Danny Murphy believes Jordan Henderson will play a key role against Manchester City. It comes down to where he plays.
Reports elsewhere claim Jurgen Klopp will play Jordan Henderson in defence against Manchester City. Not only that, he’ll play him alongside Fabinho.
That would be two midfielders at the back for a huge game – undoubtedly a risk.
Klopp must see it as a lesser risk than throwing in someone new, however. Danny Murphy, though, doesn’t see the sense in that.
Writing for the BBC, he says Henderson must play in midfield against City.
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“I’d definitely bring Henderson back into midfield on Sunday, because they need him there,” said Murphy. “Yes, Klopp might have to put in one of his new centre-backs for that to happen, but otherwise what was the point of bringing them in?
“Henderson brings leadership wherever he is playing but, in midfield, he gives them that energy and bite they have been missing in the middle of the pitch, which will be particularly important given the way City play and the possession they will enjoy.”
What RTK has to say
We agree with this, to be honest. They way Liverpool will inevitably play against City calls for more traditional roles.
They’ll face pressure in and around their box, so using two midfield players there is a major risk. And Murphy is absolutely right about the extra bite in midfield.
But, of course, that comes with its own risk. Moving Henderson back into midfield means playing one of either Nat Phillips, Ozan Kabak, or Ben Davies alongside Fabinho.
Phillips has never played a game quite like it. Nor has Davies, for that matter, while he’s also yet to adapt to Liverpool.
Kabak would surely be the answer, given he’s faced top sides before. He’s not up to speed with Liverpool, though, which is the problem with him.
But no matter what, Liverpool have to sacrifice something. Klopp reportedly believes he should sacrifice having a traditional defender on the pitch but that also sacrifices having Henderson in midfield.
For us – and Murphy, it seems – the safest option is Henderson in midfield and Kabak at the back.