Liverpool can just about repeat their all-out-attack approach against Man City today. That’s despite not having Diogo Jota available.
Diogo Jota won’t play for another two to four weeks, according to Jurgen Klopp. That’s certainly far from ideal.
Liverpool miss their Portuguese star as he effectively carried the team at one point this season. So much so, in fact, that he started the last time the Reds faced Manchester City.
In fact, Liverpool had a very different approach against Man City in that game. They deviated from their usual 4-3-3 and went 4-2-4.
It was an all-out-attack approach that frightened City over the first 45. Liverpool tired in the second but so did their opponents, resulting in a 0-0 draw.
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But it looked good, that’s for sure. It was a fast, electric Liverpool that looked to break with direct football every time they had possession.
We haven’t seen too much of that throughout this campaign.
More than anything, though, it felt fresh. After years of 4-3-3 and the same system, this was Jurgen Klopp shaking things up.
And right now, Liverpool feel in need of that. They’re stagnant and struggling to break teams down.
That could be fatal against City – and perhaps it’s time to call on the 4-2-4 once again.
But how does Klopp make that work without Jota? Well, it certainly won’t be as good but it can be done.
Mixing it up
It sounds as though Klopp may go with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in defence. With both gone from midfield, playing with a central two makes some sense.
It’s largely why Klopp did it last time. Fabinho was in defence and Thiago was out, so Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum formed a duo.
This time it would be Wijnaldum and Thiago. It’s certainly an experienced midfield and one with elite ball retention. Again City’s pressing, that could be vital.
Roberto Firmino would then move to a no.10 role and Mohamed Salah could lead the line as a striker. The latter’s phenomenal record in the role makes it tempting, given the pressure on him in this one.
Sadio Mane would remain on the left – providing he’s fit – and then Xherdan Shaqiri, someone we’ve seen a lot of recently, would play from the right.
We think this could work, primarily because of the Thiago / Wijnaldum pairing. Their ability to break through lines with the ball could be devastating with four forwards ahead of them.
We don’t yet know what Klopp will do today. This 4-2-4 is an option, however, if he fancies the all-out-attack approach against City.