Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been on the bench for Liverpool’s last two Premier League matches.
The England international’s name on the teamsheet is always a popular choice. It just hasn’t happened enough.
Here is a look at three reasons why Oxlade-Chamberlain should start this week against Newcastle United…
The simplest reason is rotation. Oxlade-Chamberlain is fresh and Liverpool need to manage their squad sensibly.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will be highly motivated if he gets his chance, as he will want to earn more starting spots.
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Jurgen Klopp would be doing Curtis Jones a favour too by leaving him on the bench. The West Derby midfielder has started four of Liverpool’s previous five matches.
Ironically, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s most recent start for Liverpool took place at the same venue as Wednesday. He registered an assist during a 3-1 win back in July.
More bite needed in attack
Liverpool will require more bite in attack if they are to overcome the out-of-form Magpies. Newcastle have just one point in their last three league matches.
Against West Brom, despite their total control in possession, Liverpool were toothless in attack. Unfortunately, Jones epitomised this trend as the teenager failed to register a shot nor create a single opening for his team.
Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain was able to register two shots and create an opportunity for his team despite coming on in the 82nd minute, as per WhoScored.
Liverpool require someone who will take risks and overwhelm a Newcastle defence that has conceded eight goals in their last three league matches.
Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum do not carry the same goalscoring threat as Oxlade-Chamberlain. Liverpool need to be aggressive, and an early goal could really dent Newcastle’s confidence.
He needs his opportunity
Oxlade-Chamberlain has a strong record in the matches he has started for Liverpool.
The Reds won 16 of the 18 league games he was in the starting XI last term.
In comparison to Liverpool’s other midfielders, Oxlade-Chamberlain is perhaps the most direct and efficient at getting his team out of the traps and on the front foot.
Last season, he had more dribbles per 90 (4.07) than all of Liverpool’s midfielders combined, (Keita second on 2.66) which implies that Oxlade-Chamberlain does offer something unique in comparison to Klopp’s other options.
This will be needed if Liverpool are to return to winning ways in midweek.