12 Aug 2017

Watford vs. Liverpool: Confirmed Teams

After an underwhelming summer of transfer (in)activity, Liverpool return to Premier action today against Watford, and with the future of Philippe Coutinho hanging in the balance, the pressure is on for Jurgen Klopp to deliver a positive result to kick start an already troubled the season.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino

SUBS: Karius, Klavan, Gomez, Milner, Grujic, Solanke, Origi

WATFORD: Gomes (GK) (c); Janmaat, Kaboul, Britos, Holebas; Chalobah, Doucouré; Amrabat, Cleverley, Pereyra; Okaka

* After an impressive pre-season (spurred on by being at risk of being dumped replaced in the squad, and/or being sold) Alberto Moreno is restored to the starting lineup.

* Meanwhile, there's no sign of Andy Robertson in the starting lineup, which seems strange considering he doesn't appear to be injured. So much for signing a new left-back!

* James Milner is relegated to the bench, and Alexander-Arnold comes in at right-back to replace the injured Nathaniel Clyne.

* Coutinho is allegedly injured, but with Salah, Firmino and Mane in the starting lineup, the Reds have good attacking cover.

* One thing that stands out (again) is the weakness of the bench. Milner aside, there's very little experience available, and as for genuine match-winners? Forget it.

Quite simply, this is a must-win game, and the last thing Liverpool need is to start the season underperforming against a so-called 'lesser' team, something that has persistently plagued the club.

Overall, Salah aside, the team has not improved in the slightest (IMO), and one first-team upgrade is not enough to make the difference over a season. It may not even be enough to make a difference today.

Even without Coutinho, there's no excuse for a bad result today. Man-for-man, Liverpool have vastly superior quality in most (if not all) positions. Klopp's grossly overpaid players must deliver. End of story.


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