Liverpool squad can do Jurgen Klopp a huge favour today after winning Carabao Cup | Football | Sport

Fresh from winning the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday, Liverpool return to FA Cup action today at home to Southampton (8pm). And Jurgen Klopp’s threadbare squad can help do him a massive favour by beating the Championship promotion chasers at Anfield.

The Reds are into the fifth round of the FA Cup and bounce into tonight’s contest versus the Saints still on a high from lifting the League Cup at the weekend. Klopp lost Ryan Gravenberch to injury and had to resort to inexperienced youth off the bench to see the game through against Chelsea.

Conor Bradley made just his ninth start for the club while Bobby Clark replaced him for just his ninth first-team appearance. None of them have been starts.

James McConnell, with just one start and and another five substitute appearances to his name prior to coming on at Wembley, and Jayden Danns, who was only given his senior debut with a cameo against Luton in midweek, both came on for extra time too.

And those youngsters can now help Klopp out again this evening. Given they have 12 players out injured, the German manager will be forced to name a mix-and-match team again tonight.

But Liverpool know that victory would put them into the FA Cup quarter-finals, that are scheduled to take place on the weekend of Saturday 16 March. At present, they face Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park at 2pm on Sunday 17 March.

That match will however be rescheduled if the Reds make the last eight of the FA Cup. And the Carabao Cup winners know that if that match does need to be rearranged, there are currently only a select few slots it could be moved to.

As it stands, at the earliest, Liverpool could face Everton at Goodison on Tuesday 23 or Wednesday 24 April. At the latest, they could face them midweek in the final week of the season.

Klopp’s side crashing out of the Europa League knockout rounds would open up the possibility of some extra free weeks. But the Liverpool squad are desperate to win as many trophies as possible before the German leaves at the end of the season and will be eager to reach the final in Dublin on May 22.

Whether the rearranged derby, if Southampton are despatched at Anfield tonight, takes place in April or May it would allow Klopp to get injured players back. At the moment, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota will not play again until at least March 31.

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Curtis Jones are all fighting for fitness too. Gravenberch now faces a stint on the sidelines. While the four would hope to be fit for a March 17 trip to Everton if Southampton win tonight, the fixture being delayed would of course increase their chances of being at 100 per cent sharpness for the trip across Stanley Park.

Liverpool will no doubt need as many of their senior players as possible at Goodison, where they have only won twice in seven trips under Klopp, drawing all of the other five.

If the match comes late into the campaign, victory will likely be even more pivotal in the title race. Having the likes of Alexander-Arnold, Alisson and Jota fit would only help. And so Liverpool beating Southampton this evening takes on extra importance for Klopp’s kids.

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