Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon for the 2nd installment of the Battle of between two heavy weights. Liverpool against Man Utd.
The last game Manchester United ‘parked the bus’ at Anfield, this time round i’m expecting a different encounter. After an initial period of uncertainty and let’s face it mocking where Jose Mourinho really struggled, he has now seemingly set Pogba ‘free’ and they have been winning games in a similar vein to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Klopp is very aware of the differences in the two teams performances. However he does question is there is anything to fear. “At this moment, anything is possible. It could be United are not at their best level and it’s just nobody knows about it yet. I don’t fear things like this. I’ve had enough time in the game to realise what happens,” he added. “We’ll be really ready for all the challenges!”
There are currently five points separating Liverpool in second and United in sixth.
Man Utd are difficult opponents
Man Utd work really hard, they like to play through the middle and recently opponents have also found them tough to break down. Liverpool need to be aware of what Pogba can do. His surging runs from deep makes it hard for people to track him. Firmino will have to bring his A-game with him to press the life out of Pogba. Henderson will hopefully be available too to recycle and attack Herrera starts in midfield.
Lallana and Wijnaldum will have a tough game denying any United player time on the ball. With Pogba’s 50-yard crossfield balls, we can’t be opened up too easily. As with a lot of games this season, the battle will be won in midfield.
Mourinho vs. Klopp
Two very different pit their tactical nous against each other. Mourinho is a manager who favours the specialists. Whilst Klopp is an advotate for multi-functional players, where he frequently chooses teams of players who could all occupy at least one other role in the side.
With Liverpool’s fluid movement, players can pop up in the striker’s spot. Firmino can drop deep or drag defenders out of position with decoy runs to the wings. Lallana and Wijnaldum like to ghost forward attacking the spaces made available. Pep Guardiola discovered this just recently; “There is not another team in the world attacking this way with so many players….inside.”
XI to face Man Utd
Picking the correct team will be so important tomorrow, in what could be our most important game of the season.
Karius – After such a good game against Southampton for me Karius has to start. His morale will be sky high. Klopp has to reward his great work with another run in the Premier League. The question is whether the Utd game is a game too early. It’s going to be a tough call.
Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner – Joel Matip should hopefully be able to return to the play against Utd. Should he fail a late fitness test then Klavan will be ready and available to start.
Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana – Probably Klopp’s hardest three working players will have their work cut out again. Henderson has been sorely missed. All of a sudden all the haters have been very quiet. Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. Lallana is the soul of the attacking play at the moment. He is just getting better and better, controlling the tempo and really influencing our play. Wijnaldum completes what is probably Klopp’s number one midfield.
Sturridge, Firmino, Coutinho – Does Klopp go with a specialist forward and choose Daniel Sturridge. He certainly believes he’s the best option: “I believe I’m the best striker Liverpool has; that’s my opinion”
Coutinho is back from injury now having played 30 mins against Southampton on Wednesday. Firmino is a guaranteed starter, leading the press.
It’s going to be a difficult game, I’m sure Klopp will relish the opportunity to show what he and his team can do.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.
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