With Divock Origi potentially out for Monday night’s Merseyside Derby, can Jurgen Klopp count on Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum to cover for the Belgian striker?
After scoring his fifth goal in five consecutive matches, Divock Origi was substituted towards the end of the game with a slight injury. Although Klopp dispelled fears over the seriousness of Origi’s injury, the Belgian striker might miss the Merseyside derby on Monday night.
Origi was brought into the starting lineup after impressing when he replaced Philippe Coutinho when the Brazilian was stretchered off against Sunderland in November. Despite struggling for game time in the opening months of the season, Origi has done well to get up to speed and is now Klopp’s preferred frontman.
If Origi misses tomorrow night’s derby, there are a few options to switch things up and get the result at Goodison Park.
Liverpool signed Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer for a fee in the region of £25 million. He came with a reputation for being an accomplished goalscorer from midfield and yet, we have seen him perform very well as a defensive midfielder of sorts – his attacking responsibilities have been lessened and he has been deployed next to Jordan Henderson as a fetcher and carrier.
Despite his role in the Liverpool side so far, if Origi is absent and Coutinho is too, then perhaps Jurgen Klopp could put Wijnaldum on the left wing and move Firmino to a more central role.
To cover for Wijnaldum’s absence in the centre of the park, Emre Can could return to the starting lineup if fit enough or Lucas Leiva could be given his first start in the Premier League as a midfielder. The Brazilian’s experience could go a long way to helping deal with the intensity and tempo of a derby.
Another option would be to play Adam Lallana on the right wing and move Sadio Mane over to the left and bring Firmino in centrally. The fluidity of that front three would be very impressive and also capable of scoring goals.
Once again, Lucas or Can could come in to accommodate Lallana moving higher up the pitch. Klopp may be tempted to give Ben Woodburn or Ovie Ejaria a first start in the Premier League but I doubt either are ready to start, much less in a derby when the intensity reaches fever pitch.
Klopp has a lot of options but if Origi misses the game it will mean that the bench will be even more depleted and then you can’t help but ask questions of Liverpool’s squad depth. Klopp will definitely be looking towards the January transfer window in order to bolster his squad’s ranks in order to sustain a title challenge.
If Divock Origi misses tomorrow’s crunch clash against Everton, what should Klopp do to compensate for the loss of another striker?