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Jurgen Klopp can unleash new Liverpool midfield as Luis Diaz dilemma emerges

Liverpool are back in Premier League action on Saturday following their League Cup and FA Cup exploits as they look to narrow the gap on Man City at the top of the table once again.

The Reds host West Ham United, who are one of only two sides to beat Jurgen Klopp’s men this season, in Saturday’s evening kick-off, with Pep Guardiola’s side in Manchester derby action at the Etihad on Sunday.

After a gruelling 120 minutes against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, the German made 10 changes to his side who faced Norwich in the FA Cup in midweek.

Changes are expected once again against the Hammers as a result, though with Liverpool in Champions League action at home to Inter Milan on Tuesday, Klopp faces a balancing act as the Reds remain in quadruple contention.

And with Curtis Jones seemingly joining Roberto Firmino and Thiago Alcantara on the Liverpool injury list, we take a look at how the Reds could line up on Saturday.

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Alisson and…?

Alisson was back in goal against Norwich following Caoimhin Kelleher’s Wembley heroics, and will keep his place against West Ham.

But the back four in front of him should be very different to the one that faced the Canaries will changes across the board expected.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will almost certainly come in at full-back for James Milner and Kostas Tsimikas, while Virgil van Dijk will return at centre-back.

Joel Matip is also expected to earn a recall alongside the Dutchman, though both Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez will be hoping for an opportunity to retain their places.



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Hendo out but here’s Harvey

Having started the League Cup final, Jordan Henderson was the only Liverpool player to retain his place against Norwich on Wednesday night.

As a result, the Reds captain can probably expect to be on the bench against West Ham, with one eye on Inter Milan, with Fabinho coming in to start as the holding midfielder.

With Thiago and Curtis Jones injured, Naby Keita should return in the middle of the park.

And having been utilised as a substitute in the last two games, Harvey Elliott could come in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for only his fourth Premier League start and second top-flight appearance since dislocating his ankle in September.

Diogo-Diaz dilemma

With Luiz Diaz’s feet now firmly under the Liverpool table, with the winger looking like he’s been playing for the club for years, Jurgen Klopp has a dilemma in attack.

The Colombian was arguably the Reds best outfielder at Wembley and has been a breath of fresh air since joining the club from FC Porto in January.

But with Diogo Jota back from injury and Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s AFCON exploits now a distant memory, the German has a big decision to make as four won’t go into three.

Salah will start on the right, that’s a given, leaving it between Mane, Diaz and Jota for the final two berths.

It was the former two who started at Wembley and they could be given the nod again as the Portuguese gets back up to speed following that ankle lay-off.

Predicted Liverpool starting XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Mane, Diaz.

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