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TEAM NEWS: No Clyne, but Matip and Sturridge start against Saints

12:15 AM IST 26/01/17
HD Joel Matip Jurgen Klopp
The Reds need to reduce a 1-0 deficit and have the influential centre-back as well as Daniel Sturridge in from the off, but Nathaniel Clyne sits out

Joel Matip makes his first start since December 11 as he returns to the heart of defence, as Liverpool look to strike back against Southampton in the second-leg of the League Cup semi-final. 

The 25-year-old’s long absence was due to nursing a troublesome ankle, before he had to wait on FIFA to declare him eligible for club action as Cameroon sought sanctions during the Africa Cup of Nations over a call-up dispute.

The governing body ruled in his favour, granting him clearance last Friday, but their decision arrived too late for Jurgen Klopp to select him from the off in the 3-2 defeat to Swansea City at the weekend.

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Matip was an injury-time substitute against Paul Clement’s men, but will be able to influence proceedings from the start at Anfield on Wednesday night.

There is a setback in defence for the hosts, however, as Nathaniel Clyne struggles with the abdominal muscle problem that ruled him out against Manchester United.

As was the case at Old Trafford, young Trent Alexander-Arnold will deputise at right-back. 

Goalkeeper Loris Karius continues between the sticks for cup competitions as reward for his brilliance in training as he keeps pressure on Simon Mignolet for the No. 1 spot.

Daniel Sturridge, who started the 1-0 first-leg defeat at St Mary’s, forms part of the attack again. 

And Philippe Coutinho, fresh from inking a new five-year deal without a release clause that makes him Liverpool’s highest-paid player, is also named in the 11.

Liverpool starting XI: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Sturridge

Liverpool subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Klavan, Lucas, Wijnaldum, Origi, Woodburn