Liverpool starting lineup to face Nottingham Forest – predicted

After a week of cup successes, Liverpool return to Premier League action to take on Nottingham Forest this Saturday.

With Manchester City and Arsenal not playing until later in the weekend, it's a chance for Jurgen Klopp's side to heap pressure on their closest rivals in the title race — especially with that showdown against City looming in the middle distance.

Liverpool are likely to be without a whole host of first-team regulars once again with Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones and more not available until some time next month, at least.

However, 'Klopp's Kids' have shown they can do the business when required, with the academy and second string coming up trumps in recent outings.

READ MORE: Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister admits 'desire' to play for another club

17th-placed Forest are in poor form, but the City Ground remains a stadium the Reds have (somewhat remarkably) never won at in the Premier League era.

Liverpool fell on the road against Forest 1-0 last season and will be wary of complacency leading to a similar slip up this time around.

Predicted Liverpool lineup

Here's how Klopp could line up his side for this one.


Goalkeeper & Defence

Andy Robertson of Liverpool celebrates Virgil van Dijk s goal before it is disallowed for an offside during the EFL Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium, London, England on 25 February 2024. Copyright: xJoshuaxSmithx 39870099

With another heroic cup final performance and back-to-back clean sheets to his name, Caoimhin Kelleher is enjoying his run in the team. He'll continue in Alisson's absence.

Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate did a half each at Anfield on Wednesday night, presumably to ensure both are reasonably fresh for the weekend's trip to Forest. They will potentially face off against one-time Liverpool man Taiwo Awoniyi up front for the hosts.

Andy Robertson was left out of the midweek win with an illness but may well return for the weekend with Kostas Tsimikas required to play the full 90 in the FA Cup.

At right back, Conor Bradley should continue his swashbuckling role that has seen him become one of the stories of the season so far.

A deep-lying playmaker in midweek, Swiss Army Man Joe Gomez may have to return to the bench on Saturday.

Midfield

Chelsea v Liverpool, London, UK - 25 Feb 2024 Bobby Clark of Liverpool during the EFL Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium, London on 25 February 2024 London Wembley Stadium London England Copyright: xMicahxCrook/PPAUKx PPA-092228

With the statuses of several of the Reds' injured stars still up in the air, the makeup of the midfield is still unclear prior to further updates from Klopp.

Wataru Endo appears a major doubt having been pictured on crutches and with his leg in a protective boot following the Carabao Cup final win. The Japan captain was left out of the midweek action, with his fitness beyond that still unknown.

Alexis Mac Allister played half an hour against Southampton and could return to the holding role he has been used in for much of the campaign.

With Curtis Jones and Ryan Gravenberch still out, Bobby Clark — who assisted the Reds' opener on Wednesday — could be in line for a first-ever Premier League start.

Dominik Szoboszlai must now be close to a return. Klopp revealed the Hungarian was 'touch and go' prior to the Southampton game, while the man himself admitted he argued with club doctors in an attempt to be involved in Sunday's cup final.

If he's still absent, Harvey Elliott could be required to drop deeper, or James McConnell may even earn a first Premier League start.

Attack

Liverpool v Burnley - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool s Luis Diaz during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday February 10, 2024. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Copyright: xTimxMarklandx 75307430

With the kids performing so well in midweek, it seems almost unkind to suggest changes, but it's likely Klopp goes for a more experienced front three against Forest... if he has the options.

Luis Diaz will presumably return to the left wing having sat out Wednesday's clash entirely after 120 lung-busting minutes against Chelsea.

Elliott has impressed on the right, despite the gargantuan task of filling a Mo Salah's shaped hole.

Presuming the Egyptian isn't risked from the start, the still-only-20-year-old could continue there.

Cody Gakpo didn't have the best night against Southampton and has played the best part of 180 minutes since last weekend. He could be rested if Darwin Nuñez is deemed fit again. A certain video suggests he must be very close.

If not, there is also Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas who made very strong cases for inclusion on Wednesday.

Predicted Liverpool starting XI vs Nottingham Forest:

(4-3-3): Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Clark; Elliott, Nuñez, Diaz

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