Liverpool predicted starting XI against Swansea City

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After a disappointing 0-0 draw against Hull City at the weekend, Liverpool now host Swansea City in the fourth round of the Capital One cup. The Reds boss is very familiar with the Welsh side, having been in charge of the Swans before taking the top job at Anfield in 2012. 

Both sides are in the known with the League Cup, having won the competition in recent years. Liverpool lifted the trophy in 2012 for the record eighth time, when they defeated Cardiff City on penalties, after drawing 2-2 after extra time.

As for Swansea City, it was 2013 when they won the cup for this first time in the club's history. Under Michael Laudrop's guidance, the side thrashed League Two Bradford City 5-0 at Wembley.

The two teams sit sixth and seventh in the Premier League, both on 14 points with Swansea's goal difference slightly better.

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In the third round of the competition this year, Liverpool had to beat Championship side Middlesbrough on penalties 14-13, after finishing 2-2 after extra time. Swansea City play a second Merseyside team in as many Capital One Cup games, having cruised to a 3-0 victory over Everton at the Liberty Stadium.

Here is my predicted Liverpool starting XI for their cup clash with Swansea City tonight...

Goalkeeper - Simon Mignolet

It's likely that the Liverpool number one goalkeeper will remain between the sticks for the game. The Belgian has struggled to find his best form so far this term, having made some crucial mistakes.

Against both QPR in the Premier League and Real Madrid in the Champions League, Mignolet put in two under-par performances and many fans questioned his abilities.

Against Hull City at the weekend, however, the former Sunderland man put in a much better shift and looked much more confident in goal. He collected the ball much better, as well as communicating with his defence and showed all the right signs that he has the character to find his best form.

This game against Swansea should be another stepping point for Mignolet gaining the right mentality again. We know he is a capable shot-stopper, and another solid game against the Welsh side should do just the trick.

Right-back - Javier Manquillo

Manquillo was drafted in for Saturday's game, replacing Glen Johnson, and he really impressed. The Spaniard offered so much when going forward, really bombing down the right-wing and giving his full support when Liverpool were on the attack.

His defensive duties were also faultless, always tracking back after getting forward and putting in some great tackles. It's unknown if Manquillo or Johnson is Rodgers' first-choice at right-back. With the former being less experienced, it is vital that he gets plenty of game time when he can.

I think that Rodgers may just lean towards Manquillo as his first-choice right-back, and he will be keen for the summer loan signing to continue his good form.

Centre-back - Kolo Toure

Toure has found himself very much out of favour since moving to Anfield, and has made just two appearances so far this season. He's started just once, in Liverpool's League Cup game in the third round. He didn't do too badly that fixture, but it was against weaker opposition.

Toure could have left for Turkish side Besiktas in the summer, but decided to fight for his place on Merseyside. At this moment, he is Brendan Rodgers' fourth choice centre-back. However, his preferred two of Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren have played so much this season and the Northern Irishman will want to give one of them a rest.

That should see Toure come in and do a job in the heart of the Liverpool defence and will be looking to impress, especially with the defensive troubles that have occurred at Anfield in recent times.

Centre-back - Dejan Lovren

Despite being signed for £20million in the summer, the Croatian has not has the smartest start on Merseyside. Lovren has struggled to find the form he showed at Southampton so often last season, and made a fair few mistakes that has put his place in the Liverpool side at stake.

At the weekend, the former Saints man put in a shift that highlighted what he was capable of. Lovren looked much more calm in the centre-of-defence, being much more decisive when making decisions as well as communicating with both Skrtel and Mignolet much better.

Lovren needs confidence, much like the Reds goalkeeper. With him being younger than Skrtel, he will be the fresher and likely he will line-up to keep Wilfred Bony at bay. Lovren needs to forget the big price-tag he was signed for, and instead just play his usual game.

Left-back - Jose Enrique

I do feel sorry for Enrique. He missed most of last season through injury and has saw his place on the left-hand side of defence be taken by £10 million signing Alberto Moreno.

When the Spaniard has had his chance, however, he has not impressed. Against Boro in the last round of the Capital One Cup, he was caught out far too often when the away side broke on the attack.

