Liverpool Klopp Episode 16: The Wrath of Khan
LFC is in trouble. Out gunned, out manned, and the momentum arrow facing the wrong direction. It is the soccer equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru Scenario for Klopp and the club facing the hottest side in the EPL, Leicester City.
For non-Trek fans, in the words of this Star Trek Wiki,
The Kobayashi Maru scenario was an infamous no-win scenario that was part of the curriculum for command-track cadets at Starfleet Academy in the 23rd century. It was primarily used to assess a cadet's discipline, character and command capabilities when facing an impossible situation, as there is no (legitimate) strategy that will result in a successful outcome.Am guessing no one is picking Liverpool to get out of the Boxing Day match with three points perhaps some might pick them to get one point. (a draw). Will be interesting to see what the fans and pundits will view as a "passing" grade in terms of LFC team performance?
Although the tie to West Brom was viewed by many as a failure, it was a "success" in the sense that the team didn't give up. Right up to the last whistle they fought to get the equalizing goal and they ultimately got a lucky break and got it. A team that folded its cards would not have even had the chance. Thus, a success in my book would be that the fans have a reason to stay to the final whistle at Anfield on December 26. Teams at the top level don't talk about "moral victories;" however, LFC isn't there right now and so "moral victories" are meaningful to build upon and the club needs that right now.
Later in the film, with their backs against the wall, our heroes found a winning plan ...
Will be interesting to see what the Script Writers have for Boxing Day!
UPDATE: Injury reports ......
Leicester might be without goal scorer Vardy on Boxing Day as he is listed as "doubtful." On the Liverpool side, the list of injured players is rather long with only Mignolet, Lovren, and Sturridge listed as possibly returning by Boxing Day. As such, the following possible starting XI:
Goalie: Mignolet (if indeed he is ready to go) otherwise Bogdan
Defense: Clyne, Moreno, Sakho, Lovren (if indeed he is ready to go) otherwise Toure
Midfield: Coutinho, Henderson, Can, Lallana
Forward: Benteke, Origi
Likely used subs: Sturridge (if indeed he is ready to go), Lucas, Ibe, Firmino
UPDATE: LFC 1 LEI 0!
Saw most of the match (7AM start time here in PST). Great teamwork on defense. If I understood what the NBCSN analysts were saying, Klopp had instructed the two full backs and two of the midfielders to be alert and ready to track back to respond to Leicester City's vaunted counter-attacking speed. Meanwhile, LFC was able to hold possession and eventually broke through at the 63 minute mark with a nice pass from Firmino into the box which Benetke poked into the net.
On the down side, Origi picked up a hamstring injury and had to exit at the 38 minute mark. Don't know how serious it is.
In any case a BIG win for LFC. The race for the top 4 is open with no dominant clubs. The usual suspects like Man U and Chelsea have issues this year. Arsenal and Man City have had some dreadful outings.
LFC is now 8 (wins) - 5 (draws) - 3 (losses) in all competitions under Klopp.