Defensive injuries may force Jurgen Klopp to use a back three against Leicester City on Wednesday.
Klopp has four respectable options at right-back. However, bad luck has left him with zero for the game at Anfield.
Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are injured, while suspension rules out James Milner. Fabinho, also an option, is a doubt after not training for 10 days.
“You will have to wait until tomorrow,” said Klopp when asked about his right-back situation, per the Liverpool Echo. “We will play with a right back. Or maybe a wing-back. Ooooooooh!!!
“I have no clue what we are doing tomorrow to be honest. You will have to wait and see.”
Klopp doesn’t give too much away but we may well see a back three against Leicester. It would be the first time in a year that he starts a game with that system, however.
Liverpool beat Brighton 5-1 last season with three centre backs. Injuries again limited Klopp and he responded with an aggressive-looking defence of Emre Can, Gini Wijnaldum, and Virgil van Dijk.
Klopp’s back three options vs Leicester
We can expect Andy Robertson to play as a left wing-back in any combination. Similarly, Joel Matip will surely feature and Dejan Lovren is back. Virgil van Dijk, however, has missed training this week after an illness.
Lovren may not be trusted from the start after his lay off, though, especially if Van Dijk is also not at his best. Two out-of-sorts defenders feels like a big risk.
Wijanldum showed last season that he could cover adequately in a three, while Jordan Henderson was originally going to play there against Wolves.
The obvious option here is Rafa Camacho. The teenager briefly featured there against Crystal Palace and started the FA Cup game at Wolves.
He’s very unproven, though, having only a few minutes of Premier League experience.
Other options there would again be Henderson & Wijnaldum. There’s a very outside chance of seeing either Xherdan Shaqiri or Naby Keita in the role but that would be very aggressive from Klopp.
What we’d like to see
Playing both Van Dijk & Lovren could really backfire and so using a midfielder alongside one of them and Matip may be better.
Asking both Camacho & Wijnaldum to cover the right flank may be the answer to the problem in that case. Instead of asking one inexperienced player to do the job, you have two – while still having two other centre-backs to help out.
It’s not ideal, but it should get Liverpool through the game.