Mizgan Ahmed on October 23,2015
After a disappointing draw against Rubin Kazan, focus quickly shifts to the weekend clash with Southampton. Liverpool were made to huff and puff by a Russian side who are 12th in their league and were down to 10 men for more than an hour. The home side just couldn’t breakdown a well-schooled defense in the second half.
Now we move on to Liverpool’s weekend Premier League clash with Southampton. Saints are coming to Anfield after a win and a draw against Chelsea and Leicester respectively. Against Chelsea, Saints were deadly on counter attack which was built mainly around a quick Sadio Mane and channel runs by Ward-Prowse and Pelle, Senegal man was a constant threat to likes of Terry, Cahill and Ivanovic. Ronald Koeman generally sets up his side for high pressing game but with speed of Mane and runs of Pelle and Ward-Prowse on counters benefits him to set up a counter-attacking style whenever they are pegged in their own half in big away games. So, Koeman can also set his side for counter-attacking play in games like these and Liverpool have to be vary of this.
For Liverpool, its about getting the combination right and go on with the business. Klopp is still searching for his first win in charge of Liverpool and he will be desperately wanting to win it in the weekend. Klopp again started with 4-3-3 formation for Europa game with Allen replacing Lucas the only change from the team that played Spurs last weekend. Allen was deployed as a defensive midfielder with Can and Milner ahead of him in three man midfield. In the front three, it was the same combination of Lallana, Coutinho and Origi leading the line. Benteke was brought on in the second half and for around 10 minutes Liverpool had two strikers on the pitch which looked threatening. So Klopp can think of Origi and Benteke combination for weekend game.
He can basically go for a 4-3-1-2 with Firmino or Countinho behind Benteke and Origi or a 4-3-2-1 with Coutinho and Firmino behind Benteke. Lucas is expected to return to starting line up as a defensive midfielder with Can and Milner ahead of him, the backline is expected to be the same with Mignolet between the sticks. He can also put Coutinho in a slightly deeper role with two central midfielders and Coutinho being in the tip of that triangle, which would mean that either Milner or Can has to be placed in further role. The midfield triangle can be Lucas and Can as defensive midfielders and Coutinho in the tip with Can getting luxury to move forward more regularly, Milner and Firmino just behind Benteke or just Firmino behind Benteke and Origi.
So, lots of tactical problems to sort out for Klopp as he searches for his best 11 and the right combination between them but return of Firmino and Benteke certainly has added options in the final third.