The Springboard To Something Big
Posted by Craig Muncey | Published on May 18, 2016
Tonight in Switzerland, Liverpool FC take on Sevilla for The Europa Cup, a chance to win a trophy plus the additional perk of a place at the top table of European club football, UEFA Champions League football next season.
For Liverpool, a European trophy is massive, but for me for this club to be competing on all fronts next season, qualification to the Champions League is even bigger. Jurgen Klopp and what he brings to the club includes pulling power to entice players to join his revolution, but if you include that pulling power plus the attraction of Champions League football, you can entice the higher profile footballers to the club, which if finances are right, and we are led to believe there are funds available, plus Klopp selling a few current players, and his knowledge and his coaches knowledge of the type of players they want to bring in, this really could be a match which if they win, could change everything at the club for the next few years.
Their opponents tonight Sevilla, have not as per Liverpool, had a great league season, however, again as per Liverpool, have got to two cup finals this season. Sevilla play Barcelona on Sunday night in the Copa Del Rey. Sevilla, have some very good players and Liverpool will have to be on their game tonight. Defensively, Sevilla are not great from what I have seen, their best defender is Adil Rami, a French international centre back, who has played for Valencia and AC Milan in the past, is prone to the odd error or two.
Sevilla’s strengths are in midfield and in attack. They play with two strong working holding midfielders in Polish international Gryzegorz Krychowiak and Steven Nzonzi. Krychowiak is a very good player and Nzonzi we all know about from his Blackburn and Stoke City days in the EPL. In front of those Sevilla will probably player Yevheniy Konoplyanka, Ever Banega and Vitolo. Konoplyanka is a player I admire, and I player I was hoping Liverpool would purchase 2 seasons ago, he has been injured, but is due to be fit for the final. The player is very quick, has ability to score a goal or two and is very dangerous on the counter attack. Banega, is a very skillful playmaker, who has caught the eye of many a top European club, he is moving to Inter Milan this summer, and given time on the ball can be very dangerous. Vitolo also has a good turn of pace and had provided many chances for the club this season. In attack, Sevilla will play French star, Kevin Gameiro, who has been in excellent form this season, scoring 16 goals in the league, Gameiro’s form has been so good, he has kept out of the side, Spanish international, Fernando Llorente, a good centre forward in his own right. Gameiro, has good movement and is an excellent finisher, given the chance.
Lot of talk that Liverpool will start with Emre Can and James Milner as the two predominant central midfielders with then Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philipe Coutinho in front of them, Liverpool have to be careful don’t get overrun in midfield, Krychowiak and Nzonzi are a good combination and Banega does slot back into the midfield often, many times in previous years has played just in front of his defence, dictating play. Liverpool may put some thought into adding another midfielder in there such as a Joe Allen or depending on his fitness, Jordan Henderson, to give a bit more solidity, this would then mean Lallana or Firmino missing out from the starting line up. Liverpool have to be careful, as when Sevilla attack they do with pace and conviction.
It promises to be a fantastic night, and just writing this the butterflies are going, God knows what I will be like by time of kick off, but I do fancy Klopp and the boys to get the victory, a trophy and a Champions League spot, and then onto a very busy summer recruitment programme!
How I would line up tonight.