Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, in his first game of the season against Chelsea, will leave a sizable gap in the middle of the pitch, missing the number six specialist.
The Reds are seeking to sign Southampton midfielder Roméo Lavia to replace Fabinho, who left at the end of last month to join Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad but has so far been unsuccessful with multiple bids.
Most recently, they saw a $58m (£45m/€52m) bid turned down by Southampton on Monday and as negotiations are ongoing (via Sky Sports), Lavia is unlikely to start at Stamford Bridge even if a deal has been closed. not. next days.
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READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp has already revealed his Liverpool midfield fix as a new option has emerged before Chelsea
Liverpool have Stefan Bajčetić and Thiago on their side, but it looks like neither of them will be up against the Blues after missing the entire pre-season as they recover from the injuries that ended their 2022/23 season.
And in recent friendlies, Klopp returned mainly to number eight on Curtis Jones and Alexis Mac Allister to play the defensive midfielder role. But in his speech after beating Darmstadt 3-1 at Deepdale, he hinted that a brief shape change could offer a temporary solution.
“I’m really happy with my physical condition, we looked really fresh and really good. — “Now, in the next 5-6 days, we have to find a line-up for the Chelsea game, not the whole season, and we’ll start from there.”
“Everything is fine, no one was injured, so that’s the most important thing. We’ve come this far and that’s fine. The situation is clear, the cross guard is not there. We can’t avoid every pass from behind our line, just to make sure we’re in better positions.”
Here, Liverpool.com examines three ways Klopp can structure his team in the pre-season should he choose to move away from midfield to support a so far open team.
Option one – go back to 4-3-3
Klopp left 4-3-3 between his team’s struggles, at least in the last quarter of last season, with Liverpool holding the ball, but it might actually make sense to restore it for a game or two.
Our recommendation is for Trent Alexander-Arnold to play the role of a permanent midfielder at the base of the trio and Mac Allister to support him in their defensive work. Joe Gomez takes his place at right-back and Andy Robertson would have more offensive power to the left of the four.
Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Alexander-Arnold, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Salah, Jota, Diaz
Second option – refire 4-2-3-1 experiment
As he tried in the fall of last season, Klopp used 4-2-3-1 a few times, but the current current group of players may be better suited to that shape.
Again, Alexander-Arnold is full-time midfielder, but this time Mac Allister sits next to him in the double pivot, with a third midfielder sacrificing in favor of a fourth offensive player. Cody Gakpo would have been well-suited to work as number 10, but Szoboszlai would have to wait for his debut and add some quality from the bench.
Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Alexander-Arnold, MacAllister; Wrong, Gapo Diaz; To who
Third option – Wildcard 3-5-2
Liverpool line up with a back three when they have the ball and a stabilized version of this pattern could be worth considering. Konate He proved to be adept at covering a large area on the right, and Gomez would probably show more positional discipline than Robertson on the left.
Robertson is moving into the role of a wing-back he would definitely prefer, with Alexander-Arnold temporarily stepping out of midfield completely to take his place on the right wing.
Jones and Mac Allister would naturally be a good fit for a midfield duo as they’re both packed in sixes, and while it’s not the most convincing combination, there’s no perfect solution for Klopp at the moment.
Alisson; Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Alexander-Arnold, Jones, MacAllister, Robertson; Salah, Jota, Diaz
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