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27 Aug 2017

Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Premier League - Confirmed Teams

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has dropped Simon Mignolet for today's Premier League clash with Arsenal.

FULL TEAM: Karius, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

SUBS: Ward, Klavan, Alexander-Arnold, Grujic, Milner, Solanke, Sturridge.

ARSENAL: Cech, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Welbeck, Alexis

When asked prior to the game about the decision to leave Mignolet out of the squad, Klopp insisted:

“[It is] to rest him. He didn’t want to rest, it’s not a problem. We spoke yesterday and I really thought it made sense. We wanted a situation like this; we wanted to have three strong goalkeepers...and they want to have games, so today Loris is starting.”

* This smacks of change for change's sake, i.e. changing 'keepers just because Klopp wants to keep players happy rather than change through necessity. In any event, since when do goalkeepers need 'rest' just *four* games into the season?  Mignolet's job requires the least amount of physical exertion of any player in the team, so it makes no sense, especially when the Belgian is playing well. I'm no great fan of Mignolet, but I am in favour of the merit system, and at this moment, Mignolet deserves to keep his place.

* In my view, it's a needless change to an already shaky back line, and making the change in such a massive game is arguably a mistake. Rested? Give me a break. Now, after not starting a Premier League game for over 8-months, Karius is now under intense pressure to perform in a huge, must-win game. Great management, Jurgen!

* The bad news for Liverpool is that a well-rested Alexis Sanchez returns for the gunners, and he'll inevitably cause problems for the Reds.

On a related note: the idea of Liverpool signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gives me an intense feeling of nausea. I'd hate to see him in a Liverpool shirt. Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet another overrated, injury prone, huff-and-puff British player with an inflated sense of his own self-worth, and if he is the best Klopp can do in a *Champions League* year, then serious questions need to be asked about the manager's ability to source and attract top players.

OC = Lallana MK 2, and signing a player with his injury history is idiocy bordering on negligence.


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