Jurgen Klopp made a choice in Wednesday and it means Gini Wijnaldum is his only midfield lock to face Brighton. The Liverpool boss made his intentions clear.
On 61 minutes against Atalanta on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp made a quadruple substitution. Gini Wijnaldum was one of the four to come off.
And that was particularly notable. He started that game alongside Curtis Jones and James Milner – two players who, like Wijnaldum, played the full 90 minutes the previous Sunday against Leicester City.
Now, the only reason we can think Klopp picked Wijnaldum is that he’s playing against Brighton. This game comes under 36 hours since Atalanta, after all.
Playing all three of them again seems risky – especially in the midst of an injury crisis. But Wijnaldum, a £25m signing, is the only one who hasn’t played 180 minutes over the last week.
That makes him a lock for the game, in our eyes. Especially in midfield. It’s possible that Milner reverts to right-back as he did against Leicester, of course.
Jordan Henderson could well return to take a place alongside Wijnaldum. And if we had to guess, Klopp will play 4-2-3-1 with the two of them.
Playing Jones again is a huge risk, even at his age. It’s just so much football with a lot more to come.
Still, Klopp tends to surprise. We didn’t see him starting all four forwards against Manchester City, much as we didn’t see him making a four-man substitution against Atalanta.
But we feel confident saying that Wijnaldum starts this one. Outside of him, Klopp will have to take a risk somewhere – be it with the recently-injured Henderson or overworking Milner and Jones.
We certainly don’t envy the Liverpool boss here.