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Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Virgil van Dijk will play the first 45 minutes in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal.
The central defender was a shock inclusion for their second meeting with the Gunners in just a matter of days.
Only he and Mohammed Salah have started both games, with Klopp making nine changes for a tournament which ranks low on his list of priorities.
Van Dijk has started every game of the season so far, including the 7-2 demolition of Lincoln City in the previous round of the cup.
And ahead of the game, Klopp confirmed the Dutch international will play the opening period, before being replaced by Joe Gomez, who is continuing his return to full fitness.
"We had to make changes,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “No chance to have all the same players play again.
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"We kept some boys in that looked really good from a physical point of view.
"Mo (Salah) looks really good so far. Virg (Van Dijk), we will make the change again, if possible at half-time. Virg plays until half-time, Joe (Gomez) after half-time.
"Apart from that, we have to see. Good, some players in slightly new positions so that's how it is.
"James (Milner) has to again play at left-back but we will see."
Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri has been omitted from the squad against the Gunners. He shone in the win over Lincoln, but has been left out as speculation over a potential exit mounts.
Goal report that he has been left out due to transfer interest, with the Reds unwilling to take a risk on his finess.
Despite making a number of changes, Klopp has implored his players to make the fans, watching from home, proud of his side.
He added: “Our supporters expect and deserve each Liverpool team that is selected to represent them in a way that makes them proud. That’s our task tonight. We do not have fans with us at Anfield in person but they are with us still from a distance.
“We know they show the same commitment while watching whichever competition we play in and we will match that with our approach. Again, we can’t promise a result but we can do our best and give all we have.”
- Jurgen Klopp
- Virgil van Dijk
- Liverpool FC
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