19 Dec 2015

Liverpool-XI vs. Watford: Drop £10m misfit? £150k-a-week 'machine' definitely out; surprise start for Teixeira?

After three games without a when, it's absolutely imperative that Liverpool beat Watford on Sunday, and with Manchester United losing again, the chance is there (once again) for the Reds to capitalise. Another defeat/draw is surely unthinkable, but with balance of power seemingly shifting in the Premier League this season, anything is possible.

Klopp's pre-match updates:

* On James 'machine' Milner: "It's really bad. Milner has a problem with his calf. We don’t know how long [he'll be out]. For this weekend, it’s not an option".

* On Sakho: "Mamadou...started normal training last week and now he has completed this week. If it stays like this he will be ready".

* On Lovren: "It’s not that serious. If he can train Tuesday or Wednesday on, he would be an option for Leicester. I don’t know in this moment. His progress was really quick and he’s getting better".

* On Watford: "They have good strikers together and a good plan. They are quick in their minds, they switch [the ball] really fast and that’s all of the things you have to know about them".

For the last Premier League away game, Klopp inexplicably decided to abandon his high-pressing strategy, and that arguably cost Liverpool the game.

Quite why he changed the tactics that downed both Man City and Chelsea is anyone's guess, but that approach should be restored against Watford. My preferred lineup:

------------ Bogdan
Clyne -- Skrtel - Sakho ----- Moreno
--------- Lucas - Allen
-- Hendo --- Coutinho -- Origi
------------ Firmino

* After the howler against West Brom (not his first this season) Mignolet^ musty surely be dropped. What incentive is there for him to improve if he keeps his place despite repeated mistakes?

* Lucas must return, and rather unsurprisingly, I'd have him at DM at the expense of Emre Can, who is not a dedicated DM.

* In my view, Firmino should play as a centre-forward, or not at all. As an attacking midfielder, he is a passenger right now, and his recent performances in that role have been dire.

* Origi scored in the last game, so he deserves to start (IMO). Liverpool need goalscorers, and Klopp should try and build on Origi's current momentum.

* In the last game, Lallana contributed his third assist in 38 hours of football. Despite that magnificent, awe-inspiring feat, he should (IMO) be nowhere near the starting lineup. Teixeira deserves a chance ahead of him, and hopefully, he'll make the bench (or even start).


You have until Sunday 1.30PM (GMT) to make your predictions.

* 20 Points: First goalscorer (Can be for either team).

* 20 Points: First Liverpool player to have a shot on target (this doesn't include a shot that leads to a goal, just an actual shot on target).

* 30 Points: Collective number of LFC corners.

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Perfect score + first goalscorer + shot on target (Possible points total: 120)

* The Louis Tully Mega-Bonus: 100 points for Perfect score + first goalscorer + first shot on target + corners (Possible points total: 200)

My Prediction: 2-1 Watford (Updated at 13:27). First goalscorer: Ighalo. First LFC shot: Firmino. Corners: 7

^ Cost LFC £10m

Author: Jaimie K


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