Liverpool host Man Utd for Saturday lunchtime kick-off
Liverpool will be without star man Sadio Mané against Man Utd at Anfield for the Saturday lunchtime match.
Having been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring problem sustained on international duty Klopp has a lot of work to do to ensure we are competitive enough for what will be a massive battle.
Last season between the two heavyweights Anfield witnessed an uneventful goalless draw where Mourinho drove a double decker bus and just parked it on the pitch.
This season it will be different especially with suggestions Mourinho will play with attacking intent this time round.
“I play with one defender and nine strikers, don’t worry about It, we play with one guy behind and then we go with a new system and we play with nine strikers.”
Maximising current squad
With Mané missing the question is how does Klopp utilise his current squad to address the loss whilst keeping the usual attacking threat.
It’s obvious we have no suitable wide man, so why play with one? Why not have Coutinho sitting behind a front two. Causing devastation from an advanced role that isn’t wide woukd be instrumental.
Who would be the three behind him to prop up the defence and allow the attack to continue. Oxlade-Chamberlain is a talent, however with his indifferent start to his Anfield career he needs a cuddle, not thrust into this game. I may be wrong, Klopp may select him to start, however I’d opt for Wijnaldum and Can with Henderson sitting deep.
Oxlade-Chamberlain can make an impact later in the game when it is go for broke. As can Sturridge and Solanke.
At the back is where we have struggled for what seems like a long while. However I’d expect a Mignolet in goal with Moreno, Lovren, Matip and Gomez in front of him.
Mignolet; Moreno, Lovren, Matip, Gomez; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can; Coutinho; Firmino, Salah.
Even the stats are against us
Liverpool are winless in six Premier League games against Manchester United (D2 L4), their worst run since an eight-match winless run against the Red Devils between 2004 and 2008.
Manchester United have won three of their last five Premier League visits to Anfield (W3 D1 L1) and have kept clean sheets in their last two games there. Interestingly Jurgen Klopp has lost just one of his seven competitive meetings with Jose Mourinho as a manager (W3 D3 L1).
Currently Liverpool have just 12 points from seven games this season. Losing this game will mean that they will have the same number of points as they did from eight games in 2015-16 (12), which saw Brendan Rodgers sacked from his position as Liverpool manager.
Now I’m not for any minute suggesting that will happen – far from it. We are still on a journey. Merely mentioning it just highlights how much work we need to do.