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RB Salzburg 10-12-19 (A)

They gave us a scare last time when we met them at Anfield after we threw away a 3-0 lead and eventually we got over the line with Salah’s winning goal to make it 4-3. I do expect this to be an open game of full flowing football from both attacking teams. This is an important game that we cannot afford to lose and a draw will send us through to the last 16.

I don’t know if Lovern is 100% match fit due to knock from last weekend’s game against Bournemouth and it’s possible that Gomez will take his place instead. Gini Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane should return to the starting 11 because they were rested over the weekend. I do expect the usual front line of Mane, Firmino and Salah. The defence may be different but it depends on Lovern’s fitness and the midfield which would be the main area of which players will take those positions and this may be the team for this encounter:

Alisson

TAA - Gomez - VDD - Robertson

Henderson - Oxlade Chamberlain - Wijnaldum

Salah - Firmino - Mane

If Lovern is 100% fit then he can take his place beside VVD instead of Gomez. This is an early game and the kick off time is at 5:55 PM (GMT) and best of luck Redmen.

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  • The first twenty minutes were as predicted, end to end, but then Liverpool calmed things down, you could literally see the players gesturing to each other to slow the pace of the game down. We had so many decent chances the tie should've been put to bed earlier, the forwards seemed a bit edgy and I don't think the choices they were making were right much of the time. Great to see Keita get the opener, that'll keep his momentum going, and trust Salah to miss half a dozen easy chances but then score one that was almost geometrically impossible. Salzburg deflated after that which saved us from the usual last minutes of torment. I thought the standout players were Alisson, VvD and the midfield three because the spine of the team really managed to bring under control a very dangerous goal machine that could've overwhelmed us had we let them. Looking forward to the next round, I notice we could possibly draw Real Madrid so knowing our luck that's who we'll get.
    • I agree those were the standout players. I was particularly impressed with Keita. I love the way he seems to glide over the grass. He offers something the other midfielders don't - as well as being the best at linking midfield with attack he gets into the opposition box and knows how to score. Having him and Ox back fit gives us great new options. It was a pity about Lovren's injury though. I could not see the sense in playing him and taking the risk after his problem at Bournemouth. Gomez was perfectly capable of deputising as he showed when he took over. Now we will have to hope Gomes and VVD keep fit at least until Lovren or Matip returns.
      • I get the feeling Klopp thinks Gomez's confidence is rather fragile because he's doing everything but put him in the center of defence for ninety minutes. That ridiculous situation with Sterling didn't help, by all accounts Gomez felt really devastated about being booed by the England fans. Physically speaking, I can't see why he hasn't come in for Lovren earlier, he appears to be fully fit so the issue must be one of mentality. I think Klopp doesn't want to put him in before he feels he's ready because if he was to make a mistake that cost us a game it would send his confidence back to square one. Personally, I feel Gomez had done alright so far and it's got to the stage where you have to throw him in and see if he sinks or swims. I tend to think he'll be alright once he gets back into the rhythm of games.
        • He has no choice but to throw Gomez in now. Gomez showed how good he can be before he suffered that broken leg. I see no reason why he could not quickly reach that level again. He has looked assured in central defence against both Bournemouth and Salzburg when called upon.
          • Yeah, I agree.
  • The team has been announced:

    Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

    Subs: Adrian, Milner, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Origi, Jones.

    I thought Klopp might work Milner into the team somewhere but he's gone for Keita which mkes sense as he's played in the stadium many times and he's a bit more of an attacking threat. Otherwise as expected
    • I really hope Keita steps up, i've almost given up on him but his showing against bournemouth has rekindled a bit of hope that he might still come good.
      • Given the high stakes of the game Klopp is certainly taking a calculated risk but his judgement has been spot on recently so I'm putting my faith in him.
        • I suppose he can't come any better than scoring a goal.
  • This is like a mini cup final really, neither side can afford to lose it and judging by the comments coming from the squad they fully comprehend the gravity of the situation. The thing with Salzburg is they can be fantastic in spells but not whole games which is why their matches seem to end up with wacky scorelines. Our first match against them was the one game this season when VvD was genuinely run ragged by an attacker yet we still won it, they're a very strange side. My feeling is Sulzburg will try and make the game hectic and erratic so to counter that Klopp will probably put out an experienced side, with Lovren in defence and Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum in midfield. He'll have the likes of Ox, Origi, Shakiri and Keita to call on if things go against us but I reckon Klopp might well start with the normal defence, the experienced midfield and the usual front three. Given how unpredictable Klopp's teams have been lately I'm probably wrong but if I had to place a bet that's the team I'd go with.
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