Liverpool could debut a new formation against Manchester City on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp hinted at a change in his Thursday press conference.
Jurgen Klopp admits that Liverpool could change their system on Sunday. The Reds host Manchester City in one of the biggest games of the season – arguably the biggest – but have a couple of problems.
Most notably, Trent Alexander-Arnold won’t play. Not only is the 22-year-old one of Liverpool’s most important players but he’s also the only reliably right-back in the squad.
Klopp says he has three options – but could also change his system.
“We have obviously James [Milner], we have Joe [Gomez], we have Neco [Williams], we could change system – there are quite a few things,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com.
Liverpool very rarely change their system, let alone changing it in order to remove a position from their formation. So how could they do it?
The answer seems clear – a back three.
Could Liverpool change formation vs City?
This is effectively a new weapon in Klopp’s arsenal. Never before has he had such depth at centre-back – five solid options. There’s Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Gomez, Ibrahima Konate and Nat Phillips.
All five are good enough to play on Sunday. Using three of them, then, could be a way to lean into Liverpool’s new strength.
Especially as there’s an issue at right-back. Using a back three would take the position out of the equation, allowing Gomez to cover as a third centre-back and the right-sided player to focus more on attacking.
If Milner played right-midfield, for instance, he could play as more of a midfielder or wingback rather than a full-back. That might be the best way to handle Jack Grealish as the worry right now is that Milner couldn’t attack very often. Not while he has to worry about City’s £100m man.
Use both Milner and Gomez, though, and Liverpool have the best of both worlds. Andy Robertson could then operate as a wingback on the other side, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson could sit as a midfield two, and the forwards are untouched.
We’d be a little surprised if Klopp went down this route but the option is certainly there. Don’t be shocked if we truly see something drastic from the Liverpool boss on Sunday.