This weekend Liverpool took on Stuttgart in their first pre-season friendly of the summer. The Reds fielded two entirely different sides each side of half time, so for the purposes of this article the first team won 2-0. The Liverpool midfield in the first half against Stuttgart could be Jürgen Klopp’s preferred home midfield this season.
The Reds’ first friendly this pre-season was against German Bundesliga side Stuttgart.
The opposition were recently promoted back to the top flight in Jürgen Klopp’s homeland having finished second in the second division.
Stuttgart are renowned for their youth academy having produced such talents as Timo Werner, Joshua Kimmich and Mario Gomez down the years.
Liverpool midfield v Stuttgart
The first half Liverpool midfield v Stuttgart was made up of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Curtis Jones.
Fabinho obviously played as an anchor, sitting deep with very little to do as his side dominated possession.
Curt and Naby Lad fully justified their selection with Jones grabbing an assist and Keita a goal.
Home game midfield?
Curtis Jones and Naby Keita playing in front of Fabinho could well be Jürgen Klopp’s go to midfield for home games this season.
The Reds have become one of the most feared sides around and they haven’t lost a home game in the league since 2017.
As a result we often see teams visiting Anfield and sitting deep, asking the hosts to break them down.
When facing a low block you need an inventive, attacking midfield. Naby Keita and Curtis Jones can provide this attacking impetus.
Keita has shown in recent games that not only can he glide past players like they aren’t there but he is also useful in his own half, often chipping in with a last ditch tackle or hounding the opposition.
Jones has proved that he has it, he has that instinct for being in the right place in the right time to receive the ball and find the pass, or the net.
Away from home this could potentially be too aggressive a midfield choice but when on home turf it may be just what Klopp needs.
We will need those players who will use the ball quickly, cleverly and bravely – these home games will also provide crucial first team football for Jones.