Burnley got people talking when they lined up against Liverpool with an XI containing the perfect 1-to-11.
Meaning, they lined up in the traditional 4-4-2 with every player wearing the shirt number that fits their position.
It is the first time that it has been done since Charlton Athletic did it back in the 1998/99 season.
This got us thinking about what Jurgen Klopp’s team would look like if they did the same thing.
So, here is a Liverpool XI with the players in a 1-to-11 formation.
We have a great start with Alisson wearing No 1 in goal. He is the first-choice keeper and is rightfully wearing the traditional goalkeeping number.
But we do have an issue at right-back. The No 2 shirt has been left blank ever since Nathanial Clyne left the club.
So, do we put Trent Alexander-Arnold in? No, because No 66 would not have been seen 20 years ago, would it?
We’ll throw the next best thing in, which is Joe Gomez with his No 12 shirt.
Now, here is where an argument could start. Are the centre-backs No 4 and 5 or No 5 and 6?
Burnley have 5 and 6 at the back with 4 and 8 in central midfield, but we think that the No 6 shirt should be worn by the holding midfielder.
Not very English of us, but who’s bothered?
So, the two centre-backs are Virgil van Dijk (4) and Ibrahima Konate (5). Van Dijk has to play on the right with Konate on the left, though.
Thankfully, Gini Wijnaldum is no longer Liverpool’s No 5. However, we still have to deal with Fabinho wearing No 3. Which is just wrong.
The Brazilian has to slot in at left-back. He has played at right-back before, but we certainly put him on the opposite flank if we had the choice.
We could do a 4-3-3 here with the No 6 sitting in midfield and the No 8 and No 10 either side. But for the sake of it, we’ll stick to 4-4-2, with one proper striker and a slightly deeper one.
So, our midfield pair is Thiago and Naby Keita.
We think that both of these could play together in a double pivot, so it is actually a decent selection.
As the No 6, Thiago will sit deeper, while Keita will be a bit more box-to-box as the No 8.
On the right-wing, we have our No 7 James Milner.
Milner has not played out wide for quite a while now, but in his prime, he was very much the traditional British right-winger.
On the left, we have our No 11, Mohamed Salah. As a left-footer, Salah could probably do this job with ease.
However, it does take away his best trait, which is cutting inside and shooting.
All-in-all, though, this bank of four isn’t all that bad.
We are not used to seeing Liverpool with two up top, but here we are.
Our front two are Sadio Mane (10) and Roberto Firmino (9).
Mane will have to drop deep, with Firmino playing right up front as the main striker.
We know that Mane does his best work from out wide, while Firmino does his best work when dropping deep.
So, this striking pair doesn’t really work in the traditional sense.
The Liverpool 1-to-11 XI
If we did a little bit of manoeuvring with these 11 players, we actually wouldn’t have a bad team.
Just change to 4-3-3, swap the two centre-backs, put Fabinho in defensive midfield with Milner left-back and put Salah right, Mane left and Firmino through the middle.
Yet we would still prefer to have the likes of Joel Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota available.