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Three players Liverpool should leave out of XI v FC Midtjylland

Liverpool are back in action tonight in the Champions League, taking on FC Midtjylland under the lights at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp has a few tricky decisions to make over his team selection.

Here is a look at changes for Liverpool to consider making…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: (THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Diogo Jota of Liverpool scores the second goal and seels it for Liverpool and celebratesduring the Premier League match between Liverpool and Sheffield United at Anfield on October 24, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Keep the 4-2-3-1 system

Liverpool had success with a formation change against Sheffield United at the weekend and it could be something Klopp wants to look at further against the Danish champions.

It offers Klopp a match against a respectively less opposing opposition which can create opportunities for key Liverpool players to showcase their first-team credentials.

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This would enable Liverpool to bring in the likes of Takumi Minamino and Curtis Jones into the starting line-up, without the worry of a drop-off in quality when faced against Champions League opposition.

 

Minamino, 25, deserves his chance to shine in the starting XI tonight and would make a perfect like-for-like replacement to Roberto Firmino who started behind Mohamed Salah at the weekend.

Jones, 19, is also worthy of a chance to demonstrate his quality just a week after being handed his Champions League debut against Ajax. Besides Naby Keita, who is unavailable for selection, Jones has more attacking qualities than any other midfielder and could play behind Minamino as a No.10 or could even do a job on the wing.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: David McGoldrick of Sheffield United is challenged by Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Sheffield United at Anfield on October 24, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Alternate Wijnaldum

Klopp has started Wijnaldum in the last two matches against Ajax and Sheffield United.

In both matches, he was excellent and with the growing list of injuries, demonstrated that he is too important to risk with the games coming thick-and-fast.

If Liverpool maintain a 4-2-3-1 approach, it could allow James Milner to partner Jordan Henderson to provide Liverpool’s defensive quartet with some experienced protection as the club’s midfield pivot.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Liverpool player Sadio Mane in action during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Sheffield United at Anfield on October 24, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Rest Mane

Everybody loves Sadio Mane, and rightly so. However, Liverpool should rest arguably the most complete attacker, even if there are four attacking spots to fill in Klopp’s formation.

Quite simply, Liverpool have other strong options. Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri are both desperate for starts in the Champions League while Divock Origi is in dire need of a run-out considering he is yet to clock up a single minute of competitive action in either the league or Europe.

Mane has started in three of Liverpool’s past fixtures and should at least drop out of the starting line-up and make do with a spot on the bench.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Roberto Firminho of Liverpool scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Sheffield United at Anfield on October 24, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Take out Roberto Firmino

If Minamino is given the nod then there is no need for both the Japanese international and Firmino in Klopp’s attacking quartet.

The former is in much more need of game time and following on from Firmino’s goal at the weekend, the Brazilian was handed a much-needed confidence boost so would benefit with the night off ahead of Liverpool’s clash with West Ham at the weekend.

According to WhoScored, Firmino clocked up a further distance ran than any other player on the pitch against Sheffield United and also registered more sprints. With that in mind, he certainly could benefit with a rest considering he has started nine consecutive matches for both club and country this season.

Liverpool are spoilt for choice when it comes to attacking options, so much so that it makes sense for Klopp to use them, especially considering the energy exerted by Firmino over the past week.

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