Then, against FC Basel in the Champions League when given the nod, he was one of Liverpool's worst players on the pitch. This is another opportunity for Enrique to impress his boss. A few seasons ago, the former Newcastle United man was a Kop favourite for his whole-hearted displays he put in so often.

They have been none existent this season and Moreno has been ultra-impressive. With the 22-year-old only just getting over a slight injury, the likelihood is that Enrique will start and must grab the chance to put in a top performance.

Defensive-midfield - Emre Can

Can played on Saturday against Hull and he was good. Very good in fact. The German looked a beast in midfield, attacking Steve Bruce's side with so much venom, as well as picking out some excellent passes. He was also very good defensively, putting in a number of solid challenges in and then starting off a Liverpool attack. 

Steven Gerrard, now 34-years-old, is likely to be given a rest given his busy schedule of late. Someone needs to replace him protecting the Liverpool defence and Can is more than capable. He's a midfielder who can do everything and definitely has a lot of potential to succeed on Merseyside.

Centre-midfield - Jordan Henderson

With Gerrard to likely be rested, it will be Henderson who captains the Liverpool side.

He was surprisingly benched on Saturday against Hull, however that must be down to the amount of games he has been playing in recent times. The England international has become a vital member of the Liverpool team, improving massively over the past 18 months.

Henderson will have the responsibility of leading Liverpool this fixture, and must be up to the job. All season, he has been very consistent, and it his is vision which has been the most impressive, picking out a number of fantastic passes.

With no Gerrard on the pitch, this will be a test of Henderson's ability, if he can lead and inspire the players around him.

Centre-midfield - Adam Lallana 

Despite only joining the Reds in the summer, Lallana has become a vital member of the Liverpool squad.

His skill on the ball is fantastic, as he has the ability to glide past the opposition's defence with so much ease and elegance. Against Real Madrid, he came on at half-time and changed the way Liverpool played. He brought a spark to the set-up of the side, and caused problems for the Madrid side.

Lallana is a versatile player and can play at the heart of the midfield or further forwards. He has relentless energy and I think he will pull the strings for Liverpool in his fixture. His passing ability and vision is top class and should be a menace for the Swansea defence.

Left-wing - Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho is starting to find full form once again on Merseyside, after a slow start to the season.

Against Madrid in Europe, he was a constant pest for Pepe and co. with his lightning quick feet and skipping runs. Many were surprised when he did not start on Saturday, and again was the bright-spark when coming on.

He had his shot from outside the box superbly tipped over the bar, and hit an inch-perfect pass to find Mario Balotelli in the closing stages of the game that should have been buried by the Italian.

What Coutinho needs is games. To maintain his best form, the Brazilian would appreciate a run in the side to really get into the swing of things. He is a magician when going forward, hitting some unbelievable passes as well as going past defenders. It is likely Rodgers' men will look for him to be the brains on Tuesday night.

Right-wing - Lazar Markovic

Since his £20million move from Benfica this summer, Markovic has been very, very poor. He's shown no signs that he will be a success and has to put in a good performance soon.

Tuesday in the Capital One Cup is the place to start. The 20-year-old has the ability, he shown it when aiding his former club reach the Europa League final last season. Markovic is blessed with blistering pace, but he is yet to really test a full-back in any game.

In all fairness, he has been thrown into the deep end in some games, and Reds fans are prepared to give him another chance. In this less important clash, he must do well to save his Anfield career.

Striker - Rickie Lambert

I feel sorry for Lambert, who moved from Southampton from £4 million this summer. The 32-year-old has sat on the bench for the most part, having to watch Mario Balotelli put in some dismal performances.

Lambert came off the bench against Hull and put in a fantastic shift. He held the ball up so well, and linked up with his team-mates like he has done at every club. That performance made Liverpool again question why he has received minimal game time at Anfield. Here, he should be given the call up, with Rodgers likely to rest Balotelli. 

If Lambert puts in another eye-catching effort and grabs himself a goal, he has real claims to pip the Italian on Rodgers' team-sheet.

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