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City, 03-01-19, PL (A)

Time for the big game, could it be a title decider, not for me, we can afford to lose and still win the lge, of course we want to keep that winning mentality going, last thing we need now is a knock to our confidence but i just can't see it happening, i think we'll beat city and go on to lift the title.

The midfield as always is so hard to predict but i'm tempted to go for a less attacking midfield and more of a holding/defensive one and hence why i'm putting Hendo and Fabinho in alongside Wijnaldum, all 3 have been excellent recently although Fabinho can be hot and cold. I'm twixed between Arnold or Clyne for RB but think i'll hedge for Arnold who's better at getting up and down the flank i feel. I desperately want to start Shaqiri but who of the front 3 do you take out, if i was forced to choose it would be Mane, Salah and Firmino are on fire right now so they deffinitely start or maybe take Wijnaldum out and start Shaqiri, either i would be happy with as their in great form right now.

                                                     Alisson

                                    Arnold   Lovren   VVD   Robertson

                                      Hendo    Fabinho   Wijnaldum

                                         Salah     Firmino    Mane

Like i said, i'd love Shaqiri to get a start here but if the team Klopp puts out is similar to the above i'll be happy. This game is a great chance to put this title to bed i feel and maybe Klopp will think the same and play a more attacking team and i'd be quite happy with that as well. The very best of luck RedMen.       PS.     Happy New Year Gents, have a great night whatever you do!

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  • I can't complain about the team selection as it was the one I had forecast but I'm thinking now that for future games against big teams Fabinho needs to start and that the 4-2-3-1 formation would give us more creativity. Its always a balance between putting out a functional midfield or a more creative one against these big teams but I think its time to show a bit of courage and go for the creativity. We still lack that top player to link attack and defence even though Shaqiri has done a good job there and I can understand why Klopp wanted Fekir in the summer. Hopefully we will be in the market for someone similar in the close season.
    • I expected 2 players to go out on loan but the surprising thing is Solanke was sold to Bournemouth instead. A permanent transfer sealed the deal of £19M to Bournemouth is quite a lot of money for a young player that hasn’t played much and scored one goal for us. Unless there is a buy back or sell on clause in the contract?

      I think under one of the rules from the FA. One club cannot take 2 players on loans from another club, so I wonder was buying Solanke for that amount of money was part of the deal to sign Clyne on loan for the rest of the season?

      I am aware he was out for a long time but we’re still an RB short and Moreno is not reliable. Yes Milner can play at LB, RB and MF but still it’s a risk to take when short of a RB and still a long way left in this season. Maybe there’s a new RB on the radar and perhaps the club is brining one in?

      There’s a defender I like to see on our books, Koulibaly from Napoli but he’s a central defender and maybe a good partner for VVD. Are there any updates on Gomez and Matip with the recovery process?
      • Solanke has a buy back clause in the contract
    • I really don't think Klopp could've started the game with a 4-2-3-1, it was just too risky. We had Trent on the right who has been a bit hot and cold of late and next to him we had Lovren who can also be somewhat unpredictable (to say the least). Putting two holding midfielders in place to shield this particular back four against an attack of City's ability would've been asking an awful lot for ninety minutes. I think there's a reasonable argument that the three who started should've have been Henderson-Fabinho-Wijnaldum as I'm not convinced Milner was really fully fit for a game of this pace. If Klopp wanted to then switch to a 4-2-3-1 later in the game he'd just have to move Wijnaldum into the attacking three, which of course he did after subbing Milner for Fabinho. By that stage in the game legs were starting to tire and Liverpool were in with a real chance of getting a result, moving to a 4-2-3-1 was more of an acceptable risk. We have been blitzed by City in the past and it's easy to find yourself out of the game before you know it, I can understand why Klopp would try to make sure we were still in the game at halftime by playing more defensively. In the end though, even after a change in formation and the inclusion of Fabinho, we didn't convert enough of the chances we did create and that is ultimately why we lost.
      • We have big matches in the next few months against United, Bayern, Spurs and Chelsea and it will be interesting to see which formation Klopp uses for those games. Hopefully Gomez will be back and fully firing by then which should mean the back 4 need less protection. Incidentally I was surprised that we let Solanke go to Bournemouth on a permanent transfer. I thought he had potential but maybe Klopp saw something he didn't like. Also letting Clyne go on loan to the Cherries seems a bit strange as he has done well covering both full back positions recently.
        • Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Klopp playing a 4-2-3-1 (in fact, it seems to suit many of our players) but I think it's understandable why against the toughest opponents he switches to his most defensive midfield three to contain the game. City managed to score two goals in open play when our bias was more towards compactness and defence, imagine what could've happened had we been more attacking and expansive - the game might not have been quite so close.

          I was very surprised to see Solanke go, especially with Sturridge's injury record. I suppose Klopp feels Firmino, Sturridge and Origi is enough cover for the number nine position. Solanke is at the point where he needs regular first team games to progress so I can understand him looking elsewhere. It's a shame though, he looked promising, especially for England. I find the Clyne move less understandable. Again, it's obviously for regular football but we're hardly overflowing with replacements at fullback, even more so should Moreno depart during this window. This probably explains why Milner was used at fullback recently when there was a fit Clyne on the bench.
          • I can understan Solanke going but surely Clyne going on loan means we must have a RB coming in and an upgrade on what we already have, otherwise whats the point in letting Clyne go.
            • Fabinho was playing at Right back at Monaco as well as in midfield , so you have trent , robertson milner fabinho also gomez if needed with Matip or lovren to play alongside virgil if gomez is needed on the right. We have ample cover in midfield if either milner or Fabinho moves backwards
              • That's all well and good mate but i'd much prefer we played our players in their best position, Fabinho =HM, Gomez=CB, Robertson=LB, Milner can play at RB and do a good job but it's not his best position which is in midfield. I know at times needs must but i'd rather see players be masters of one trade than a jack of them all, if you understand what i mean.
                • To be honest, a lot of what's happening probably comes down to Klopp's sense of fairness. He knows he can only reasonably ask a player to watch from the sidelines for so long before he has to decide whether to play them regularly or move them on. Klavan was the perfect example of a back-up player but even he got moved on in the end. I don't think Klopp likes to allow players to get too frustrated, it's not good for the player or the squad. When it comes to replacements I don't think Klopp is as bothered about players playing in multiple positions as we are, we might just have to put up with it. There's talk that the youngster Ki Jana Hoever will be brought up into the main squad and he's a promising right back. I'm doubtful we'll see another right back signed this transfer window.
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