26 Jan 2016

Confirmed Liverpool XI: 'Sensational' attacker dropped; big risk in defence? Surprise start for Flanagan

After the defensive debacle against Norwich, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has kept exactly the same defensive unit in place, bar the enforced change of Jon Flanagan, who replaces the injured Nathaniel Clyne.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Flanagan, Toure, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Henderson, Milner, Lallana, Firmino.

SUBS: Ward, Lovren, Benteke, Allen, Ibe, Teixeira, Smith.

STOKE
: Butland; Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, Afellay; Walters, Bojan, Arnautovic; Crouch.

* Toure and Sakho start their fourth game in twelve days, which is a risk given their injury problems this season. Hopefully, the Reds won't pick up any further defensive injuries.

* Despite failing in their defensive duties against Norwich, Can and Lucas both start the game. Allen continues to be ignored.

* Good to see Teixeira and Smith on the bench. I'm sure they'll prove to able deputies if/when needed.

* The inclusion of Peter Crouch in Stoke's starting line-up can only mean one thing: the Potters will look to explit Liverpool's weakness in the air, and specifically at set-pieces.

* This may also mean that Stoke plan to go with a long-ball tactical plan to beat the Reds' high-pressing game.

Probable formation:

----------------- Mignolet
Flanagan ---- Toure -- Sakho ---- Moreno
--------- Hendo -- Lucas -- Can
----------- Milner --- Lallana
---------------- Firmino

This team has zero genuine width, and very little pace. Still, with Shawcross out, Stoke have a defensive weakness of their own that the Reds will hopefully exploit.

PL

Make your predictions HERE.

Author: Jaimie K



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