Liverpool Klopp Episode 36 - The Martian

Leg one of Europa League match against rivals Manchester United!

First off, the injury report. Looks like Milner is not an option for Thursday's match. However, Sturridge looks to be fit and lively in training and should be available for the XI.

In other selection questions, Flanagan may have displaced Moreno at full back but he isn't an option for Europa league play as he wasn't on the competition squad list that was filed a while back. Thus, the back four should be Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno.

Can and Henderson should patrol at central midfield.

Coutinho, Firmino, and Lallana on attack with Sturridge at the point of the spear.

And of course, Mignolet as the keeper.

The open question is who gets in if they need more striking power or a substitute for a tiring Sturridge? Origi or Benteke?

For fresh pace, I would guess Allen first and Ibe second.

Skrtel and Toure will be on the bench should any defensive substitutions need to be made.

Much has been made of the personality of Klopp as a big part of the "Klopp effect" on the club. However, not to be overlooked are his in-game tactical moves. This Echo item highlights some of his skills in that department.

Looking for the fans to bring the passion to Anfield and global fans via social media. But also looking for Klopp and his players to work the problem and put the pressure on Manchester United. This edition of Man U isn't the dominant team of old. No gimmicks needed, just simply concentration and a well executed game plan to force turnovers and transition into the attack. Do that and Liverpool should be competitive. Hopefully, they will be clinical with their opportunities like they were against Manchester City two games ago and put the biscuit in the basket or whatever the equivalent catch phrase is for soccer!



Pre-game:
Here is a video clip of Klopp's comments. Over at ESPNFC this analysis of the match-up. Some excerpts below:

It is probably Klopp, however, who has more tactical options here. The return of Sturridge has changed things completely, giving him the option to play with a conventional striker going in behind the opposition to stretch the play, meaning Christian Benteke is now a Plan B and Firmino can play in his favoured role, just behind the main forward.[......]The most encouraging thing about Liverpool's play, however, is that their combinations in the final third are looking excellent. In last week's 3-0 victory over Manchester City, Lallana, Milner and Firmino all scored, and all claimed an assist too, a wonderfully neat way of emphasising their improved link play.[......]Liverpool must be wary of counter-attacks, particularly in behind Moreno, who doesn't seem to be improving his positional sense at all. Martial could be fielded on his flank specifically to run in behind. Depay could also be a threat, while Mata has a habit of scoring in this fixture.

Here is an item in the UK Telegraph about the contrasting styles of play of the two clubs. Excerpt:
Van Gaal will expect Liverpool to come out of the blocks on the attack for this one but will trust in his system and tell his players that patience is key to victory, as it was in the 1-0 victory in January. Both managers know how to beat each other but while Van Gaal has the advantage at the moment, winning three of the five games both have overseen against each other, there is no clear winner between Klopp’s attack, attack, attack and Van Gaal’s control, control, control. United fans may well wish their manager took a little more of an adventurous route at times, but he knows how to win games like these. If United pass the ball well and keep possession, Liverpool’s constant pressing will leave players tired and eventually lead to mistakes which United can capitalise on. Rooney’s goal in that last match came as a result of terrible defending from a set piece – Liverpool’s Achilles heel - something Klopp still hasn’t been able to fix. If Marouane Fellaini is fit, he will almost certainly feature to cause havoc in the air from free kicks and corners. Both systems have flaws which can be exploited.

Post-game
YES 2-0 victory for LFC!!
Player ratings at the Echo. Solid all around! Minute-by-minute over at UK Guardian. Domination in most category of stats. Here is a video from LiverpoolFC.com recapping the match.

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