Two of Rousing the Kop’s columnists try and predict Liverpool’s lineup for the game tonight.
After a successful 4-1 home win against last season’s champions, there is little time to celebrate as Liverpool must now stay focused for this week’s tie against Chelsea.
Despite being poor last season, Chelsea has made some big improvements this year, with new boss Conte we can see new tactics and a rejuvenation. Diego Costa looks to have gained his old form back which could be a notable threat.
How does Daniel Taylor predict Liverpool to line up against Chelsea?
Formation: 4-3-3 (Flat)
XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Hendo, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Mane
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Although Loris Karius looks to have recovered, I feel coming back in such a big game may not be an idea Klopp will opt for. I believe we will have to put up with another edgy performance from Simon Mignolet.
The defence speaks for itself, in my opinion. Clyne is an obvious one – our first choice right back and I am expecting his normal solid performance. Matip has got better every time I have seen him play and is slowly adapting. I hope he can exploit his height and physicality to keep Diego Costa quiet.
Assuming that Lovren is fit to play he would be the definite option after Lucas Leiva’s cameo on Saturday; his physicality will be needed. The left back option is still a confusing one but as Milner has been playing there recently I don’t see Klopp changing that so, even after his haircut, a bench seat is all I can predict for Moreno.
The fans definitely have mixed opinions on skipper Jordan Henderson, but as he has completed the most passes in the Premier League this season, I feel he is a must. Against a team like Chelsea we need his work rate and determination.
Lallana looks like a much more confident player this season and is playing with more freedom. With two goals and an assist to his name already, he could easily be a key factor in this evening’s tie. Alongside him should be an unchanged Wijnaldum and will also be hoping to add to his assist tally.
Lastly, I feel the attacking three should be Firmino, Coutinho and Mane. This is because these three have shown how dangerous they can be and with John Terry confirmed out I predict Mane being able to cut open their defence with ammunition from the Brazilian duo.
Prediction: 2-0, with a brace from Mane.
What does Michael Baddeley think Klopp opt for?
XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mané, Firmino, Coutinho. (4-3-2-1)
There’s apparently a few dilemmas when picking this side. But not for me. Picking Klopp’s XI is pretty simple.
Mignolet should get the nod because he’s not put a foot wrong all season. Why would you risk a player’s morale and trust just because the fans want Karius? Don’t be so stupid. Lucas was excellent against Leicester, but who wasn’t? Regardless of this, Matip and Lovren are our going to be our centre-back partnership for the foreseeable future. Give them more playing time together and get them used to each other.
It’s too early for Emre Can so the three that have started every game will get the nod, especially Lallana. Mané is undroppable at the moment, as is Firmino. Then comes the Sturridge/Coutinho debate. I’ve gone for Coutinho and I’m pretty confident Klopp will too. The Brazilian only missed out last time through tiredness after the international break and Klopp seems to favour the three of Mané, Bobby and Phil.
I’m not quite sure how this one is going to pan out really. Both teams are playing well and we love a big game, so I’m going to play it safe and go with a 1-1 draw, maybe us sneaking it 1-2.
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