Carroll missing as young full-backs start for Reds

Andy Carroll is missing from the Liverpool squad after sustaining a knee injury in the draw with Sunderland. Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt will be providing today’s goal threat, supported by Maxi and Raul Meireles.

Carroll isn’t Liverpool’s only injury worry and those injuries see Kenny Dalglish once again in a position where he’s got to thrown some of the youngsters in at the deep end. Jon Flanagan gets his third start in a row, filling in for the injured Martin Kelly. Jack Robinson follows his impressive sub appearance against Arsenal with a start against today’s visitors Birmingham. Robinson replaced Aurelio on Sunday, he’s out injured again having come in himself for the injured Johnson.

With Liverpool’s full-backs having a combined age of a frighteningly young 35 it’s reassuring that Jamie Carragher has recovered from the collision with Flanagan to start alongside Skrtel. Not that the young duo play like rookies.

Dad-to-be Jay Spearing and new dad Lucas Leiva will be doing their bit to control the midfield.

Kenny has named another youngster in his match squad – Conor Coady is back from the suspension that he got for a red card in the youth cup.

Photoshop star Howard Webb is set to officiate today.

Teams:

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 38 Flanagan, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 49 Robinson, 21 Lucas, 26 Spearing, 4 Meireles, 17 Maxi, 18 Kuyt, 7 Suarez
Subs: 42 Gulacsi, 16 Kyrgiakos, 35 Conor Coady, 10 Cole, 28 Poulsen, 33 Shelvey, 24 Ngog

Birmingham: 26 Foster, 2 Carr, 5 Johnson, 6 Ridgewell, 28 Jiranek, 4 Bowyer, 7 Larsson, 8 Gardner, 18 Fahey, 22 Hleb, 10 Jerome
Substitutes, 13 Doyle, 21 Parnaby, 32 Davies, 11 Bentley, 23 Beausejour, 9 Phillips, 14 Derbyshire

Referee: Howard Webb