9 Sep 2016

Klopp Confirms: 'Brilliant' £36m Liverpool star 'will not' play against Leicester City

Despite the recruitment of two more central defenders, Liverpool continue to leak goals this season, and with six goals conceded in four games already, Jurgen Klopp still has some big defensive problems to solve. Lack of protection in front of the back four is an ongoing issue, and the Reds potentially face more problems in that area on Saturday.

In his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Klopp told reporters:

"Emre^ has a little issue with the ankle. Maybe he will be back today or tomorrow in team training, but it will not be enough for the Leicester game".

With Can out of the game, this almost certainly means that Klopp will persist with a central midfield axis of Wijnaldum and Henderson, both of whom will have the share the defensive midfield burden between them.

As anyone who's watched the flailing Hendo/Wijnaldum 'partnership' will appreciate, this is a distinctly unappealing prospect, and in my view, will increase the possibility of Liverpool conceding goals against Leicester.

The obvious solution is to play Lucas or Stewart in the DM role, but the chances of that happening are unlikely. Klopp seems to prefer the England approach of shoehorning all the club's best players into the team, even if it means playing them out of position.

That said, the positivity of playing at Anfield for the first time season should give Liverpool a major boost on Saturday, and that may just be enough to push the team to victory, irrespective of who's in midfield.

^ Described by James Milner as 'brilliant'. Worth £36m (CIES Football Observatory).


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