28 Apr 2016

Confirmed Liverpool XI: Klopp dumps 'brilliant' £30m attacker; double surprise on the bench

As expected, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has left Daniel Sturridge on the bench for tonight's Europa League semi-final clash with Villareal. It looks like Reds legend John Aldridge got it right with his earlier post on the proposed lineup.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Milner, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino.

SUBS: Ward, Benteke, Sturridge, Skrtel, Ibe, Smith, Chirivella.

* Liverpool may be able to survive without Sturridge, but I just can't fathom the logic behind leaving the club's best (and most prolific) striker on the bench.

* Sturridge - hailed as 'brilliant' by Klopp - is in superb form right now, and he's had five days to recover since the last game. You don't see Barcelona leaving Suarez on the bench for big games, and the likes of Man City and Real Madrid don't ignore their best strikers (unless they're injured).

* For me, it's the principle that matters: if your best attacking player is fit and scoring goals regularly, you play him, end of story.

* Benteke returns to the fold after his recent injury layoff, but with Sturridge also on the bench, he's unlikely to get on the field.

* Nice to see Pedro Chirivella on the bench, but it remains a mystery why Cameron Brannagan - reportedly wanted by Barcelona - continues to miss out on match day squads (and yes, he is in Liverpool's EL squad).

Probable formation:

---------------- Mignolet
Clyne ---- Toure ----- Lovren ---- Moreno
------ Milner --- Lucas --- Allen
---------- Lallana -- Coutinho
---------------- Firmino

Klopp could also go with a 4231, with Allen and Lucas in holding roles.

^ Sturridge: £30m-rated

Author: Jaimie K


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