27 Feb 2016

Liverpool XI vs. City: 'Amazing' attacker starts? Klopp drops Brazilian? Surprise in midfield?

After another weekend of Premier League action, Liverpool have dropped down to 9th place in the league, but mid-table mediocrity is okay because the Reds have a chance to win the Capital One Cup. Rejoice!

Well, that's the narrative being sold by fans, the club, and ex-Reds in then media, but I personally couldn't be any less enthused about the League Cup.

As Bill Shankly once said, the league is Liverpool's 'bread and butter', and Jurgen Klopp has abjectly failed to make any impression on the league.

I'll inevitably be accused of being harsh on Klopp, but he arrived after only 8 games, and a challenge for fourth place is the bare minimum a manager of his experience and alleged genius should be achieving. Instead, Liverpool have *regressed* in the league under Klopp, and a pointless League Cup win won't change that. But, I digress...

Klopp admitted this week that he faces some 'difficult' selection decision for tomorrow's game, and conceded that several players will inevitably end up feeling 'disappointed'. Who will miss out, though?

* In my view, the following are nailed-on starters: Mignolet, Sakho, Henderson, Clyne, Moreno, Milner, Coutinho, Firmino, and Sturridge. That leaves two places to fill: One in defence, and once in central midfield.

* Lallana, Lovren, and Allen were back in training this week, but in terms of match fitness, Lovren (who missed the last game through illness) is probably the only one of the three with a chance of starting the game.

* It's a three-way fight between Lucas, Lovren, and Toure for the second central defensive berth, but based on recent form, Toure and Lucas should arguably be ahead of Lovren.

* If Lucas misses out in defence, then it's a straight choice between him and Emre Can in midfield, and with Klopp at the helm, there's only going to be one winner here.

With this in mind, I expect to see the following lineup:

------------------- Mignolet
Clyne -------- Sakho ---- Toure ----- Moreno
----------- Hendo --- Can --- Milner
------------- Firmino --- Coutinho
------------------- Sturridge^


You have until Sunday @ 4.30pm (GMT) to participate. Everything is doubled for this particular match, so there are some major points on offer :-)

* 40 Points: First goalscorer (either team)

* 40 Points: First Liverpool player to put in a cross (From either flank; excludes free-kicks)

* 60 Points: Collective number of LFC corners.

* 70 Points: Correct LFC lineup AND subs bench (Deadline: 3.20PM)

* 100 Point Triple-Whammy: Goalscorer + first cross + corners

* The Jack Walsh Mega-Bonus: 200 points. Perfect score + goalscorer + first cross + corners.

Good luck!

^ Described as 'amazing' by Lucas Leiva

Author: Jaimie K


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