Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have their final chance to earn their place when Liverpool take on Bournemouth.

The duo, who cost Liverpool just under £88m (Oxlade-Chamberlain £35m and Keita £52.97m) have been battling for a place against Atletico Madrid.

The pressure is on Naby Keita against Bournemouth.

Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

We said after the first leg that Jurgen Klopp faced a difficult decision. He had four games to pick an offensive midfielder to help his team attack Atletico.

And here we are, about the see Liverpool play the fourth of those. We don’t, however, really know who it will be.

Neither Oxlade-Chamberlain or Keita look likely to play against Atletico. That’s not to say that one of them won’t but there certainly isn’t one who looks likely.

No one has earned their spot in midfield and as Jordan Henderson prepares to return from injury, this is their last chance to earn the spot.

 

Gini Wijnaldum will almost certainly start against Atletico. The holding role in midfield isn’t so clear-cut, though, as Fabinho hasn’t been up to scratch. If Henderson does make it back for midweek then he could well take that spot.

But only if either Keita or Oxlade-Chamberlain can force Klopp’s hand with a performance against Bournemouth. If either proves they are a powerful attacking threat, then they’ll surely play against Atletico.

If they don’t, however, Henderson would surely just slot in alongside Fabinho and Wijnaldum. The injury to Alisson Becker has made defending tougher, after all, and Klopp may prefer the extra solidity.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored seven goals this season.

Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Henderson may not make it, of course. If he doesn’t, then there will be a midfield opening and one that is there for the taking.

This is the last chance. If Oxlade-Chamberlain or Keita wants to play in the biggest game of the season next week, they’ve got to look good against Bournemouth.

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