Curtis Jones could have a key place in Liverpool’s starting XI against Manchester United today. That’s if Jurgen Klopp gives him the nod.
Will Curtis Jones play against Manchester United today? It seems unlikely, given the youngster hasn’t had too many games in recent months.
In fact, his substitute appearance against Newcastle United was his first since March 3rd. Injury played a part in ruling him out of three or four but for the most part, he just wasn’t picked.
But we think Jones may have a key role to play as Liverpool take on United. It’s a game the Reds must win, after all.
Jones to face United?
Chelsea’s win over Fulham yesterday means Liverpool are now seven points back from fourth. It’s hard to see how anything but a win at Old Trafford keeps them in the race.
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Overcoming a four-point gap in four games would be a struggle. Six or seven? We just can’t see it.
Liverpool, then, have to take the game to United to try and get the win. But that brings about a problem.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side thrive on the counter-attack. They also have very little to play for in the Premier League – they’ll be happy to sit back and take their chances on counter-attacking opportunities.
At the end of the day, denting Liverpool’s Champions League hopes likely means more to them than anything here. A draw does that nicely and thus United could just play for one.
Thus Liverpool can’t afford to have lots of possession that doesn’t go anywhere as United will want that. The Reds must be incisive and direct – Jones allows them to do that.
As we’ve detailed before, Jones is a Premier League leader when it comes to moving the ball forward. He’ll pass it forward, drive with it and do whatever it takes to get Liverpool progressing.
But more than that, Jones has already shown this season that he’s got the right mentality for games like this. He shone against Manchester City earlier in the year and looked like the only Red capable of taking the game to them.
Jones has both the mentality and the style to thrive against United today. More importantly, he can deliver what Liverpool need.
Combine both Jones and Thiago, in fact, and the team should have no trouble keeping United on the back foot. Yes, it’s a risky approach but it feels like a necessary one today.