Klopp makes big Gakpo call, as 19-year-old starts in defence: Liverpool’s predicted XI vs Wolves


After almost a full week to digest their dreadful loss to Brentford on Monday, Liverpool are back in action this weekend.

Premier League football takes a back seat though, as the Reds begin the defence of the FA Cup they won last season. Wolves are the visitors to Anfield, as they look for a third cup win over Liverpool in six years.

Jurgen Klopp is sure to rotate his team as injuries and poor form bite into his options.

But still, there is excitement in the air at the prospect of a debut for new signing Cody Gakpo. Here’s the XI we’re expecting Jurgen to put out.



This being the cup, Alisson Becker will get a well-earned break on Saturday. Capably as ever, Caoimhin Kelleher will slide into his gloves.

Given the state of things, that’s perhaps the most straightforward decision Klopp will make here. At right-back though, it seems fairly cut and dry that Calvin Ramsay will come in for just his second start of the season.

At centre-back, Klopp is picking from three instead of four options, with injury ruling out Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman would have been unlikely to play here anyway, with Joe Gomez likely to be partnered by Ibrahima Konate.

Despite his poor performance at Brentford, Kostas Tsimikas should return to start at left-back here.



Liverpool’s midfield is pretty much back to full-strength after a full season of missing bodies. That brings its own problems for Klopp, as he looks to get the balance right.

After concussion ruled him out of Brentford, it should be expected that Jordan Henderson returns to add a bit of stability to the middle of the park.

Naby Keita made a difference when he came on and should finally get his first start of the season, too. The third spot is a tricky one to predict. The one thing Klopp has to do though, is make sure that it isn’t filled by the desperately out of form Harvey Elliott.

Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho will surely be rested, meaning the last spot should be either Stefan Bajcetic or Curtis Jones. With Curtis lacking match fitness, we’ll stick our necks out and say Stefan gets the nod.



In contrast to the midfield, Liverpool’s attack is pretty much stripped bare. There’s no way that Klopp will risk either Mohamed Salah or Darwin Nunez, with both too important for the time being.

Roberto Firmino is reportedly back fit, but Saturday will probably come too early for him. Without long-term absentees Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, that’s all five of Liverpool’s starting forwards missing.

Luckily, Gakpo is ready. Having sorted his registration out earlier in the week, he should have got a few sessions under his belt. It may not be perfect, but he has to start here.

Given the options available, that start probably has to come through the middle. Stick Fabio Carvalho left and the rejuvenated Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain right and let’s see what happens. It can’t get too much worse.

Liverpool’s predicted XI vs Wolves: Kelleher; Ramsay, Gomez, Konate, Tsimikas; Bajcetic, Henderson, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gakpo, Carvalho

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