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KRC Genk, 23-10-19 CL (A)

Previous game against Manure was very disappointing but it’s over and dusted. Now we focus with this game and we have conceded 5 goals in our two Champions League matches which can be worrying with our defence. I don't think it's a good time to bring back Salah and it's best to keep him for the Tottenham game. Maybe the team could do with a shake up for this encounter and my choice of players and formation (4-3-1-2) is:

Alisson

Arnold - Matip - VVD - Robertson

Keita- Fabinho - Milner

Ox

Firminho - Mane

Best of luck Red Men.

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  • I have been calling for Keita or Oxlade-Chamberlain to be included in Liverpool teams to give us extra creativity but I hadn't expected both to play. It was a gamble that paid off in the end but it could have gone wrong if Genk had taken their first half chances. They both did pretty well on the ball and Ox scored two good goals, but when out of possession they did not press and cover in the same way that Henderson and Wijnaldum do, especially in that first half. Still it was good to see them both get game time and it gives us more options going forwards.

    When criticising the defence one has to look at what protection it was receiving from the midfield and apart from Fabinho this was fairly non-existent in the first half. I thought VVD had an outstanding game. He hasn't received the same level of praise this season as last but is that just because we expect him to be immaculate now? Lovren was having solid game but then at the end he reminded us in the lead up to their goal why Matip (and going forward Gomez) are ahead of him in the pecking order.

    We are now in a good position to qualify though Napoli will take us all the way for top spot.
    • For me (and it's probably me being pedantic) the issue isn't the defenders as such, on the whole they've been good so far this season, the issue is a vulnerability in the way they're set up. With our back line playing so high we rely heavily on the offside trap, and getting it right, because if the ball is dropped in behind us the attackers have the advantage of already moving forward whereas our defence has to turn. When I say our defence has to tighten up I mean that the way Klopp is asking them to play requires a pretty high level of co-ordination when the ball gets in behind them and judging by recent matches they aren't always synchronised.
  • A game of good moments rather than a great performance. The second half was better than the first but they'd worked out from the start we were vulnerable to balls hit over the top behind us. Some of our regulars were a bit sloppy which didn't help the players that were brought in for this game. Oxlade-Chamberlain made the most of his opportunity. The four goals were top quality, and from more than one source, which is positive but considering who we'll be playing over the next month we've really got to tighten up defensively (and I don't like the fact teams seem to have worked out they can hit balls in behind us since we started playing this very high line).
  • Here's the line up for the game. Alisson, Milner, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Keita, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Milner takes right back and Lovern to take Matip's place. Keita and OX takes over Henderson and Gini
  • As Huytonian said Arnold and Matip are out so Lovren and Gomez should come in. I'd give Salah 45 maybe an hour, get him some game time before the spurs game, their back to winning ways tonight which will boost their confidence for our game. The midfield is most likely what Klopp will pick, i'm all for Kieta getting a start, we need to get him up to speed asap to give us another option in midfield.
  • Alexander-Arnold and Matip are out so Gomez and Lovren are likely to return. Salah is fit but may not be risked. Not sure about your formation (I would suggest a diamond if Salah doesn't play) but that looks a decent side against a team that should not cause us too many problems. Having said that they held Napoli so we will have to respect them.
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