Michael Baddeley discusses who could be in Klopp’s strongest team.
It’s safe to say we haven’t seen the best of Liverpool yet. Each performance has had its flaws so far, with the exception of Burton Albion away that is. But in the league, displays have been poor in all three sections of the pitch at one point or another.
I suppose the lads can be given some slack as we’ve faced two top four rivals away as well as newly promoted Burnley away. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, though, as the three games have shown us that players like Emre Can and Loris Karius have been missed a lot in the three games and Joel Matip was definitely missed in the first two. It’s also given us a bit of an early indication as to what Klopp’s starting XI will be.
Goalkeeper – Loris Karius
The only option in net. Looking at the Opta stats on the Liverpool site, Mignolet has made five saves in three games, made 1.7 saves per 90 minutes, 45.5% shots saved and six goals which mean he’s conceded every 45 minutes. It’s far from good enough. Karius is desperately needed and can’t be any worse than Migs.
Right-back – Nathaniel Clyne
No debating this here. He’s brilliant, criminally underrated and by far one of our best players. I’d love to see some backup for him, just in case he does get injured and it also gives him some competition which would probably push his game to even further heights.
But this is a no brainer, he can do both the defensive work as well as the attacking and is just brilliant in general.
Right centre-back – Joel Matip
He’s only played one Premier League game but he looks like he’s got a promising future as well as a partnership with Lovren coming along nicely.
He can step out of the defence and play a good pass, he’s good in the air and his tackling is very good. The one thing I will criticise is his strength, he needs to beef up a bit, but other than that he’s looking like a star and a great buy.
Left centre-back – Dejan Lovren
Not looked great so far, but whole the defence has been poor too. He was given MOTM against Tottenham and as I said, it looks like he could strike a real good partnership with Matip.
I’d like to see Sakho alongside Matip, just to see how it would work out. But with Sakho free to go out on loan then it looks like Lovren is the only real option.
Left-back – James Milner
Ideally, I’d be signing Ricardo Rodriguez or Jonas Hector, but we can’t have anything we want, can we?
Moreno isn’t up to the standard expected when it comes to the defensive side of things, Milly is very professional about his job, will play anywhere Klopp asks him too and seems to have his backing. It might end up that we buy someone in January because it doesn’t work out, but for now Milly is going to be first choice.
Left central-midfielder – Emre Can
No questions asked here. We’ve missed him so much. His control in the middle of the park brings calmness, and he also offers defensive coverage a lot better than Hendo does.
He is a massive figure in that team and one of the first names on Klopp’s team sheet when fit. Will probably replace either Wijnaldum or Lallana when he comes back, more than likely the later of the two.
Right central-midfielder – Jordan Henderson
There’s a lot of debate around Hendo, but after all, he is our captain and Klopp has defended him in the media recently. When Can is back he will probably be given free reign to do his normal box-to-box duties.
Right-wing – Sadio Mané
Our best player so far this season. He adds pace, direct running and skill to the side. His runs in behind have troubled both Tottenham and Arsenal’s defence’s so far. Not only does he trouble defences with his attacking ability, but he also fits in with Klopp’s game plan and presses high just like Klopp asks of him.
Central attacking midfielder – Gini Wijnaldum
I think he will be pushed forward and take over Lallana’s position when Can is back. He will be the man behind the striker when we are attacking but will join the midfield and make it a midfield three when we are defending.
He’s shown some promise with his off the ball running and Klopp has played him in all three Premier League games so far. It could easily be Lallana here cause he plays the pressing game really well, but I can’t see Klopp singing Gini for £25 million and then benching him.
Left wing – Philippe Coutinho
Like Can, there’re no questions asked here, he is our best player and when in full flow he is beautiful too watch. He really is poetry in motion. Do I need to justify this anymore?
Striker – Roberto Firmino
Kloppo obviously doesn’t feel Studge fits in with his philosophy and that’s why Bobby will get the nod. He presses high, creates a lot of chances for others and links up play really well. In fact, he has created the most clear cut chances so far this season with an impressive 10 in three games.
The only criticism is that he isn’t clinical enough and that could come round to haunt not only him but the rest of the team too.
My opinion is purely based on what I think Klopp will do given his comments in the media as well as his lineups so far. If I had it my way Can, Grujic or Wijanldum would be in midfield with Mané, Firmino and Coutinho behind one of Studge or Origi, preferably Studge because of his finishing ability, but I am not the one getting paid to do the job so I’ll leave it to Klopp!
Let us know what you think his starting XI will below in the comments section below!