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Pep Lijnders Says Kelleher will Start for Liverpool Against Fulham

Captain Virgil van Dijk is also in contention to face the Cottagers at Anfield as he has recovered from his illness.

Liverpool v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Quarter Final Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

With Liverpool having reached the semi-finals of the League Cup, there were always going to be questions about whether Caoimhin Kelleher would continue to get the nod as the cup goalkeeper or if number one Alisson might swap in.

For most, the expectation would have always been that the Reds would stick with Kelleher who won the 2022 edition of the competition by scoring the decisive penalty after extra time. Now, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has confirmed as much.

“Caoimhin is our number one for this competition so he will start tomorrow,” Lijnders said at his pre-match press conference when talking about potential team selection issues for Wednesday night’s first leg under the lights at Anfield.

“We played two days ago away at Arsenal, so that’s one consideration. We also come from a crazy schedule in December, so we will really have to see who’s ready, who can go, and who is fit to go, but we are happy to play in a semi-final and we go full in.”

Give the short turnaround and without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, and Dominik Szoboszlai due to injuries—plus Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo due to international cups—all in will still mean changes.

One change that could make the side stronger, though, is that of Virgil van Dijk, who missed the weekend’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal due to illness but is back in training today and is expected to be available for selection in Wednesday’s semi-final.

“Virgil is back,” the Liverpool assistant manager added. “He did some running yesterday on the pitch and looked good again, so he will be back in the squad. He has recovered well, so it really helped for him not to travel with us to London.”

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