Don’t look now however Liverpool have slowly crept again into the race for a Champions League place after a dismal begin to the season. With losses by Newcastle United and Tottenham on Saturday, the Reds can climb inside two factors of fourth place. However with a vital match towards Manchester United on the Sunday, how can Jurgen Klopp make sure that his aspect avoids one other collapse like permitting 5 unanswered objectives to Actual Madrid in Champions League to lose their first leg within the spherical of 16 5-2 (you’ll be able to catch all of the Champions League motion solely on Paramount+).
Liverpool: Alisson; Andrew Robertson; Virgil van Dijk; Ibrahima Konate; Trent Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho; Jordan Henderson; Harvey Elliott; Mohamed Salah; Cody Gakpo; Darwin Nunez
Manchester United: David De Gea; Luke Shaw; Lisandro Martinez; Raphael Varane; Diogo Dalot; Fred; Casemiro; Marcus Rashford; Bruno Fernandes; Antony; Wout Weghorst
The protection has been barely higher as of late protecting 4 consecutive clear sheets within the Premier League however when three had been towards sides within the relegation battle and the opposite was towards a ten man Newcastle United aspect, these needs to be taken as a blip somewhat than a return to peak defensive type. Regardless of accidents, Liverpool’s assault has been positive scoring the sixth most objectives within the league, however the protection has been regarding when up towards high attackers like they’ll face in Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United.
It’s a twofold difficulty as Liverpool have allowed groups to play by way of the middle of the pitch, which is one thing that their press has prevented in previous seasons however after they combine it up and attempt to sit deep in addition they lose what they’re good at, nonetheless permitting objectives. The keys begin on the tip of the assault the place the lack of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich final summer time has modified their setup, as Darwin Nunez isn’t as aggressive a presser as Mane was.
That’s compounded by the fullbacks not having the identical degree of help they used to when Thiago isn’t taking part in, which has been loads. He’s solely been obtainable for twenty-four of the membership’s 37 matches to date this season. And he received’t be match to face Manchester United because of now lacking time because of a hip flexor harm. Younger midfielder Stefan Bajcetic has stepped up as of late to regular the ship, however lining up towards Manchester United, it would take extra than simply him to maintain issues going.
The excellent news is that Diogo Jota will assist each with the press and having a extra fluid from three, possible on the expense of Cody Gakpo. Gakpo has scored two objectives within the Premier League since becoming a member of Liverpool, however not being a real 9, he can get caught in related areas advert Darwin Nunez.
Jota, has performed everywhere in the entrance three and discovered to accommodate Mane floating inside, so his presence permits a freer utilization of area for Nunez whereas additionally including one other inventive attacker to assist feed Mohamed Salah. Alone it received’t be sufficient to defeat Manchester United, but when Liverpool can catch United on an off day whereas additionally ending their possibilities, a Nunez, Jota, and Salah entrance three will be the important thing to success.
It received’t cease Marcus Rashford from slicing inside towards Trent Alexander-Arnold or Wout Weghorst from occupying the middle backs however at this stage of the season, protection needs to be an afterthought for the Reds. With United’s self-belief to get again into any match, Jurgen Klopp might want to flip up the assault and put as many objectives previous David De Gea as potential. It wouldn’t be a significant shift for the squad from a press pleased method however to topple high sides, Liverpool wants to acknowledge their deficiencies and canopy for them.