26 Dec 2015

Confirmed Liverpool-XI: Klopp drops £40m-duo again; Surprise on the bench; massive risk in defence?

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has names a predictable team for today's must-win home game with Leicester City, and once again, he is rushing a recently injured centre-half back into the team, a decision that led to disastrous results against Watford.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Origi

SUBS: Bogdan, Toure, Benteke, Lucas, Allen, Teixeira, Randall

* Sakho had a nightmare against Watford after being rushed back from injury, and now Lovren is back in the team in similar circumstances. Why play Lovren, when Toure is available? This decision is a massive gamble, and it may come back to haunt Liverpool.

* Also, Lovren and Sakho are both left-sided central defenders. Lovren may be right-footed, but he usually plays on the left of a partnership, so hopefully this won't create added confusion.

* It's an absolute joke that Lallana is starting; he is a passenger who contributes nothing to the cause, and he hasn't scored a single domestic goal in 18 hours of football this season (and only has 3 assists in the last 40 hours).

* Lallana gets picked, but Benteke, who hasn't scored for a mere 241 minutes (2.4 games) gets dropped again. Ridiculous decision IMO. Benteke is a proven goalscorer throughout his entire career, and it's Klopp's job to get the best out of a player who cost the club £32m. I doubt FSG will be too impressed to see the manager failing to utilise such an expensive asset.

* Origi as a lone striker does not work! As the stats from games earlier in the season show, in that role, he rarely touches the ball (fewest number of touches of anyone in the team), and he's too isolated to make an impact. Maybe that will change today, but I doubt it.

* Can ahead of Lucas at DM? Another bad decision (IMO). Lucas is one of Liverpool's most consistent performers this season, and he is a dedicated DM; Can is not.

* Good to see Teixeira on the bench, but he he should be starting ahead of the execrable Lallana.

Based on the personnel, it looks like Klopp may revert to 4231:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Lovren -- Sakho ----- Moreno
---------- Hendo ----- Can
-- Lallana --- Coutinho --- Firmino
--------------- Origi

Alternatively, Klopp may play Firmino up-front, with Origi out wide:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Lovren -- Sakho ----- Moreno
---------- hendo ----- Can
-- Lallana --- Coutinho --- Origi
--------------- Firmino

Coutinho, Firmino, Henderson, and Lallana need to step-up today. There can be no excuses, especially from Lallana, who has had ample time this season to play his way into form.

Author: Jaimie K


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