Liverpool Klopp Episode 33 - The Incredibles
Previously LFC stunned Manchester City 4-1! However, that was way back on November 21, 2015.
Can Klopp's crew run the Citizens off the pitch again with the League Cup on the line?
Will post periodically in here in the build-up to the big game!
Selection options for Klopp: Good news in that some of the injured players have been training and might be options for selection on Sunday. Clearly, this is a decision between the medical staff and coaches. Do these returning players pass the "eyeball" test?
The Lucas-Sakho center back pair had a clean sheet on Thursday. Does Klopp go to them again? My guts tell me to stick with what has worked. If a change were to be made, perhaps Skrtel in for Lucas.
As for the midfield of Milner-Henderson-Can, Klopp has to decide if Henderson who hasn't been 100% since coming back from his injuries is still the better option than having Milner play central-mid and bringing in Lallana or Ibe at the wide. The other question mark is probably Can. In reading some post-game reports, he hasn't been as effective of late and may need a break. Again, I'd say Lallana or Ibe gets that spot if Can isn't up to speed.
I think Klopp sticks with Milner-Henderson-Can as that has been working. If he senses weariness in Henderson or Can, they will get substituted at the hour mark.
The front three remains Firmino, Sturridge, and Coutinho with Origi as needed in the 2nd half. Looks like Benteke is the odd man out.
UPDATE: Klopp shares how he lets the team know who is starting. So who is starting? The Echo writers offer their thoughts. Over at the UK Guardian, a item-by-item look a the likely match-ups on the field.
Recap: *Sigh* heartbreak hotel for Liverpool and their fans as they make the long ride back home after salvaging a draw late in the second half on Coutinho's goal. Credit LFC for the fight to the end mentality. A lively extra-time can to nothing for both sides and the game fell to spot kicks where Willy Caballero made three saves to end the match in favor of City.
Losing Sakho early to injuries didn't help. Lucas as make shift center-back continues to do well. Mignolet's goal keeping cost them a goal but he also made some key saves to keep them in the game. All in all, a good effort but not enough.
The club now must dust off and look to the future matches. A top-four in the EPL is unlikely so Europa League will be the priority. I would anticipate after this current run of fairly stable starting XI's, Klopp will experiment some in the EPL games to see if he can identify a stronger line-up for the Europa League. LFC vs. Man City again (Mar 2) in EPL play. Mar 6 against Palace. Mar 10 versus Man U in Europa League leg one. Mar 13 against Chelsea. Mar 17 leg two vs Man U. Southampton on Mar 20.
Update: Was listening to BBC 5 Live Sport's Monday Night Club on podcast and they discussed the LFC PK selection. They were surprised that Sturridge, Henderson, and Milner weren't among the first three to kick. Their feeling was that you put your best shooters early to set the tone. From what I heard Sturridge was cramping up and wasn't fit to take one. Don't know how Henderson's foot injury was effecting him. If he was ready to go, it would be surprising that the Captain wasn't among the first few PK takers. The analysts suspected Milner was the fifth on the list but since Caballero saved the middle three, Milner didn't get a chance.