Liverpool have confirmed that defender Kostas Tsimikas [£11.25m] will miss the Carabao Cup fourth-round clash against Arsenal due to a muscular problem.

The Greek left-back sustained the injury during Liverpool’s 7-2 victory against Lincoln City in the previous round.

There are two possibilities Jurgen Klopp could look to utilise tomorrow given the unlikelihood that the Liverpool boss will risk Andy Robertson even after the setback to Tsimikas.

Lincoln City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Third Round

LINCOLN, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Lincoln City and Liverpool at Sincil Bank Stadium on September 24, 2020 in Lincoln, England. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

James Milner or Yasser Larouci?

For one, Klopp could look to look to the club’s vice-captain James Milner to cover at left-back given his experience in that position during the same stages of the competition last season.

It’s a tried-and-tested system that has had success in the past yet there are still worries that Milner could have more of an effect for the team in midfield.

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This potentially opens the possibility of Yasser Larouci featuring as unlike Milner, the Algerian-born defender is naturally left-footed which would benefit Liverpool who place a particular onus on their full-backs getting forward and delivering crosses.

Also, Larouci is fresh off the momentum gained following Liverpool under-23’s 5-3 victory against their Manchester United counterparts last Friday.

Larouci, 20, started and played the full 90 minutes in his newly-adopted left-back position after the academy transformed the France U19’s international from a winger into an attack-minded full-back.

He has been persistently linked with a transfer away from Liverpool after turning down a contract extension earlier this summer with Olympiacos reported as having an interest in the youngster.

Milner hasn’t been forced to play at left-back since last season when he sustained a hamstring injury against Everton in the FA Cup third-round clash back in January.

He is also yet to start for Liverpool in any competition this season and when he can come on, Milner has typically been deployed in his preferred central midfield role.

Lincoln City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Third Round

LINCOLN, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: Marko Grujic of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Lincoln City and Liverpool at Sincil Bank Stadium on September 24, 2020 in Lincoln, England. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

The Grujic conundrum

Against Lincoln, Marko Grujic was Liverpool’s only naturally suited central midfield option in the starting XI and given his recent reported transfer stance, there are concerns as to whether the Serbian international will feature against Arsenal.

According to German publication Kicker, Grujic has reportedly switched agents in an attempt to accelerate transfer talks that will see him find a permanent transfer away from Anfield ahead of the October 5 deadline.

Grujic’s potential absence against Arsenal leaves Klopp short of midfield options which makes the case that Milner cannot afford to be sacrificed at left-back and instead will start through the middle.

This could see Larouci handed only his third senior appearance for Liverpool given his impressive performances at left-back for the Reds in both FA Cup victories against Everton and Shrewsbury Town last season.

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