After a grueling holiday schedule that nonetheless saw Liverpool pick up seven out of a possible nine points, Jürgen Klopp is expected to play a much changed side at the weekend. Most of this is necessity: Sadio Mané has left for the African Cup of Nations, while Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Joël Matip, Daniel Sturridge, and Philippe Coutinho are all unavailable for this fixture.
This will mean that the pressure will be on the young players to see the team through to the next round. This is exciting news for Reds fans eager to see the youngsters get some playing time. It’s been hard to come be in the first half of the season, with Liverpool out of Europe and Klopp fielding a strong team in the EFL Cup.
Plymouth Argyle are having a good season. They sit in second place on the table, only four points below Doncaster Rovers. They’ve already played two games in this competition, dispatching fellow League Two teams Mansfield Town and then Newport, after a replay. They’ll be coming to Anfield with everything to play for and nothing to lose.
Alexander-Arnold, Lucas, Gomez, Moreno
Ejaria, Stewart, Can
Ojo, Origi, Woodburn
Most of the team seems to pick itself, particularly Karius, Moreno, Lucas, and Origi. It’s been reported that Joe Gomez will be making his first team return in this game, though it’s possible that he doesn’t start. If nothing else, this game will be a big one for the young English defender who has endured a very difficult fifteen months.
The third midfield position is tricky: it could have been Can, Wijnaldum, or even Lallana slotted in. Lallana has played a lot of consecutive minutes, though, so it’s either Can or Wijnaldum in that last spot. Wijnaldum was the most recently rested, but Can has the seniority that Klopp may value with such a young squad.
It’s also possible that we’ll see a surprise in the line up — perhaps Roberto Firmino playing another match if Klopp thinks he’s able. Marko Grujic, meanwhile, is still not quite ready to make his return to the team after his injury.
Kickoff is set for 1.30PM GMT/8.30AM EST tomorrow on BT Sport 2 in the UK and Fox Sports 1 in the US. Elsewhere, ESPN Sport 2 in Australia, Sportsnet World in Canada, Astro SuperSport 4 in Malaysia, and SuperSport 3 Africa in Kenya are carrying the match. You can find full listings at LivesoccerTV.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on all the action as it happens.