26 Oct 2015

Liverpool lineup vs Bournemouth: £56m duo axed? 4 surprise starters? Replace Can with Chirivella? (PREDICTION LEAGUE)

Liverpool face Bournemouth in the League Cup this week, and after three draws in his first three games, new Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be hoping it's fourth time lucky at Anfield on Wednesday. With ten goals conceded in two games, and only one league win since August, Bournemouth are in freefall at the moment, so now is clearly a good time play the South Coast club. Nothing is ever that simple for Liverpool, though, and given current form, it'll come as no surprise if the Reds fail to win yet another game.

Pre-match news:

* Sturridge didn't even make the matchday squad for Sunday's home draw with Southampton, so it's doubtful that he'll be fit enough for the Bournemouth game.

* Benteke and Firmino both featured against the Saints, so they're clearly fit and ready for the game.

* Henderson, Flanagan, Ings, and Gomez remain injured. Lovren returned to training last week, and a League Cup game could be the ideal time to bring him back into the fold. Not that he's needed; Toure is available to deputise for either Skrtel or Sakho.

Creative paucity continues to be a major issue for the club, and whilst Brendan Rodgers needs to shoulder some of the blame for that, Klopp is also (arguably) contributing to the problem by playing THREE central midfielders in every game.

* Why is this necessary, especially at home? Playing three central midfielders in 4321 is a negative tactic, and is stifling the balance and creative flow of the team.

* This approach also means that creatively limited players are being prioritised over dedicated attacking midfielders. And make no mistake, Can, and Milner are creatively limited.

* At Dortmund, Klopp predominantly employed a 4231 formation, and in a sense, he's betraying his own philosophy by using a 4321. Yes, it may promote defensive stability, but what's the point if the team can't score goals consistently?

With a vital game against Chelsea on Saturday, Klopp will probably rest some players, and with that in mind, I'd like to see the following line-up:

--------------- Bogdan
Randall --- Toure - Sakho --- Moreno
------- Chrivella - Lucas
Brannagan --- Teixeira -- Firmino
-------------- Benteke

* Randall has made the bench for every game under Klopp, so why not just start him and rest Clyne, who's looked a little ragged in recent weeks.

* Milner is suspended, and Can continues to be ineffective, so play Chrivella, who's already had first-team action this season.

* Coutinho and Lallana [combined cost/value: £56m] should be dropped/rested; both are struggling to influence games, and after ineffective performances against Southampton, neither deserves to start this game. Brannagan can play on either wing, so he's a different creative option to consider.

* There's absolutely no excuse to leave Teixeira out of the game. If he doesn't play, then Klopp has to explain why. If there's a problem with the Portuguese youngster, then fair enough, but with Liverpool devoid of creativity, something needs to change, and Teixeira is an obvious option.

* Firmino and Benteke need match fitness, so it makes no sense to rest them for the Chelsea game. They can start the game, and then come off in the second half if necessary. With any luck, Firmino will have a good game, which will give him much needed confidence for Chelsea.

Prediction League

My prediction: 2-1 LFC (Updated: 19:08pm). You have until Wednesday @ 7:45pm (GMT) to get your predictions in. Good luck!

Author: Jaimie K



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