8 Jan 2016

Confirmed Liverpool XI: Exciting attacking team; Surprise upfront; starts for 'New Deco' and 'outstanding' midfielder

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made a whopping eleven changes (!) for tonight's FA Cup clash with Exeter City, and in a move that will delight fans, Klopp has seemingly thrown caution to the wind and named a very attacking side.

FULL TEAM: Bogdan, Randall, Ilori, Enrique, Smith, Kent, Brannagan, Stewart, Teixeira, Sinclair, Benteke.

SUBS: Fulton, Lallana, Lucas, Ojo, Maguire, Chirivella, Masterson.

* Benteke's inclusion is a minor surprise, but it's also good man-management in a way. If Benteke scores a one or two goals tonight, it'll be good for his confidence, and he'll hopefully take that into next week's game with Arsenal.

* The selection of Jerome Sinclair suggest that Klopp will go with two up-front, or Sinclair operating just behind Benteke.

* In my view, Enrique at centre-back is a mistake; Emre Can has recent experience as a centre-back for LFC, and he is clearly a better option. Enrique has never played that role for Liverpool, and he hasn't played a competitive game for almost a year.

* Great to seen Kent and Teixeira in the side, and if Klopp goes with a 442, it looks like those two will be operating on the wings. However, with Smith on the left, there's less need for Teixeira to hug the touchline, and hopefully he'll play more centrally.

Possible formation:

---------------- Bogdan
Randall ---- Ilori -- Enrique ------- Smith
--------- Brannagan - Stewart*
Kent ----
---------------- Teixeira^
---------- Sinclair - Benteke

I imagine that Benteke or Enrique will captain the team, but maybe Klopp will spring another surprise and hand it to one of the youngsters.

On a related note: I'm glad that Teixeira is playing, but expectations shouldn't be unrealistic. Like any player, he can't just become a superhero overnight; he needs game to build rapport etc with his team-mates, and he can't do that with just one game every 3-4 months.

Anyone expecting him to be some dazzling Suarez-esque game-changer should check their expectations right now; I've only ever argued that Teixeira should be given a consistent chance in the team. Hopefully, he'll do well, but if he puts in merely a 'good' performance, then that will be fine.

After all, Lallana plays practically every game, and is given endless time to play his way into form (which never happens), so Teixeira should not be written off after only one game, even if he doesn't reach the heights.

Fairness is required here, and it's unreasonable to expect a player who is constantly ignored to come into a makeshift team and dominate the game. Perhaps Teixeira will, but if that doesn't happen, it doesn't mean the faith shown in him was misplaced; it just means he needs more games.

Ultimately, I really hope this team delivers the goods, and puts Lallana and his underperforming cronies to shame.

* Hailed by ex-Swindon boss Mark Cooper as 'outstanding'.

^ Nicknamed the 'New Deco'

Author: Jaimie K


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