Dave Davis expects more rotation in the middle of the park despite a stunning display from Liverpool’s midfielders against Manchester City.
When you face the best midfield in the league and come out on top, confidence should be at an all-time high. Can, Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain more than matched their City counterparts at the weekend and allowed the front three to wreak havoc.
Come next Monday against Swansea, though, it may be more difficult to pick the middle three than many anticipate.
Manchester City were always going to come at Liverpool and enjoy periods of possession – of that there was no doubt. The midfield Jurgen Klopp picked gave him exactly what he needed to combat the threat – legs, energy, pressing and pace. The second goal where De Bruyne was simply overwhelmed by Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain before Firmino would have been hugely pleasing to the manager.
‘The Ox’ is beginning to look reborn at Anfield, having seen his progression stall at The Emirates. It’s not been the easiest start to his Liverpool career but game-by-game, the 24-year-old is winning supporters over. City couldn’t handle him at times and his drive into the bottom left corner was reminiscent of a former Liverpool center mid.
Most Reds may now well have the England international as an automatic starter for the club in that position and having only played 1551 minutes so far, there should be plenty in the legs.
Similarly, it’s not always been plain sailing for Emre Can and with a contract situation still appearing unclear, it’s been natural that questions have been asked. The German seems easily the most suited to playing the number six role at the club though and enjoyed his best game of the season against the league leaders.
The no.23 won the ball back on numerous occasions, pressed from the off and made a few crucial interceptions. If this version of Can finds consistency then Liverpool may well up the offer that’s on the table.
Last January has clearly stuck in the mind of Jurgen Klopp and rotation has been the keyword in recent months. Wijnaldum came in and gave an impressive performance at the weekend, but as with the other two, there is no guarantee from game-to-game.
Gini’s pace and energy may have dovetailed well with the other two, but every game is different. Swansea most likely won’t come at Liverpool as Manchester City did and with Huddersfield in the league after that, different solutions may be needed again.
James Milner has seen limited minutes, yet despite that still has 8 assists to his name which is far more than any other player chasing a central berth. Adam Lallana is back from injury and looking to improve through minutes on the pitch. That’s before Jordan Henderson presses his claims as a captain when he returns to fitness.
One stat that stood out was that Liverpool outran their distance per game average by over 6km. that may be down to a 9-day break between games and the sunshine of Dubai, but it’s unrealistic to expect that every game just as it may be to predict the middle three.