Liverpool's predicted XI for their FA Cup fifth round clash with Chelsea

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Carabao Cup Round of 16

Liverpool haven't exactly thrown the kitchen sink at the FA Cup this season.

For all the success that Jurgen Klopp has experienced in English football, he's never paid the sport's oldest cup competition much attention and this season is the furthest he's ever progressed.

In order to keep the focus on their jaunt for Premier League glory, the German coach fielded youthful starting XIs during the clashes with Everton and Shrewsbury Town.

A wordlie from Curtis Jones sealed an unlikely Merseyside Derby victory and the youngest starting line-up in Liverpool's history defeated the Shrews in a replay without Klopp himself.

It's a situation that has left a sour taste in the mouth for many football fans. You'd think that Klopp, given the sheer quality in his side, would try a little harder to potentially chase a historic treble.

Liverpool's FA Cup dilemma

We'll hold judgement for now seeing as, well, they're still in the competition, but the Liverpool boss certainly won't be able to get away with playing a weakened side in the fifth round.

That's because the Reds have been drawn away to Chelsea, one of the strongest sides in the land and with a manager in Frank Lampard who is even hungrier for FA Cup glory.

In other words, you'd imagine the Liverpool XI that played against Everton would struggle to get even a replay and the second team to face Shrewsbury would surely be routed.


Liverpool's predicted XI

So, there's something of a debate as to how Klopp will line up his team and where exactly he'll strike the balance between rotation and going for glory.

And while there's no way of telling for certain until an hour before today's kick off, that hasn't stopped the team at the Evening Standard from predicting how the Reds will shape up.

They went for the following:

Goalkeeper: Adrian

Defence: Neco Williams; Dejan Lovren; Joel Matip and James Milner

Midfield: Adam Lallana; Pedro Chirivella and Curtis Jones

Forwards: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi


Will Liverpool progress?

It's been established that Klopp will not rotate the squad as extremely as he did in previous rounds, but that swathes of Premier League regulars will be absent from the team sheet regardless.

The attacking triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all poised to miss out on the starting XI along with big-money signings Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

The likes of Jones and Williams will be given their biggest ever stage to shine, although Harvey Elliott will not feature after being called up to face Benfica in the UEFA Youth League.


But it seems clear that Klopp will sprinkle players such as Milner, Lallana and Origi amongst the team to give them the necessary experience to hold their own against Chelsea.

So, perhaps there are signs that Liverpool are slowly starting to take the FA Cup a little more seriously, but let's no pretend as though Klopp will lose any sleep if Chelsea emerge victorious.

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