Divock Origi should benefit from the terrible fixture-list to start against Atalanta tonight. The Belgian has struggled for appearances this season.
Liverpool have a terrible fixture-list this week. They played Leicester City on Sunday evening and head into a Champions League clash with Atalanta tonight.
You’d think they’d get priority for a day’s rest but no – they’ve got the early kick-off on Saturday. That gives them three games in six days and a turnaround of under three between Atalanta and Brighton.
It’s actually quite awful for a team struggling so badly with injuries. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah missed the Leicester game.
Naby Keita got injured in that game and went off. Alisson, Joel Matip, Fabinho, and Sadio Mane are all players who played but have previously missed games.
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It’s a miracle that they beat Leicester, quite honestly. But they now head into Wednesday’s game in a difficult position.
How many does Jurgen Klopp rest? Who? And in what positions?
We just don’t know yet. But what we do know is that it could hand an opportunity to Divock Origi against Atalanta.
Origi has barely played this season. He’s only featured four times, in fact, and one of those was a solitary minute on Sunday.
Origi has just two starts – against Lincoln City and FC Midtjylland. He’s firmly on the fringes, then.
But if Klopp must rotate his players, Origi becomes a clear option tonight. The Belgian needs a nice, open game to plan in and Atalanta can guarantee that.
And an open game is important. Origi needs a bit of space, needs time to think and needs scoring opportunities if he’s to get back to his best.
A tight, cagey affair won’t do. That’s not a game for an out-of-form player struggling to find his way to goal. Origi needs space to attack.
So everything might come together quite well tonight. Hopefully we can see Origi show what he can do, properly, for the first time this season.