Klopp has dilemmas involving four Liverpool stars for Man City clash

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has a series of tough selection calls to make ahead of his Carabao Cup showdown against Manchester City. The two heavyweight sides will come face-to-face on Thursday evening after a lengthy pause in action due to the World Cup. With some stars out of practice, others fatigued and an unlucky few still out with injury, Express Sport takes you through four borderline selection calls involving those that featured in Qatar…

Ibrahima Konate

The centre-back was fighting for minutes under France boss Didier Deschamps, with many feeling as though he was more deserving of the starting spot ahead of Dayot Upamecano in the World Cup final. Upamecano did well and Konate came on late but he couldn’t stop Argentina winning on penalties. 

Although some French stars, including Kylian Mbappe, have jumped straight back into training at club level, it would be a surprise to see Klopp pick Konate against City as the Reds player who went furthest in Qatar.

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Virgil van Dijk

Klopp has already cast doubt over selecting Van Dijk for the EFL Cup last 16 tie, meaning Liverpool could be left with a second-string centre-back pairing. Van Dijk was instrumental for the Netherlands as they powered to the quarter-finals in Qatar, before losing to eventual champions Argentina. 

Brazil star Fabinho also made it to the quarters but his lack of game time will be less of a concern for Klopp. Alisson Becker, meanwhile, presents no such dilemma as he is traditionally rested in the Carabao Cup for Caoimhin Kelleher to deputise between the sticks. 

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Jordan Henderson

Along with Van Dijk, Klopp was hardly convincing when discussing the chances of Henderson pulling on the red jersey against City, simply saying ‘We’ll see’. The midfielder started on the periphery at the World Cup but he worked his way into Gareth Southgate’s starting XI, playing most of the quarter-final defeat to France. 

Although he has been back in training for several days, it would be something of a surprise to see Klopp select him against the Sky Blues. Trent Alexander-Arnold is in a similar position having also been in Qatar with the Three Lions, but his lack of minutes could give him a better chance of starting. 

Darwin Nunez

With Liverpool poised to take a cautious approach with many of their World Cup stars, it remains to be seen whether that extends to Nunez. The Uruguay international started three out of three games in the Middle East but his nation brutally failed to make it out of Group H on goals scored. 

Nunez’s last competitive match was therefore played almost three weeks ago, but Klopp is still presented with a dilemma as Roberto Firmino, who missed the World Cup altogether, makes a compelling case to start up top. 

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