Caoimhin Kelleher to Start Liverpool’s Carabao Cup Tie Against Arsenal

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Caoimhin Kelleher
Dublin , Ireland - 3 September 2019; Caoimhin Kelleher during a Republic of Ireland U21's press conference at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Liverpool will host Arsenal in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday. However, this will not be a traditional fixture between the two heavyweights given the competition’s lack of importance to Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool will still be aiming to win and progress to the quarter-finals, though don’t expect to see many of the first team squad take to the pitch. Klopp is set to ring the changes, with Caoimhin Kelleher already confirmed to start in goal.

Caoimhin Kelleher to Start in Goal for Liverpool Against Arsenal

Caoimhin Kelleher to Deputise

Klopp’s assistant Pep Ljinders confirmed on Tuesday that Kelleher will start in goal. The Irish youth international impressed on his debut against MK Dons in the third round of the competition and will be hoping to do so again against higher calibre opposition. He will start despite Alisson’s return to fitness and Adrian’s role as second-choice keeper.

The defence that will be fielded in front of him should be an experimental one. Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the only fit senior players in their positions but should both be given the night off. This means that youth players such as Adam Lewis and Yasser Larouci could be given a chance to impress at full-back. Ki-Jana Hoever, who scored in the last round, will be unavailable as he is away with the Netherlands at the U17 World Cup. This means that James Milner could be forced to fill in at right-back as he did against Genk as Lewis and Larouci both favour the left.

The starting centre backs should be Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez, with Virgil van Dijk being given the night off. Joel Matip is out with a long term injury, meaning that both Lovren and Gomez will be out to prove they should be the man to partner the Dutchman.

Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita to Return

Many fans were disappointed not to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita start against Tottenham Hotspur, but they should feature against Arsenal. Klopp will freshen up the midfield with Fabinho being given a rare night off. Adam Lallana could deputise in the holding position.

Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum should both sit this one out, while Milner is an option if he isn’t required to slot in at full-back.

A Different Looking Front Three

With important Premier League and Champions League games on the horizon, none of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane should be starting this game.

Instead, Klopp should be looking to the fringe and youth players to make an impact. Harvey Elliot‘s ban has ended and after impressing against MK Dons, he will be hoping for another start in this competition. Klopp’s belief in Rhian Brewster means that he should expect to start in this competition, while Divock Origi should complete the trio. Young winger Curtis Jones is also an option while Xherdan Shaqiri is still out injured.

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