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Liverpool lineup vs. Luton – Klopp’s full-back decision & Elliott at right wing?


Jurgen Klopp has plenty to ponder as he weighs up his team selection against Luton, with injuries and a cup final just days away to consider.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, Liverpool would have no luck at all. Borrowing a previous phrase from the manager, it feels like the ‘witch’ is back in the building.

In the space of two days, the Reds lost Alisson, Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota to injury, adding to an already long list of absentees that we could do without amid a hectic schedule.

Nevertheless, Klopp can and will put a team together on Wednesday evening that will be capable of getting the result required, but just who could he turn to?

Are we looking at a rotated side ahead of Sunday or as strong as possible?


Team news

Many were anxiously awaiting Klopp’s team update after the events over the weekend, and the manager had an extensive list to go through, though we wanted him to say more:

  • Alisson (hamstring) out for the “foreseeable”
  • Jota (knee) “will obviously take months”
  • Jones has a “bone/ligament issue” – no timeframe given
  • Trent and Szoboszlai “on their way back” but “not in team training yet”
  • Others, likely Darwin Nunez, will be dealt with “day by day”


Liverpool’s lineup vs. Luton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After seeing Man City drop points over the weekend, the league pursuits were magnified, and for many that will see this match as the priority, not Sunday’s cup final.

Though, the Reds have had four days between games and will have the same again from Wednesday to Sunday, meaning Klopp could look to keep things as consistent as possible.

Caoimhin Kelleher is going nowhere, but Conor Bradley could be protected by Joe Gomez taking his place, while Ryan Gravenberch will return to the XI in place of Jones.

With Mohamed Salah having played more than expected at Brentford, Harvey Elliott is best-suited to start on the right wing with Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz alongside him up top.

There’s a fine balance at play when keeping the fit players fit, and that is why it would be a big surprise to see Salah or Nunez risked on Wednesday.

  • Gomez starts at right-back, defence otherwise unchanged
  • Endo remains in the No. 6 role, Gravenberch to his left
  • Elliott on the right wing, shifts Diaz back to favoured left
  • Gakpo to lead the line for his second start in five games

This would see the Reds line up as follows:

Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Elliott, Diaz, Gakpo

In an ideal world, a fifth successive start for Diaz would likely be off the table, but he’s required to do a job amid all the injuries, and it is hard to see anyone else starting in his place.

There could well be two changes in defence, though, with Gomez taking over from Andy Robertson – who is still only five games into his return – and Jarell Quansah stepping in to give Ibrahima Konate a rest.

There are not too many changes Klopp can make to his midfield and attack with nine confirmed absentees for this match, but perhaps an opportunity could come the way of Bobby Clark.

If Alexis Mac Allister is deemed to need a break after four starts in a row, Clark – who Klopp name-checked in his pre-match press conference – could be given the nod as the right-sided No. 8.

  • Bradley keeps his place, Gomez instead starts at left-back
  • Nineteen-year-old Clark starts next to Endo and Gravenberch

Those tweaks having the Reds shaping up like this:

Kelleher; Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Clark, Gravenberch; Elliott, Diaz, Gakpo

It may be unlikely that we see the Clark curveball from Klopp, but it will, no doubt, be on the cards for future games after the manager noted he “will give the opportunity” to young players.

You sense, though, that the attack all but picks itself for this clash, and the Reds ought to have enough to get the job done at Anfield with either XI Klopp ends up selecting.