Jurgen Klopp enjoys a little more choice in team selection for Bournemouth match

Jurgen Klopp
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Liverpool welcomed back three players to full training this week to give manager Jurgen Klopp some much-needed options as The Reds prepare to meet Bournemouth at Anfield this weekend.

Club captain Jordan Henderson returned along with Gini Wijnaldum, and perhaps most importantly, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The 20-year-old right-back, Alexander-Arnold, hasn’t played since Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Brighton in mid-January. That game was also Liverpool’s last clean sheet.

The return of Wijnaldum and Henderson gives Klopp far greater options in the central third of the pitch and also means Liverpool’s bench will be of a superior quality than it was for the 1-1 draw at West Ham last Monday.

Klopp will have the choice of playing the 4-2-3-1 formation rather than the usual 4-3-3. Naby Keita could be deployed on the left of the line of three behind Mohamed Salah. Roberto Firmino could drop to the ’10’ role with Sadio Mané switching sides and heading to the right.

Wijnaldum and Fabinho would be a solid two-man base to the midfield which would provide much-needed protection for the recently shaky defence.

Joe Gomez is still out injured for now so the double-pivot in midfield would be the best option to help Joel Matip out.

With Wijnaldum’s energy and Fabinho’s line-breaking passes, there should be easy transitions from the Liverpool defensive third to the attacking quartet of Keita, Firmino, Mané and Salah. Also, Keita is more of an energiser bunny than anyone else in the attacking third so, even though he is slightly out of position, he can remedy that by making himself an extra option in midfield – dropping back deeper than the other forwards, especially when Liverpool are out of possession.

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  1. Absolutely no way. Keita mustn’t start. You play Firmino up top, Salah on the right, Mane on the left and Wini infront of Fabinho and Henderson/Milner. You also have the option of playing Fabinho in defense with VD as he looked a lot more solid when he played there the other day than Matip ever has. His reading of the game and decision making is far superior.

  2. Hi Bob, thanks for reading and your comment.
    I think Matip would be safe enough in defence if he has Fabinho and Henderson/Wijnaldum forming a two-man ‘blanket’ in front of him. You could be right, of course. Fabinho could well be played at centre-half.
    I think Milner is struggling for form and Naby Keita was our best player in the second half at West Ham. Let’s not write him off yet. He was the only one who looked capable of making a difference in the second half of Monday night’s game. I would prefer to see him play in the 4-3-3 allowing him to take his more natural place in central midfield but that normally means sacrificing the double-pivot so we’ll have to wait and see. It’ll be great to have Wijnaldum and Trent back as well as having the option of Henderson.


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