Liverpool's ridiculous potential starting XI for FA Cup clash vs Southampton as injury crisis worsens

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The Reds host the Saints on Wednesday night at Anfield.

There's always a catch. On Sunday, a Liverpool side held together with gaffer tape, string, and the naivety of youth somehow managed to see off Chelsea's 'blue billion pound bottle jobs' (you just know that's going to stick) in the Carabao Cup final to ensure that Jurgen Klopp's last season on Merseyside will end with at least one piece of silverware to celebrate.

The aftermath of the match was suitably awash with delirium, but as quickly as the jubilation set in, so too did the realisation that the Reds have been left in something of a tricky spot. Already in the midst of an injury crisis, and with a number of other players now heavily fatigued or carrying knocks after 120 minutes at Wembley, Liverpool head into the new week knowing that they have just a couple of days to recover before they host Southampton in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening.

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Speaking in his post match press conference, Klopp expressed some doubt as to how he would even field a side against the Saints at Anfield, but in the spirit of helping out, we've taken closer look at the options available to the Reds and cooked up a potential starting XI of our own below...

Caoimhin Kelleher

Provided he can take enough time away from sitting for the statue that they are surely having commissioned outside Anfield as we speak, that is. The Irish goalkeeper prevented an xG of 2.95 against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, a figure only matched or bettered on four occasions across the entirety of Europe's top five divisions this season. Maybe Jurgen Klopp is right, perhaps he is the best number two in football.

Conor Bradley

There is a chance that Conor Bradley might be too good at football. Just a few short weeks ago, the prospect of somebody coming into this Liverpool side and usurping Trent Alexander-Arnold would have been simply unimaginable, but is is difficult to remember the last time a full-back erupted into the senior game with such ease and to such devastating impact. If his legs are working, play him.

The bits of Virgil van Dijk that could be scraped off the Wembley turf

Van Dijk put in exactly the kind of captain's display that will ensure he is fondly remembered as one of the greatest Liverpool players of the modern era on Sunday afternoon. The Dutchman was imperious in both boxes, and his winning goal, in the context of the day, felt like a fitting decider. After his Wembley exertions, he may resemble little more than a pile of dust with a ponytail, but Liverpool might have to wheel him out on Wednesday anyways.

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Mighty Red

A towering presence with a grin like Bobby Firmino's and a head that was practically made for heading lofted balls into the box, the vermilion cormorant could surely do a job at the heart of defence.

John Bishop

A die hard Kopite who has appeared in no less than three Soccer Aid matches, the Scouse comedian may be pushing on for 60, but he is more qualified than most if Jurgen finds himself flicking through the phone book for a ringer.

The indestructible Wataru Endo

Wataru Endo has been a revelation of late, dominating midfield battles and covering more grass than a uranium-powered Flymo. He may have left Wembley on crutches with, quote, 'the stiffest legs that Jurgen Klopp had ever seen', but you would be a fool to bet against him pulling off some kind of miraculous resurrection before Wednesday's FA Cup encounter.

Mel C

If Endo isn't quite operating at full capacity, who better to share some of the running in the engine room than Sporty Spice herself? The Liverpool fan had a gig in Berlin on Sunday, so her travel time would be longer than that of the rest of the squad returning from Wembley, but give her the nod regardless.

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Jay Spearing

The pop would be tremendous, like when WWE bring out an Attitude Era superstar for a cameo in the Royal Rumble. Just name him on the team sheet as '???', then play an MP3 of some glass shattering over the Anfield Tannoy as he emerges from the tunnel and listen to the roar. Plus, he's got nothing to do at the moment seeing as half of his academy lads are playing for the first team these days anyways.

The Ghost of Cilla Black

A bit of a surprise (surprise) inclusion, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Cilla once appeared on stage at a Tory party conference to endorse the election of John Major, so she's not exactly a stranger to lending her services on the right wing either.

Jayden Danns

The teenager has taken to senior football like the proverbial duck to water, and was very unfortunate not to score his first goal for Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. His time will come, however, and Wednesday seems like as good a chance as any to hand him a full debut.

Darwin Nunez

I don't care what the medical staff say, I've seen the video of him hurdling the barrier in chaotic aftermath of Van Dijk's winner at Wembley and there is no way that the lad is injured. He looked ready to run the Grand National, never mind a tootle about at Anfield against Championship opposition. Get him in the starting XI.

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