Klopp’s Selectional Decisions
Posted by Craig Muncey | Published on April 13, 2016
A fantastic European night awaits us on Thursday night at Anfield, the tie is evenly balanced after the score draw last week. Dortmund know they need a goal, so everything is in place for great viewing for both sets of fans. Now Jurgen Klopp needs to make some well thought out decisions on team selection.
Defensively, the team pretty much pick themselves, Simon Mignolet is nailed down first choice goalkeeper for remainder of season, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren were both excellent in the first leg in Germany, so should continue in the middle of the defence, with Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno in the full back positions, however, the biggest decisions Klopp has is in midfield and attack.
Unfortunately for Jordan Henderson he will miss the tie due to an injury suffered in the first leg, so an enforced change will have to happen. His replacement on the night was Joe Allen, who came on and played very well. Allen was assured in possession, his passing was crisp and accurate and he also closed the opposition down in midfield with his pressing, in summing up a very assured performance. So therefore does it just follow that Allen will replace Henderson?
It really all depends on whether Klopp feels he needs a more defensive shield playing on the night against a dangerous Dortmund side especially on the counter attack. If he does then his train of thought may will shift towards Lucas Leiva being brought in if fully fit, or another option could be Kevin Stewart, who played on the weekend against Stoke, and put in a strong disciplined performance in a defensive midfield position.
Attacking options also Klopp has a few decisions to think over, similarly to central midfield, this is a nice position for the manager to be in, he now has players playing well, so a bit of a luxury. Daniel Sturridge scored twice on the weekend and looked sharp in front of goal, does he start? Divock Origi, who was outstanding in the first leg, came on in the second half on the weekend, and linked up well with Sturridge, Origi also got on the score sheet again as he did in the first leg. So does he start instead of or alongside Sturridge?
Roberto Firmino is still coming back from injury but is available so does he start in a lone striker role, or one of the link players between attack and midfield?, the roles that Philipe Coutinho and Adam Lallana have been filling very well. Also what about Sheyi Ojo? Who in moments such as his creative work for Sturridge’s goal shows the ability this young player has.
The balance of the side has to be right on Thursday night, we cannot leave ourselves too exposed defensively but also need to be able to ask them questions defensively, where in the first leg, Liverpool caused them quite a few problems. I am sure Klopp will get it right, but for what it’s worth this would be my match day side to strive to get Liverpool into the Europa Cup semi finals.
GK – Mignolet
RB – Clyne
LB – Moreno
CB – Lovren
CB – Sakho
CM – Allen
CM – Can
CM – Milner
AM – Coutinho
AM – Lallana
ST – Origi
Ward, Toure, Lucas, Firmino, Sturridge, Smith, Ojo