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Southampton vs Liverpool: James Milner Starts And Mohamed Salah Dropped | Predicted XI

Liverpool play Southampton in yet another must win Premier League match. Here is how the Reds will lineup.

After what was a strenuous 120 minutes in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea where Liverpool came out victors after winning 6-5 on penalties, squad rotation will be Jurgen Klopp's vital component if they are to beat Southampton on Tuesday night. 

According to James Pearce, in contention to play are the likes of Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas and Curtis Jones who have all played a minimal part in the Reds' title chase this year. 

However, if Liverpool are to challenge for the Premier League this season, the squad depth that Klopp has at his disposal is going to become extremely important.

Liverpool

Liverpool lifting the 2022 FA Cup trophy

Goalkeeper - Alisson Becker

As always, the first name on the team sheet is Alisson Becker. After an impressive 120 minutes and a penalty shootout win against Chelsea in the FA Cup final, he cements his place in the starting XI. 

Alisson is also tied first with Ederson for the Golden Glove this season with 20 clean sheets. Therefore, he’ll want a strong performance from the Reds to put him ahead going into the last round of the Premier League.

Left Back - Kostas Tsimikas

Kostas Tsimikas

There isn’t much that needs to be said about Kostas Tsmikas. The ‘Greek Scouser’ or as he put it after the FA Cup Final, the ‘Scouser Greek’. He performs every time he puts on a Liverpool Shirt, despite the heavy competition from one of the world's best left-backs in Andy Robertson. 

Tsimikas’ left foot crosses could be vital if Liverpool are to get the win against Southampton, especially with Diogo Jota upfront, who has scored seven headed goals this season.

Centre Back - Joel Matip

The German-born Cameroonian only racked up 30 minutes last fixture with both Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate starting ahead of him. 

However, with Virgil van Dijk suffering from a knee injury, Joel Matip is certain to command the defence against Southampton on Tuesday night. Matip also contributed to the goals against Aston Villa, so he’ll be hoping to keep up the good form with another contribution or clean sheet.

Centre Back - Ibrahima Konate

The second central defender to complete the partnership is Ibrahima Konate. He impressed hugely against Chelsea, especially with the range of competition he was up against. 

The likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku who all offer different options could not work out how to beat the big Frenchman. Konate did play the full 120 minutes though, so I can see him getting rotated off early for the likes of Joe Gomez who is in dire need of minutes.

Right Back - Joe Gomez

After suffering from a serious knee injury in an England training camp, Joe Gomez has played minimal football in the last two years. 

However, after rotating with Trent Alexander-Arnold and all the centre-backs throughout the season, we are slowly starting to see the return of Joe Gomez. 

Although not his natural position at right-back, Gomez is a utility defender therefore he’ll fit in comfortably in the backline on Tuesday night. 

Trent played the whole of the FA Cup Final and was superb. Therefore, I have chosen Joe Gomez as squad rotation and muscle fatigue goes in his favour.

Joe Gomez, James Milner, Liverpool FC

Joe Gomez in a state of concentration pre-match

Centre Midfield - James Milner ©

The first man in the midfield and the potential captain for the Tuesday night fixture is James Milner. 

The veteran is widely regarded as the most underrated player in world football and at the age of 36, he still has plenty to offer the Liverpool squad. 

Milner has won nearly every pre-season fitness test since joining Liverpool in 2015, with it being reported that in the 2021 pre-season camp he ran eight-and-a-half kilometres in just 34 minutes

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So, what better player to lead the side out for the penultimate game of the season than James Milner in the centre of midfield.

Centre Midfield - Curtis Jones

The young scouse has come on leaps and bounds since signing his first professional contract in July 2020. Still only 21, Jones is destined to become the heart of the Liverpool midfield, applying his trade both centrally and out wide. 

Curtis Jones

However, I believe that Jones will play a more central role on Tuesday night, especially with the absence of Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson who misses out due to fatigue. Jones will play a key part in linking together the attack and defence from that central role.

Centre Midfield - Naby Keita

Naby Keita has played a key role this season by filling in for various midfield stalwarts such as Fabinho, Thiago and Henderson when they are missing due to injury, and he has been rewarded because of it. 

Keita has played a part in every single one of Liverpool's last 12 games including 73 minutes in the FA Cup Final where Liverpool came out victorious. Hopefully, Keita can carry on his superb run of form until the end of the season gaining the eighth spot in this starting XI.

Naby Keita

Naby Keita focused on the win

Left Wing - Luis Diaz

Liverpool Football Clubs' most recent signing and potentially one of the most in-form players in the entire squad. 

Diaz picked up the man of the match award in the FA Cup final after playing 97 minutes of the best football of his career. 

Although he could not contribute to the scoresheet, he was always a threat going forward and his energy was lethal when pressing the defensive line. Diaz will pick up the left-wing position as Sadio Mane will move to the right-wing spot.

Centre Forward - Diogo Jota

Jota has regularly been the man up top for Liverpool this season and after being rested against Chelsea on the weekend, there is no doubt in my mind that again he will be leading the line for the Reds. 

The young Portuguese has been prolific this season, scoring fifteen, assisting three and creating over seven big chances, so he’ll be desperate to add to the scoresheet against Southampton. 

Out of the front three options, Jota is the only one who offers anything aerially, so he’ll be acting as the fox in the box when it comes to Tuesday night.

Right Wing - Sadio Mane

The absence of Mohamed Salah after picking up an injury in the FA Cup Final could be huge in the next few weeks for the Reds. 

To fill the void, Sadio Mane must take a lead role in the attack just as he has done for Senegal. With two games left in the Premier League and the Champions League final still to come, Klopp will be urging Mane to pick up a run of form and steer Liverpool towards a quadruple winning season

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane celebrating a goal with Andy Robertson

Formation: 4-4-3

Lineup: Alisson, Tsimikas, Matip, Konate, Gomez, Milner, Jones, Keita, Diaz, Jota, Mane

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