4 Mar 2017

Confirmed Teams: Klopp drops 'incredible' Brazilian; surprise on the bench; forgotten man returns

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made one change for today's must-win Premier League clash with Arsenal at Anfield.

LFC: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner, Wijnaldum, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino.

SUBS: Karius, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Lucas, Origi, Woodburn.

* Lucas drops to the bench, with Ragnar Klavan - dedicated central defender (fancy that!) replacing the Brazilian at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

* Lallana, Coutinho, and Firmino have each contributed just 2 goals/assists in the last 12 games, but all are rewarded yet again with another start. Competition for place is such a great thing, eh?

* Lovren is fit enough to make the bench, which is a mini-boost for Liverpool.

The bench is incredibly thin, and highlights the (self-inflicted) weakness of Liverpool's squad. There are very few experienced match-winners amongst on the subs bench, and if Liverpool are losing with 30 minutes to go, who is going to come into the game and make the difference?

Predicting a 2-1 victory for Liverpool, Reds legend Mark Lawrenson conceded that that the Reds are 'weak mentally' but suggested the Leicester game may be a turning point:

"Liverpool are still unbeaten against the other leading teams this season, and after the week they've had, wouldn't it just be typical of them to win it?".

Probable formation:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ---- Matip --- Klavan ---- Milner
----- Lallana -- Can ---- Wijnaldum
----- Mane --- Firmino -- Coutino

Expect Liverpool to tick to the usual script: race out of the block at incredible speed; incessantly press Arsenal high for the first 20 minutes, and then tail off as the players get knackered.

If (like Pochettino at Spurs) Wenger refuses to adapt his approach, Liverpool will slaughter Arsenal, and he'll have no one to blame but himself.

^ Lucas: Described last week as 'incredible' by Graham Le Saux


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