28 Oct 2017

Liverpool vs. Huddersfield: Premier League - Confirmed Teams

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Sturridge.

SUBS: Karius, Klavan, Robertson, Can, Grujic, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke.

So: after the defence was absolutely torn apart by Spurs, with the likes of Lovren, Matip, and Mignolet sabotaging the team with schoolboy mistakes, Klopp's innovative solution is to...play exactly the same defensive unit again? Genius! I now understand why Klopp is so revered by endlessly deluded Liverpool fans.

Selecting the same dysfunctional back-four is symptomatic of Klopp's one-eyed approach; the German is a one-trick pony, and he's underlined that yet again with his choices today. The worst part of this decision is that it sends a message that there are no consequences for massive underperformance! Matip, Lovren, and Mignolet (amongst others) were diabolical against Spurs, but they still keep their places? Ridiculous.

This decision also gives Huddersfield a massive boost, and I'm sure their players will be licking their lips in anticipation of going up against Lovren, Matip et al.

Klopp has really screwed Lovren here. The pressure to perform without error is intolerable, and if the Croatian makes another mistake, the barrage of criticism will be incredibly destructive. Plus, what is Klopp going to do if Lovren has another 'mare? Sub him off again before half-time?!

Of course, this is Huddersfield we're talking about, and on paper, Liverpool should be winning this game, and Klopp's acolytes will inevitably hail him as a genius if the Reds win today (i.e. Liverpool win a game they should be winning).

On a separate note: is Klopp about to switch to three at the back? He has the personnel to do it:

--------------- Mignolet
-- Gomez --- Matip --- Lovren
Milner ---------------------- Moreno
------- Henderson -- Wijnaldum
Salah ---------------------- Firmino
--------------- Sturridge

Whatever the formation, Firmino will almost certainly be out wide, which basically means Liverpool will be playing with 10 men. Plus, Sturridge will be forced to continually drop deep and drift out wide, which will also dull his effectiveness.

Ultimately, Klopp is taking a massive gamble here, but the disturbing thing is that he probably believes it's absolutely the right decision, which just shows his irretrievable stubbornness and inability to change/progress.

My preferred lineup for today would've been:

---------------- Ward
A.Arnold --- Gomez - Matip --- Robertson
--- Wijnaldum (DM) -- Milner
--- Salah --- Henderson --- Wilson
------------- Firmino

*UPDATE* Lovren apparently injured before kick-off and is replaced by Klavan. Injured before kickoff?! Believe that, and you'll believe anything. Klopp either changed his mind, or Lovren asked to be left out, probably due to - shock horror - not being in the right state of mind.


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