22 Oct 2015

Confirmed Liverpool Team: Klopp drops 'outstanding' midfielder; £18m attacker out; double bench surprise

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has named a very strong team for tonight's Europa League clash with Rubin Kazan, and his team selection suggests that he's taking the competition very seriously.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Allen, Milner, Lallana, Coutinho, Origi.

SUBS: Bogdan, Toure, Benteke, Firmino, Lucas, Ibe, Randall.

* It's the same XI that started the Spurs game with one notable exception: Lucas Leiva is dropped to make way for Joe Allen.

* Unless there's an injury, it's a surprising (and disappointing) change to make. Against Spurs, Lucas was Liverpool's most effective player (at fulfilling his primary role), and won more tackles than any other player on the field.

* Klopp hasn't 'rested' any of the other Spurs staters, so that isn't an issue. As such, the most probable conclusion is that Lucas has been dropped.

* Granted, Lucas - recently described by Jordan Henderson as 'outstanding' - has a recent history of picking up niggling injuries, so perhaps - like Sturridge - something happened during training.

* Given the choice, I'd much rather have Lucas in the team than Allen, but perhaps Klopp just doesn't rate the Brazilian?

* Good to see Benteke and Firmino on the bench, and if the game is going well, they'll hopefully get some pitch ahead of Sunday's tough game against Southampton. £18m-rated Sturridge is not in the squad, though, as he's recovering from yet another injury.

* Conor Randall makes Klopp's bench for the second game in a row, but Joao Teixiera is not in the squad due to being inexplicably excluded from the Europa League squad.

Probable line-up: 4321:

---------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Skrtel --- Sakho --- Moreno
--------Milner -- Allen -- Can
-----------Lallana -- Coutino
----------------- Origi

Probable line-up: 4231:

---------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Skrtel --- Sakho --- Moreno
-------- -----Allen -- Can
----- Milner --- Lallana -- Coutino
----------------- Origi

For the record, I'm changing my prediction to 3-1 (from 2-0).

PREDICTION LEAGUE

Everyone's predictions can be viewed on the pre-match thread, HERE (Predictions can be changed right up till kick-off, and must be made in the pre-match prediction thread)

Author: Jaimie K



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