Crisis? Yes, crisis.
Back-to-back Premier League defeats have Liverpool languishing in mid-table, behind the likes of Fulham, Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion, at the halfway point in the 2022/23 season.
After enjoying an incredibly productive 2021/22 campaign that returned both the Carabao and FA Cups, the Reds have fallen off a cliff this term and they desperately need to find a spark.
An FA Cup third round replay at Molineux awaits Jurgen Klopp’s side on Tuesday night, and here’s the starting XI the German boss could pick for the game.
Liverpool predicted lineup vs Wolves (4-3-3)
GK: Alisson – Caoimhin Kelleher has functioned as Liverpool’s cup keeper in recent times, but it was Alisson who got the nod against Wolves at Anfield so he should retain his place for the replay.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – James Milner has returned from injury and is a possibility for Klopp at right-back. However, Trent’s creative spark may be required against an improving Wolves defence.
CB: Joe Gomez – Gomez has fallen down Liverpool’s centre-back pecking order after recovering from a long-term injury in 2021. The defender is struggling to live up to the initial hype he garnered, but he should get a rare opportunity to impress at Molineux.
CB: Ibrahima Konate – With Virgil van Dijk absent and Joel Matip being as frail as they come, Klopp won’t risk the Cameroonian defender for this replay. Thus, Konate should get the nod and partner Gomez at centre-back.
LB: Kostas Tsimikas – Klopp could rotate here with Tsimikas proving to be an able deputy to Andy Robertson.
DM: Stefan Bajcetic – Fabinho’s demise is staggering and he could do with a brief spell out of the starting XI. While young Bajectic has primarily operated further forward for the first team thus far, he has the potential to function at the base of midfield and this is a good opportunity to experiment with the teenager should he be deemed fit to start.
CM: Naby Keita – The forgotten man. Keita has featured just four times in the Premier League this season due to, you guessed it, injuries but the midfielder’s fully fit again and is poised to start Tuesday’s replay.
CM: Harvey Elliott – The teenager has been a prominent member of the first team this season. Elliott’s just one of seven Liverpool players to play over 1,000 Premier League minutes. After making substitute appearances in the Reds’ last two games, the midfielder should return to the starting XI on Tuesday.
RW: Mohamed Salah – Klopp’s attacking options are limited so he has no choice but to start his leading man at Molineux. The Egyptian hitman scored in the tie at Anfield.
ST: Cody Gakpo – With Darwin Nunez set to miss out, Gakpo could lead the Liverpool line on Tuesday. The Dutchman is not a number nine, but he occasionally operated as a central striker during his time at PSV. It’s been a quiet start to his career on Merseyside.
LW: Fabio Carvalho – The summer arrival has been a brightish spark in a drab season for the Reds. Carvalho hasn’t featured too much since Christmas, but he played 45 minutes at the Amex on Saturday and is a sure bet to earn a start against Wolves.