Liverpool Klopp Episode 45 - The Hunt for Red October
Liverpool is scrambling up the table in the hopes of getting an automatic Europa League invite so that should call for a strong "A-team" in the selection. But they are also having to get ready for the Europa League semi-final and have just come off derby with Everton mid-week; thus, that would suggest a few "B-team" members. Newcastle is scrambling to get out of the relegation zone. Adding to the scriptwriter's toolbox for this episode is the fact that the Newcastle manager, Benitez, has ties to Liverpool as he managed LFC from 2004 to 2010. Newcastle easily beat LFC earlier in the season 2-0 at their home pitch and will be highly motivated to keep themselves from relegation and take LFC down a peg at Anfield, Benitez's old home ground.
Will the match involve some unconventional tactics from the respective sides? Will post-game comments tell us that all the pre-game comments were all wrong? All will be revealed on Saturday!
Clearly Origi is not available. One can hope he will be able to make an appearance before the season is out. Thus, what of the starting XI against Newcastle?
Up top will be Sturridge. Am figuring Firmino will sub in for him in the second half around 60 minutes.
Offensive midfield: Coutinho, Lallana, Ibe (Ojo as a sub around 60 to 75 minutes).
Defensive Midfield: Milner, Lucas (look for Allen to come in around 75 minutes).
Wide defense: Smith, Flanagan.
Central defense: Sakho, Lovren.
Yup, we got it "all wrong" or maybe it was all wrong in terms of what we hoped for. Should have been a victory over a probable relegation club. Had the 2-0 lead. But the final was 2-2. The other thing that went sideways was the news of Sakho's positive drug test; thus, he is not going to be available for selection until the matter is adjudicated. The Sakho situation plus the recent injuries to Henderson, Can, and Origi have placed LFC's potential resurgence in question.