Michael Owen thinks Liverpool’s front-three for a UEFA Champions League final ‘tomorrow’ isn’t the one that started vs Villarreal tonight. The Reds certainly boast options.
Liverpool have the greatest selection of forwards in their history right now. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino are all playing at a world-class level this season, after all.
Jurgen Klopp somehow has to pick three of them in each game, leaving out two players who would start for nearly every other team in the world. Fortunately, he can lean into rotation right now to justify his choices.
But what if he had to pick a front-three for the biggest game of the season? Take rotation out of it and Klopp needs to look at his options and choose the actual best front-three.
Michael Owen believes he knows who the Liverpool boss would pick, though, and it’s not the trio that started against Villarreal tonight. For the former Reds’ forward, he thinks it comes down to a straight choice.
“Diaz or Jota? I tend to think that if it was the Champions League final tomorrow, I think Diaz would play instead of Jota,” he said on BT Sport.
Liverpool in a Champions League final
One luxury Klopp boasts right now is that the variety of his forward line offers options. Thus we don’t think it’s as simple as picking a front-three for a final – it entirely depends on who Liverpool’s opponents would be.
Now, there is a Champions League final coming up after tonight, of course. The Reds will face either Manchester City or Real Madrid in it – and Klopp may see a different fit for each game.
Though, we do think Owen’s prediction is right in either case. Mané has been so good as a False 9 that he’s almost guaranteed to give Rodri or Casemiro the most trouble in dropping back, while Diaz has been electric on the wing.
Jota is a tremendous option as a pure goalscorer in that central role – it just might not suit playing against either City or Real. The Diaz – Mané – Salah trio feels like the best option to us.
And if there was any doubt about the damage they can do, just look at that second half tonight. Diaz came on to score a goal, Mané thrived centrally and Salah assisted for Fabinho. This is surely the go-to for the final.