14 Dec 2016

Liverpool XI vs. M'Boro: Double injury blow; €53m attacker out; 'fragile' star dropped?

With everyone and his dog calling for Loris Karius to be dropped, will Jurgen Klopp have the stones to drop his self-proclaimed 'number one' goalkeeper'?

In my view, Klopp should have the courage of his convictions and stick with Karius. There's no point publicly (and emphatically) backing him and then dropping him after a couple of shaky games.

Based only on his form this season, the argument that Mignolet didn't deserve to be dropped so soon is a fair one, but over a three year period, the Belgian has proven that he is not the long-term solution.

Klopp is a stubborn guy, and that is sometimes a hindrance, but in this instance, I think he's right to back Karius, and keep him in the team. Other pre-match news:

* Coutinho is out of the game, but is due back at the end of December.

* Klopp on Can: "His knee...ligament is a little bit damaged [and] it’s painful. He’s in doubt for Wednesday.”

* Klopp on Lovren: "The medical department told me it's a hamstring issue. We don’t know more about it in the moment.”

* According to the BBC: "Middlesbrough forward Alvaro Negredo is in contention to return from a hamstring strain but Gaston Ramirez remains out with a foot problem".

* Lawro's prediction (2-0 to LFC): "Boro do not pose much of an attacking threat. Liverpool usually do, but they were off the boil a bit in their draw against West Ham on Sunday".

Probable lineup:

-------------- Karius
Clyne ----- Matip - Klavan ---- Milner
----- Lallana - Hendo - Wijnaldum
------- Mane - Firmino - Origi

Firmino is most effective in a central role, and that's where he should play (IMO). One of either Origi and Firmino will have to play out wide, and Origi is the more effective player out there.

^ Karius: Described as 'fragile' by Jamie Redknapp. Coutinho: €53m-rated (CIES Football Observatory). Hailed as 'amazing' by Joel Matip.


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