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Burnley, 05-12-18, PL (A)

What a stroke of luck we got in the derby, cheers pickford and Origi of course. Disgraceful that Klopp has been charged over his celebration, what moriniho did last week was much worse but no charge for him, anyway, onto the team.

Is it time to give Firmino a rest and bench him for a game or two, i think so, he's been way off form all season, we have Studge, Origi and Solanke who can come in and give Klopp something else to think about but i'm screwed if i know which one although i am leaning towards Solanke so i'll start him in my team. We should leave the back 4 as against everton and i'm going to pick Shaqiri, Fabinho and Keita again as my midfield as i think this will be our future midfield and a great one so let's get them gelling together and two nice games coming up to try it out against burnley and bournemouth.

                                                             Alisson

                                              Arnold    Gomez   VVD  Robertson

                                                  Shaqiri   Fabinho   Keita

                                                   Salah    Solanke  Mane

This team or close to it should be too strong for the likes of burnley and bournemouth, Klopp may bring Hendo straight back in after his suspension but whatever team he puts out we should be too strong for burnley, i expect all 3points for sure, best of luck RedMen.

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  • That was a hard earned win with a much rotated starting line-up. The first half in particular was disjointed but the second was much better even before we went behind. The big plus for me was how well Keita played even in the first half. Hopefully this match will be a turning point for him and with Fabinho also nicely settled now, the midfield is looking stronger. The big negative of course is the injury to Gomez. I guess Matip and Lovren will be challenging for a regular start while he is out. Neither is up to Gomez' level but a least Matip looked solid in the second half after a bit of a nervous first half display. It's good to see that we are 6 points ahead of third place after Chelsea lost but overtaking City is going to be mighty difficult.
    • I've got to be honest, I wasn't overly happy when the team sheet went up and we'd made seven changes, so many changes are often self-defeating. The way we played in the first half was probably no surprise to anyone. The second half was a pleasant surprise, especially when Salah and Firmino came on. When they started to interact with Sturridge and Shaqiri there was some really nice fluidity to our play, like we saw last season. I thought the midfield was encouraging because in a weird way they kind of compliment each other - Keita wants to drive forward, Henderson usually sits back, and Fabinho can switch between the two positions. Whether it was by accident or design the unit did seem to function well. Alisson was fantastic, I thought, the way he recycles the ball is so much better than previous keepers and his positional instincts are spot on - worth every penny. Gomez fracturing his ankle was a big negative, he'll miss nine matches we're being told. At least it wasn't a muscle or ligament issue, it could've been longer otherwise. But overall, the result was a step forward.
      • Just as a side note, I mentioned before the game that Sturridge could possibly play as a number ten if needed (I didn't realistically think it would happen) but in a weird coincidence he ended up at number ten behind Shaqiri, Firmino and Salah. He played a lovely pass from deep in the buildup to the third goal which shows he is capable of playing the provider role if asked to.
        • Sturridge played that role behind a main striker in pre-season and surprised me how well he did. He still managed to be our leading scorer pre-season despite playing deeper and showed a creativity I didn't think he had. He is probably better fitted for that role now at this stage of his career than as the main striker though he can't expect to be ahead of Firmino, especially when the Brazilian rediscovers his best form.
          • I'd forgotten about pre-season, I can remember now he did well then. I wouldn't be surprised (now that he is losing his pace) if he ended up in that role somewhere, maybe on the continent, because he knows instinctively where a forward would like to see the ball played.
  • Definitely hard to predict the line up. Robertson and Mane have minor injuries so may not start. I would give Origi a start and would rest Firmino. I think Fabinho has done enough to earn another start but I would like to see one of Henderson or Milner in midfield as this is likely to be a match where we have to win the battle before we can impose our superiority. I would hold back Keita for the Bournemouth game.
    • Seems very doubtful that Mane and Robertson will play so maybe Origi/Solanke will get a chance up front and we may also have to suffer another game with Moreno at LB unless he decides to put Milner back there which is unlikely. I'd much rather he pushed Gomez over and brought Lovren in beside VVD, anything to avoid having Moreno on the pitch.
  • To be honest, I'm really not sure what the team is likely to be for this game, Klopp will no doubt make changes but where and how many is a hard one to guess. Lovren and Moreno must be getting their hopes up along with Sturridge, Solanke and Origi, and the everchanging midfield is almost impossible to predict these days. If Klopp continues with the 4-2-3-1 I'd stick Origi up top - he'll be full of positivity and that's like rocket fuel for a striker. It's a difficult call as to whether Firmino needs to play himself into form or take a break, Klopp usually prefers the former to the latter, but in either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 Sturridge could take Firmino's place - Sturridge has on rare occasions played in the number ten role and he's more flexible than people give him credit for. That may be a change too far for Klopp but it's a thought. I personally hope Klopp doesn't make too many changes as it disrupts the continuity within the team.
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