One look at Genk’s form and you see a team that is struggling for any consistency this season. The Belgian champions aren’t keeping up with last season’s standards.
It’s easy to see why, though – they lost key players in the summer. Other teams looked at the successful Belgians and decided they wanted some of that. The result is a weaker Genk this year.
And that’s translated into their league form. Genk are sixth after ten games, winning five, drawing one, and losing four. They’ve scored 18 goals in those ten games but while conceding over a goal a game with 15.
Their inconsistency can be seen in the Champions League, too. While Genk got a very respectable draw against Napoli, they also lost 6-2 to RB Salzburg.
So how does this affect Jurgen Klopp’s plans for Wednesday? Well, here are two different takes on it.
Rotate – they’re not playing well.
Klopp could look at Genk’s form and decide that he doesn’t need a full-strength side. They’re not playing particularly well and even the Genk of last season would struggle to compete, let alone this one.
It could be an opportunity to give squad players a runout, and perhaps some youngsters, too. Even a second-string Liverpool side should win and it would give a bit of rest to first-teamers ahead of a busy period.
But then, Napoli thought the same and only got a point.
Take no chances. Go full strength.
Six points is a must from these two games after Liverpool lost their opening game to Napoli. With that in mind, why take any chances? Liverpool face Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend and will certainly expect to win that. Resting players for it isn’t necessarily needed.
And this is the away tie. The home game should be the more routine win and it happens to come right before Manchester City. If rotation is going to happen, that’s when you do it.
So it perhaps makes more sense to go all-out here and effectively guarantee a win. If results go to plan, then rotation in the reverse fixture would be a lot safer.
You don’t want to be heading into that game needing a win at all costs.