Liverpool line-ups as Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate decisions made for Man City

‘I sign can keep his place down the middle’

Paul Gorst: It’s seconds out, round three for Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley this afternoon.

But while both teams were able to move into the last four of the Champions League on Wednesday night, that City were given a much more taxing evening at Atletico Madrid could be a huge factor.

Jurgen Klopp was able to rest as many as seven big names at Anfield as they beat Benfica 6-4 on aggregate and I am expecting all of those players to return at Wembley today.

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That means Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk all start as Ibrahima Konate drops out and Joel Matip retains his place.

In midfield, it is tempting to start Naby Keita for his ability to keep the ball but I am giving the captain Jordan Henderson the nod just ahead of the Guinea star as Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho both come back into the starting lineup.

Up top, Roberto Firmino can keep his place down the middle after his excellent showing against Benfica with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota waiting in the wings if something is needed from the bench. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both start.

My team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

‘Konate stays as Curtis Jones gets a go’

Ian Doyle: The FA Cup – the greatest domestic cup competition in the world. The semi-final – one of the finest games of the campaign. And at Wembley – still a ridiculous venue for this match.

It doesn’t matter. Liverpool will want to win wherever today’s game against Manchester City is played.

And what to do for Jurgen Klopp?

Expect a fair amount of changes from the midweek draw with Benfica.

Alisson Becker remains in goal, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk coming back into defence. And I’d keep Ibrahima Konate at centre-back ahead of Joel Matip.

In midfield, Fabinho will hopefully be a rested development, so too Thiago Alcantara. As for the third spot, it’s tricky. So let’s give Curtis Jones a go.

Up top, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are in for sure. And I’d leave Roberto Firmino in there down the center. Back to the future, you could say.

My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

‘Naby Keita deserves his chance’

Joe Rimmer: Another day, another game for Jurgen Kiopp’s workaholic Liverpool side. It’s a meeting with Man City again. But this time in the FA Cup.

Changes were made in midweek against Benfica so expect the team to look more like the Liverpool we’re used to at Wembley, but Klopp will still have to manage his resources with a key game against Manchester United just three days away.

I’d be tempted to stick with Ibrahima Konate at centre-back to combat City’s running in-behind, with the usual two full-backs back in place, as well as Virgil van Dijk.

Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara line up in midfield alongside Naby Keita, who has done enough to show he deserves a start in a game of this magnitude.

Up front, Roberto Firmino retains his place alongside his old pals Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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