Jurgen Klopp took a real risk with Liverpool against Rangers and it’s one that Arsenal will love. The Gunners host the Reds this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp had to make a change as Liverpool hosted Rangers at Anfield on Tuesday. The Reds have been playing terribly and it couldn’t continue that way.
Waiting for the form to change wasn’t working. Instead, something had to give and Klopp decided to switch his formation.
Liverpool went 4-2-4, essentially, with Jordan Henderson and Thiago controlling midfield on their own. They didn’t have much need to get forward, focusing instead on keeping the middle secure and covering full-backs.
All the attacking ideas came from the full-backs and a dynamic front-four. The forwards all switched positions, attacked every space and were unplayable here. Only a fantastic performance from Alan McGregor kept the scoreline respectable.
But Klopp took a massive risk with all of this and not just with a change of formation. It’s one Arsenal will love.
Liverpool take a risk that Arsenal will love
In testing his new formation, Klopp essentially played his best XI. The back four, certainly, was the first-choice selection – while Andy Robertson is out, anyway.
The midfield two are the two first-choice in the role, too. And in playing four forwards, only Roberto Firmino got any rest here.
That’s all incredibly risky with a massive game against Arsenal this weekend. The Reds can’t afford to lose if they want to have even the smallest chance at the title this season. Defeat, after all, would leave them 14 points behind a Gunners side they expect to finish ahead of.
Arsenal will enjoy that Liverpool went all-out here. Players like Henderson and Thiago typically need rest but weren’t afforded any this week. Given the Gunners will play on Thursday and have fewer days of preparation, the Reds gave up a possible major fitness advantage by choosing not to rest players.
Of course, it’s a risk that could pay off. If this is the system Klopp persists with, a game of proper preparation will be well worth it for the meeting at the Emirates.