Liverpool Klopp Episode 21: Raiders of the Lost Ark
LFC face league leading Arsenal on Wednesday at Anfield. Does Indiana Klopp and his crew have another great escape up their sleeve?
In LFC player news, Origi will be out a bit longer as he has had knee surgery. However, looks like Sakho, Milner, and Henderson maybe good to go for the match. The club has gone the loan route to pick up an extra center back in Steven Caulker. Danny Ward has returned from loan indicating that Bogdan may have fallen out of favor as the backup goal keeper.
The remainder of January is crowded (see image of fixture list for the remainder of the month below) and the challenge of picking a lineup with so many injuries will continue. Hopefully, more players will be ready to go. The only "mystery" aside from who is actually fully fit to play is whether Benteke will be in the starting line-up. However, injuries might give Benteke the start. If Klopp goes with a three-man front, he can select Lallana and Firmino plus one more. Ibe is recovering from injury so he may or may not be ready to go. Thus, Benteke would be the third man up front. I see that the Liverpool Echo hasn't posted its round-table of writers selecting the line-up. I suppose that article may drop early Wednesday morning.
Here's the #LFC line-up and substitutes to face @Arsenal tonight in full… pic.twitter.com/K0O0yGwnh3— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 13, 2016
Klopp has opted to keep Benteke on the bench and Ward is now the #2 keeper.
Previously, the two clubs battled to a 0-0 draw way back in August. Optimism ran high after that gutty performance by the Reds. However, the wheels began to fall off after that for Rodgers.
What will happen tonight?
Arsenal is obviously the favorites tonight as the league leaders and would be expected to try to get a quick lead on Liverpool as LFC's defense has often been caught early in matches. However, I think if Klopp's crew can weather the early storm, their chances of a draw and maybe even stealing a win goes up. You just don't want to be playing from behind!
Certainly, if they had Coutinho in there, their ability to move quickly into offense mode would be enhanced. Nonetheless, between Ibe, Firmino, and Lallana, they should have the pace to cause some problems. Cashing in those opportunities has been an issue this season and so now would be the time to be more "clinical". Then there is the midfield and the back four (plus keeper). They will need to be talking to each other or Arsenal will run rampant.
Klopp has been quoted as saying: "[Wenger] likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It's like an orchestra, but it's a silent song, yeah? And I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud! I want to have this: 'BOOM!'"
UPDATE: Oh, my! I figured it will be a 1-0 final score line. It is 2-2 at the 25 minute mark! Firmino with two goals!
It's a final: 3-3! Moreno bombed it into the box, Benteke got a head on it and Allen banged it home at the 90 minute mark to snag a draw from the jaws of defeat!
One one hand, if you asked would you take a draw with Arsenal, I think most would take that. However, one the other hand, LFC was up 1-0 and 2-1, and so there is a feeling of a missed opportunity to take the three points. Likewise, Arsenal had the 3-2 lead on the Reds but let it slip away in the 90th minute. In any case, great drama at Anfield and a prime demonstration that a certain percentage of sports is psychological. LFC's in ability to be consistently tough on defense to hold the lead. Likewise, the same could said of Arsenal.
Next: Manchester United!