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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Reds now have an unpredictable approach which Klopp must master
- Klopp’s recent formation change offers Minamino long-term hope
- Reds fans react as club confirm move to Kirkby training complex
- Thiago back at Melwood and could feature against West Ham
- Diogo Jota is already threatening to disrupt Klopp’s pedigreed front-three
- Joe Gomez has been handed task that could define his Reds career
- Wijnaldum continues to prove why the club can’t let him go
- Curtis Jones could be Klopp’s 2020/21 Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield
- Fabinho and Gomez could provide perfect defensive solution