Liverpool travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal on Sunday, aiming to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Reds are in their best form of the season, having won back-to-back Premier League games against Burnley and Newcastle United respectively while smashing West Ham United 5-1 in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Their recent form has lifted Jurgen Klopp’s side at the summit of the Premier League, boosting their title ambitions in the process.
Jurgen Klopp and Co. will want to kick off 2024 with a bang by beating Arsenal, who come into the FA Cup fixture from a disappointing 2-1 away league defeat to Fulham.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai will miss the FA Cup third-round against Arsenal after suffering a hamstring injury in the 4-2 win over Newcastle United on Monday.
The Hungary international joins Stefan Bajcetic, Thiago Alcantara, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas and Joel Matip on the club’s injury list. At the same time, the Reds will also be without the services of Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo due to their international commitments with Egypt and Japan respectively.
Predicted Liverpool lineup vs Arsenal (4-3-3)
Jurgen Klopp is expected to name a strong first XI, and he will be tempted to keep Alisson Becker ahead of Caoimhin Kelleher between the sticks for this spicy FA Cup third-round encounter against the Gunners.
In front of Alisson, Klopp could pick the same back four that started in the 4-2 win over Newcastle at Anfield, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez all start here.
Alexander-Arnold and Gomez will function as the full-backs, while Van Dijk partners Konate at the heart of the Reds’ defence. The defensive quartet must be at their best to keep the quick and creative Arsenal forwards quiet.
Wataru Endo leaving the Liverpool camp to join Japan for the Asian Cup should open the door for Alexis Mac Allister to return to the starting XI. Mac Allister came on as a substitute against Newcastle after spending over a month on the sidelines but could be drafted from the start here.
The Argentinean World Cup winner must protect the backline well while controlling the tempo of play for the visitors. Ryan Gravenberch and Curtis Jones are primed to join Mac Allister in the middle of the park, with the duo tasked with providing energy, solidity and creativity to the side.
Mohamed Salah joining Egypt for the AFCON is a huge blow for Liverpool, and Klopp must find a way to replace arguably the best player of his team. He could go with Harvey Elliot on the right wing due to the player’s previous experience of operating in that position, while Diogo Jota may get the nod ahead of Luis Diaz on the left.
Following wasteful displays in front of goal in recent games, Darwin Nunez could drop to the bench with Cody Gakpo getting the nod to lead the Liverpool attack against Mikel Arteta’s side.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.