It’s Liverpool v Arsenal on Saturday and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could have a key role to play. The ex-Gunner is in fine form right now.
Injuries just won’t ease up on Liverpool. They have more to deal with coming out of the international break – and there were already a few problems.
There are nine worries in total, with the majority coming in midfield. As Jurgen Klopp explained on Thursday, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita and James Milner are all out.
Jordan Henderson is a real doubt, too, and we’re not sure Liverpool should risk him. There’s a lot of football between now and 2022 – the Reds can’t afford to lose their captain for a lengthy spell.
Put it all together and it seems clear that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in line to face Arsenal. And we think Liverpool could really unleash him against the Gunners.
Oxlade-Chamberlain to face Arsenal?
The 28-year-old is winning tackles, driving forward with the ball, and playing smart football. It’s great to see after years of injury struggles. And with injuries affecting everyone else right now, it’s the right time for Liverpool to throw Oxlade-Chamberlain in v Arsenal.
For one thing, the Reds won’t have Roberto Firmino for this. That creates an issue with midfield – they usually rely on the Brazilian to drop deep and operate as a no.10.
Without him, Liverpool lack a proper link between midfield and attack. Diogo Jota is excellent but being that link isn’t his strong suit. The Reds can struggle to progress the ball properly without Firmino.
But perhaps Oxlade-Chamberlain can help out there. He’s been dribbling wonderfully well in recent games and that adds an extra dimension to Liverpool’s midfield.
He’s very capable of getting forward with the ball, bridging the gap with the attacking players. We think Liverpool could really benefit from giving him a license to do that as often as possible against Arsenal.
It’s a game where Liverpool should dominate the ball, after all, and Fabinho can provide a great defensive shield with Thiago. That should allow for Oxlade-Chamberlain to take more risks going forward, be it moving with the ball or pushing forward without it.
We’d like to see Liverpool & Klopp trust Oxlade-Chamberlain, then, if Henderson really isn’t fit to play. He could provide a magic ingredient to getting the three points.