be unexpected if Kaide Gordon and Ben Doak were chosen over them. Undoubtedly, this presents one of the most challenging lineup decisions for Klopp this season.