Liverpool news Liverpool have perfect formation to stop Jamie Vardy but balance key MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - With a host of injuries in defence and Mohamed Salah also out, Jurgen Klopp has a decision to make regarding his system against Leicester City
Breaking News ! Jurgen Klopp has a lot of difficult decisions to make before Leicester City arrive at Anfield for a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday evening. Chief among them will be which players he should select to play in defence for the visit of Brendan Rodgers’ side. There’s no need to recount the Reds’ injury list here, it’ll just upset us all, but Klopp will have to pick a mixture of inexperienced defenders combined with out-of-position midfielders to fill the gaps in his backline. But there is another key decision on the Liverpool manager’s to do list, and that will be in what formation he should send his troops into battle. What tactical framework will get the best out of the players available, while also counteracting the threats which the Foxes will pose? Rodgers has been using a 3-4-3 formation in recent weeks, and indeed it featured frequently once football had resumed behind closed doors in June. After starting with a back three in just two of their first 29 league matches in 2019/20, Leicester then did so in their final six games of the campaign (per FBRef). Must-read Liverpool FC news Klopp explains long Thiago absence Liverpool January transfer admission Salah plan could shock Leicester The 63 unbeaten home PL games in photos It has also featured in five of their eight matches this term, so it’s reasonable to assume Leicester will line up that way on Sunday, not least as it worked wonders for them in their 5-2 win at Manchester City in September. There will therefore be a temptation for Klopp to do likewise with his XI, but it would certainly make a break from the norm. According to football-lineups.com, Liverpool have started just two of their 190 league games under their current manager with three at the back, and it has never been tried at Anfield. In 2017, a defensive trio composed of Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, and Ragnar Klavan took on Stoke City, before the unlikely back three of Emre Can, Lovren and Gini Wijnaldum formed the backline at Brighton. Liverpool played a 3-5-1-1 formation in both matches and emerged with three points each time – though the introduction of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in the second half at Stoke was crucial to securing that result. (Image: Stats Zone) Of course, a lack of recognised central defenders is a problem for Liverpool, so it might not be appropriate to go with such a formation on this occasion.
. The expected goal data on Understat shows the Reds have been stronger with a back four since the start of 2016/17. Where their expected goal difference has equated to 1.08 per 90 minutes with their regular defensive shape, in the small sample with a three or five-man defence it has been -0.64. So while West Ham United beat the Foxes earlier this season in a 5-4-1 formation, it’s very unlikely Liverpool will copy their approach on Sunday. We are more likely to see Klopp use a 4-2-3-1 system, which was how they lined up against Sheffield United and Manchester City, and which Aston Villa used in their 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium. However, with Mohamed Salah likely ruled out after twice testing positive for Covid-19, would moving the currently goal-shy Firmino to the front of the team be a wise move, or should one of the other attackers get the nod?
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That aside, 4-2-3-1 feels like a sensible choice, as the pairing at the base of the midfield can help to restrict the service which Jamie Vardy receives, which is an enormous part of the Foxes’ attack. Formations can be labelled differently by two people watching the same match, and sides change shape depending on whether or not they have the ball. While many managers prefer strict lines like a table football team, that won’t be what Klopp chooses to do against Leicester. But how he does send out his patched-up team will be one of the more important decisions he makes this season.
Source = MetiNews.Com