Ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League season opener at the Emirates where they face Arsenal, I’ve selected what I believe should be the Reds’ starting 11.
Starting at defence, the CB partnership should be Klavan-Lovren. Initially, at the start of pre-season, the Sakho-Matip partnership had staked a claim, but Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren did impress in yesterday’s pre-season friendly romp against Barcelona. With no other options at RB, Clyne has to earn his place as the likes of Joe Gomez are sidelined and Jon Flanagan completed his transfer to Burnley. At LB, is the one that we all dread; Alberto Moreno. The pony-tailed Spaniard has endured several defensive nightmares last season, which has resulted in him being played down the pecking order by supporters. With Jon Flanagan leaving to Burnley and Milner suffering a heel injury after the game against Barcelona, he is the only first-team choice.
Emre Can showed great composure in the central midfield role last season, as opposed to the 2014/2015 season where he struggled for consistency. He is more effective in the deeper role of midfield.
Going forward is Henderson & Lallana. Jordan Henderson did struggle last season for injuries, and some Liverpool fans jumped on the bandwagon of Henderson haters. He is our captain, and whilst he rehabilitates, he needs to receive full support from Liverpool fans. Extra minutes will benefit the Mackem-born lad. Adam Lallana, who was very impressive in the build up to Sadio Mane’s goal against Barcelona, creates a lot of chances for himself and team-mates, with his trickery. His finishing needs work, as he was at fault for some of the chances the Reds missed and didn’t put away in several games last season.
Sadio Mane did put in a Man Of The Match performance in the friendly at Wembley, and he’s showing why we paid £32m for him. His work rate, chance creation and pace has impressed, and he needs to continue his consistency that he’s showcased so far. Coutinho can contribute some quality goals and assists as well skills to get past defenders – he’s offered that flash of creativity which eluded us a few years ago.
Finally, in attack it has to be Divock Origi. He’s a reliable replacement for the often-injured Daniel Sturridge, who we often turn to in the need of goals. He’s been fantastic in pre-season and needs to maintain his fitness as his pace and control with the ball is a valuable asset for the Reds in attack.
Written by Stephen Lindell (@SteLindellLFC)