Jurgen Klopp has to start Xherdan Shaqiri or Naby Keita alongside Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum when Liverpool face Southampton.

While Toby Alderweireld might have gifted Liverpool a win last time out, there can be no guarantees over something similar happening when Southampton host the Reds.

Klopp does, however, have control over selecting the strongest side possible. While Jordan Henderson and James Milner have served the club really well, they don’t belong in Liverpool’s best midfield.

Both have strong leadership skills and can play an important role against certain opposition but their lack of technical nuance would struggle against Southampton.

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On the bench against Spurs were two players that could have won the game without having to rely on a flukey own goal in stoppage time.

The recent absence of both Keita and Shaqiri has been puzzling. In these two players, Klopp has qualities that don’t exist in any of Liverpool’s other midfielders.

 

Both are superb dribblers and able to take their man on and still deliver a match-winning pass or be the player to offer an extra body in the box and finish off a move.

Shaqiri, in particular, should have received more minutes in the second half of this season. The Switzerland midfielder has 15 goals and assists for club and country but hasn’t started a game in Red since the end of January.

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The front three and back five pick themselves based both on form and a lack of options but in midfield, Klopp has players he can select to make a difference but is strangely choosing to ignore them.

Unless there is an injury or unknown transgression, which is unlikely given both have been on the bench in recent fixtures, Klopp needs to play one of Keita or Shaqiri alongside Fabinho and Wijnaldum.

Southampton will look to frustrate Liverpool but the aforementioned duo can break the hosts down and send the Reds back to the top of the Premier League.

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