A few of Rousing the Kop’s columnists have a go at predicting how Liverpool will line up this afternoon.
If you’re not buzzing to watch Liverpool at Anfield later today then you’re probably a Manchester United supporter. While it may just be Hull City, the lads have been electric in recent weeks and this really should transpose onto today’s performance. Such has been the form that Liverpool has been in, I highly doubt that the ‘small team bogey’ will come into play today.
Emre Can made his return from injury on Tuesday in the English Football Cup against Derby County but it’s unlikley that the German will start today. Quite rightly, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum have come in for a lot of praise after impressive midfield displays.
Another player who played in midfield against Derby was Marko Grujic. The Serb was somewhat rusty but it’s understandable as it was his first competitive performance since last season when he was with Red Star Belgrade.
Loris Karius, is one player who may make an appearance today. What do the lads think?
Over to you, Michael Baddeley.
XI: Karius, Clyne , Lovren, Matip, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Mané (4-3-2-1)
Did I need to predict the defensive line up? Karius confirmed as starting in several newspapers yesterday and the back four will 110% stay the same unless there’s an injury from now until 3 o’clock.
It’s moving forward in the team I find the problem. Is Emre Can ready? I don’t think he’s up to scratch yet and because of that Klopp won’t play him today, maybe a 30 minute cameo from the bench? But he won’t start against the Tigers, we will definitely seem him start against Swansea though!
Then there’s the attack. In games like this, I think Studge would be perfect due to his natural instinct to find the back of the net, but the front three at the minute are undroppable. In fact, the whole team is! It’s a great luxury to have, but I can’t see him making it into the team tomorrow.
Prediction: We usually lose or draw this type of game. But our tails are up at the minute and we are going to capitalise on one of Chelsea or Arsenal dropping points. Chief-Gengenpresser Firmino along with his two deputies Coutinho and Mané to run riot, Karius to help us to our first clean sheet and a 3-0 win to the Reds.
Daniel Taylor, what do you think will happen?
XI: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Hendo, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Coutinho, Sturridge, Mane
Formation: 4-3-3 (Flat)
For me, the real issue for Liverpool is our performances against smaller teams. Despite getting a fantastic result against significant rivals such as Chelsea, I feel as if our squad struggles to break down the defence of a weaker opposition.
This week’s match against Hull is a real opportunity to prove this theory wrong and put a message across to all top spot contenders that we mean business. Gaining three points against a team like Hull is just as vital as winning three points against Chelsea.
I am going with the same formation I predicted us to go with against Chelsea. This is a winning formation for Liverpool. I believe this formation not only suits our style of play but also the players playing it.
Karius put on an impressive display against Derby on Tuesday – not only did he showboat his confidence, he exhibited his goalkeeping ability as well. I would certainly favour him over an edgy performer such as Mignolet, we never do know what type of game we are going to get from him.
The back four is the same back four we selected against Chelsea. Matip is growing in confidence, he is also displaying his vital physical capabilities, these qualities are contrasting well along side Lovren who is finally showing us his leadership abilities.
The full backs almost speak for themselves, Clyne is one of the most consistent in the league, I expect nothing less against Hull. A controversial decision was to play James Milner left back, however, in my opinion he has actually done a better job than Moreno. The Englishman has displayed a significant balance between attack and defenc and has really taken advantage of his versatility.
Liverpool has covered the most ground in the whole Premier League. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana have played key roles in this statistic. If we want those all important three points against Hull then both of these men need to start, their work rate is irreplaceable.
Along side these two should be Wijnaldum. The Dutchman also played a very important role in the 2-1 win against Chelsesa; he cancelled out attacks from Hazard and Willian many times.
Coutinho, Sturridge and Mane. Not only do they contrast beautifully, they are also complementing each other very well. The pace of Sturridge and Mane will play a key role in breaking down the defence of Hull. The magician got on the score sheet against Derby on Tuesday and I am hoping he does the same against Hull.
Prediction: A comfortable 3-0. Clean sheet.
Next up, another Daniel. This time, Daniel Brown has his say.
XI: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Sturridge, Mané
Formation: 4-3-3 (Flat)
In the 45th minute of the game against Derby, I feel we all felt as though Mignolet’s Liverpool’s career was finally over. Karius rushed over his line and prevented experienced striker Darren Bent from having a one on one which you would back to him have scored. He had an overall great game and has already been compared to Manuel Neuer.
The defence will remain the same despite Klavan’s goal because I feel Klopp will want to stick to a permanent back four to create solidity which is something Liverpool have been lacking for years now. It’s time to build relationships and a defensive three of Karius, Matip and Lovren sounds tasty.
Wijnaldum and Lallana were rested for the entire game against Derby whereas Henderson was subbed off midway through the second half. This makes it seem as though Klopp is resting players and getting them pumped for this game. Also, neither Grujic nor Can made a real impact against Derby with the latter being particularly disappointing.
Now the big one. Which two from Sturridge, Coutinho and Firmino? I feel we should take Sturridge as you will need a natural goal scorer to break down a compact opposition and on the left I feel Firmino is the safer option as Phil isn’t quite the same player against the ‘lesser’ teams as he is against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal etc.
Prediction: Liverpool win.
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