Liverpool play Middlesbrough to restart title challenge
Liverpool travel north to Middlesbrough in the mid-week Premier League game. With Jurgen Klopp hoping to get his title challenge back on track. The team received a small boost after their neighbours, Everton beat Arsenal 2-1 on Tuesday night. Much to the surprise to a lot of people!
With Liverpool only gaining 1 point out of a possible 6 available against Bournemouth and West Ham United they really need to ensure they travel back home tonight with the full 3 points in the bag. Anything else will just simply not be enough.The Premier League’s lowest goalscorers against the highest. Surely this means that it’s going to be an away win?
The team will pretty much pick itself tonight. This is more of a reflection on the lack of depth and injuries rather than keeping a winning team.
With Coutinho and Ings injured, we will continue our front three of Origi, Firmino and Mane. There has been talk that Firmino will switch to his central role. A role that brought us success earlier in the season, with Origi playing in the wide left position. Here he can still utilise his skill, pace and power, but we’ll also have the craft and vision of Firmino leading. Can is injured still, so this will mean that we will likely play Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lallana. We will need Lallana to be at the top of his game to provide that extra creative spark that has been missing with Coutinho out injured. Lovren is also still suffering with his hamstring injury, so we’ll likely see Klavan replace him like he did at half-time against West Ham. This will give us a back four of Milner, Klavan, Matip and Clyne.
Loris Karius is under scrutiny however is still likely to start against Middlesbrough. This is definitely the correct move from Klopp.
Klopp’s thoughts before the game
“We had two games which we should have won but we didn’t, that cost us five points but it’s our mistake, let’s carry on, take the good things and sort the not-so-good things.”
“We are a real good football-playing side but it is always about the balance of risk and protection. “We need to be protecting, especially when you are in the lead there is absolutely no reason for taking the highest risk.”