After a losing 4-1 to Man City (a second consecutive loss after losing to Bournemouth), Jürgen Klopp rested Mohamed Salah, Virgin Van Djik, and Trent Alexander-Arnold for Liverpool’s midweek match against Chelsea. Needing a win to keep fading hopes of a top-four finish but resting key players? Keeping key players fresh ahead of a match against Arsenal? Clearly, Klopp’s move is a conspiracy with one goal: to deny us the Prem title.
The reality is probably a bit more nuanced than that. Salah, after all, scored the opening goal against City only to disappear as Liverpool’s midfield was overrun and he wad deprived of service. What’s more likely, unfortunately for us, is that Klopp was simply resting him for this weekend’s match. It’s Ramadan, after all. He did eventually replace the ineffective Firmino at the 65th minute against Chelsea but should still feel fresh. With the chance of Saliba missing out as his back injury continues to nag, Zinchenko will have to be alert to the threat he poses.
As for Van Djik, the 31 year old didn’t even make the trip to London, staying home due to an unspecified illness. There’s been some chatter among the scousers that he was simply dropped due to poor form, but I don’t have time to follow up with any of them on Ye Ole Twitter. If it was simply poor form, I would think that Klopp would at least want him on the bench because his other options at CB are hardly intimidating. Matip? Konaté? Gomez? Jesus, Trossard, Saka, and Martinelli are probably salivating at the mere thought. Even when he’s not at his best—and he’s rarely been there ever since Pickford nearly sheared his leg off at the knee—he’s still vital to their defense. Let’s hope it is an illness that keeps him off the pitch.
As for Alexander-Arnold, one really hopes that he gets to start. Never the most-earnest defender in the universe, he’s looked particularly diffident and ineffective. His benching is likely the only one that’s clearly intended to signal any displeasure from Klopp. When he isn’t sending in crosses, he’s failing to mark his man, track runners, or commit to tackles. If Klopp does resort to starting him, expect however plays on our left wing (mosty likely Martinelli) to rinse him so thoroughly that he won’t need an actual shower for weeks.
Whatever Klopp is thinking, we have to assume that we’ll see the Liverpool that destroyed Man U 7-0. These last three matches, two losses and a draw, were away from Anfield. At home, we know Liverpool are a different beast. As long as we can prevent Tavares from conceding possession in our own defensive third (probability: high), Mané from running riot (probability: again, high) and Arteta from riling up the Kop (probability: ummm…), we should come away with a creditable draw or possibly, maybe even a famous win.
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” As long as we can prevent Tavares from conceding possession in our own defensive third ” is this the pop group you are referring to?
It’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to our last visit to Anfield when Nono Tavares was dispossessed as he tried to dribble up the pitch. He’s unlikely to do this on Sunday because he’s on loan to Marseille.
Am an Arsenal die-hard fan. I advice that our boys should be focused. If you’re aiming for the last line of victory there is no need of calculating the speed of your opponent. The game is going to be 2-1 in favour of Arsenal. There is no need to give it a headache.
well-said, Moses. They’ve been very focused all season. If we can go out and play our game, your prediction should come true. COYG!
Win or lose agi Liverpool we still going to win the title by five points
I like your optimism!
Mane? Did they buy him back? Now if he was playing,would be really concerned.However my main concern is Paul Tierney ( ref) & Chris Kavanagh.Both absolutely useless.
No, I’m just taking the piss there. The last time we went to Anfield, Mane destroyed us with a goal and an assist.
You are right that Tierney and Kavanagh could cause some serious problems with their ineptitude. Let’s hope we can score an early goal or two to minimise their chances for mischief.
I am a liverpool fan but i just think this wil be a good game to both of us and at the moment you guys playing some football its really hard for us plus you now have trossard and jesus the two have being disaster to our defense for decades ,i just think it maybe going to be that day arteta wanted it so much.
Thanks for popping in, Cadabra. While current form makes it seem like we have a good chance, our history at Anfield says different. I think I speak for most of us when I say we’d happily accept a draw.