22 Aug 2016

Legend Insists: Liverpool must make 4 changes vs Burton and 'amazing' £30m star should 'start' alongside Origi

After Saturday's capitulation at Burnley, Liverpool have the chance to get back to winning ways against Burton Albion, and according to Reds legend John Aldridge, Jurgen Klopp should ring the changes for Tuesday's League Cup clash.

In his Monday column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldo explained:

"I'd go with two up top in Sturridge and Origi. Elsewhere, chances for Matip and Grujic, maybe a young lad like Trent Alexander-Arnold as well".

Injuries notwithstanding, Klopp should field a team that is as close to his preferred starting XI as it's possible to get. Given the reduced fixture list (and the looming international break), building rhythm and rapport is vital, especially in defence (!), and with Spurs to come on Saturday, it's surely important to field a team that's comfortable playing together.

Liverpool's strongest team should (in theory) annihilate Burton, and a big win will boost the club's confidence going into the game at White Hart Lane. As such, forget mass changes - Klopp (arguably) needs to consistently field his strongest (available) XI, and my only hope is that he starts playing aces in their places. My preferred team for Burton:

------------- Mignolet
Clyne --- Matip -- Lovren ---- Klavan
--------------- Can
-------------- Hendo
Milner ------ Wijnaldum ---- Coutinho
------------- Firmino

* Klavan has played left-back for Augsburg and Estonia. If Matip is fit, then this is a no-brainer. Moreno is a busted-flush, and playing Milner at left-back is simply not a solution. Call me crazy, but Klavan is a left-footed defender, and it makes sense to player a left-footed defender at left-back (!)

* Klopp should convert Can into a full-time DM. This is an obvious move, and if Klopp isn't going down this route then he needs to sign a dedicated DM. Unfortunately, Can is a glory-seeker; a legend in his own mind who wants to be the Gerrard-esque main-main. Klopp will have to disavow him of this notion and ensure he retains positional discipline, and that (principally) means protecting the back four, breaking up opposition attacks, keeping it simple on the ball.

* Hendo is not a DM - he should he playing a little higher up the field where he can use his creative talents, and 22 goals/assists in 2014-15 shows he has the end product (when utilised correctly).

* Forget Lallana. In the absence of Mane, Milner should play on the right side of midfield, and 21 goals/assists last season tells its own story. Milner works just as hard as Lallana, but his crossing and end product is superior.

* Wijnaldum has spent 80% of his career playing in more advanced roles (wide left/central attacking midfielder etc), and that's where he should be deployed for Liverpool. It is (IMO) utter negligence to play him as a deep-lying central midfielder, and his performances so far in that role show that it's a mistake.

* Firmino should play as a striker, or not at all. Sturridge is a superior striker, but he's not fully match-fit, and he appears to have lost some pace. In short, he's not the player he used to be, and Firmino arguably fits Klopp's infernal system better. Plus, the Brazilian's stats as a striker for LFC are excellent (21 goals/assists in 30 games).

Liverpool can't lose against Burton Albion...right?

^ Sturridge: £30m-rated. Described as 'amazing' by Lucas Leiva.


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