Liverpool face massive UEFA Champions League squad decision tomorrow


Liverpool face massive UEFA Champions League squad decision tomorrow

Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp face a massive decision tomorrow as they finalise their squad for the UEFA Champions League. A few will miss out.

Liverpool currently have 24 players in the UEFA Champions League squad but things could change tomorrow. February 2nd is the date teams must finalise their lists for the knockout rounds, after all.

Jurgen Klopp faces some tough decisions as a result. He has three senior players outside of the squad right now and will almost certainly want to register all three. Fortunately, three is the maximum you can add – Liverpool would have struggled if they’d made another January signing.

Cody Gakpo is an obvious one. He arrived last month and will need adding. Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain weren’t on the list for the group stages because of injuries – Liverpool must add them this time around.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

However, the maximum number of players is 25. Liverpool can’t simply add all three here. A minimum of four club-trained players are required, too – the Reds only have three. Because of that, they can’t register the full 25 and will max-out at 24.

So what could Klopp do?

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Gakpo, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain have all been regulars since Christmas. We imagine, then, that Liverpool want all three in their squad.

As the Liverpool Echo points out here, Stefan Bajcetic makes things easier. He’s now eligible to play without being registered after completing two years at the club. That frees up one spot and it will almost certainly be Gakpo’s.

Next up, we’re predicting that Klopp will drop Arthur Melo from the squad and call in Keita. Arthur – labelled ‘first-class‘ for his efforts in training before his injury – won’t be up to speed on his return. Keita is far more valuable to have in the squad and that feels like an obvious switch for us.

The last one is more complicated. Nat Phillips was supposed to depart on deadline day but an injury to Ibrahima Konaté put a stop to that. His departure would have allowed for Oxlade-Chamberlain to take his spot.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

But can Liverpool actually afford to leave Phillips out? Konaté will likely miss the first Real Madrid game, while Virgil van Dijk may also.

We think it’s more likely that Calvin Ramsay drops out. He hasn’t really played much this season and we can’t see him getting minutes in the knockout stages. With James Milner able to cover at right-back, we think the Scot will be replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain in the final squad.

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