Daniel More discusses who will get the nod ahead of Liverpool’s hugely exciting Premier League clash with Manchester United.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have had a couple weeks apart during the globally loathed international break. To make matters worse, Liverpool seems to have a little bit of an injury crisis.
Ever since Lallana went off injured early against Swansea, I was thinking about who would replace him. Then more injuries followed as the players went on international break.
After the Swansea match, Klopp revealed that the England international had picked up a groin injury and that Dejan Lovren had also picked up a strain in the same area. In the following days, Nathaniel Clyne requested not to get picked for the England squad as he has had an ongoing kneee injury and wanted some time to rest it.
So, before any international football had even kicked off, Liverpool had three men down.
Then, to prove why Klopp does not like international breaks, another of our regular starters in Wijnaludm got injured on international duty. But all is not as bleak as it seems, after all, we are only playing Manchester United.
Klopp has often said that he likes to have two players for each position to encourage bringing out the best from each other. Of course, these players may be in the same position but not be the same type of players, Milner and Moreno as an example. This wisdom from Klopp may prove to be vital come match day with his injured squad requiring some attention.
Klavan could slide into Lovren’s spot beside Matip as I doubt Sakho is making a first team comeback soon. Hopefully, the two new defenders can put in a solid display at the back to keep Zlatan and the rest of the United attack at bay. It is believed that Clyne will be able to play on Monday night as he played every game this season with the same injury. James Milner will carry on his great form at left back.
As for goalkeepers, I think Loris Karius will make way for Simon Mignolet due to the Belgium’s experience in the Premier League. This is where Klopp’s idea of two players competing for the one spot is good. If Simon gets his opportunity to earn his place back I expect him to fully utilise it and put in a cracking performance.
The news of Wijnaldum’s injury may have been a blessing in disguise for Emre who will serve as a good swap for The Dutchman as his work rate is superb and he will be wanting to play out of his skin to cement his old starting spot in the squad.
Emre Can seemed to make his mark last season. The German international was starting most games and put in some great performances for Liverpool. With an injury that put him on the bench for a while, it gave the recently recovered Jordan Henderson a chance to display his skills and he has done just that. As much as we love Henderson’s goals, tackles, passes and stats, it makes Emre’s battle back into the squad much harder.
Klopp might want to drop Coutinho into midfield to match the skill and service of Lallana. Coutinho starting the attacks is always great to watch and I was reminded when watching him represent his country that he can be a brilliant chance creator and finisher. I expect him to get on the scoresheet this weekend.
With Coutinho dropping back I think Klopp will play Firmino in the hole with Mane and Sturridge just ahead of the Brazilian. With the possibility of Mourinho parking the bus, the Englishman’s ability to smash goals out of nowhere makes him the man for the job.
These, of course, are just my thoughts and I have faith in whichever eleven men Klopp puts out there because he does know best and has my full faith.
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