Jürgen Klopp should hand Liverpool pre-season star next start vs Wolves after double setback

Jürgen Klopp will be very satisfied with Liverpool’s start to the season. If Chelsea continues to struggle, that draw could end up looking like an opportunity missed, but this has to go down as nit-picking in a tricky four-game sequence that has yielded a highly respectable 10 points.

In many ways, it has been a continuation of Liverpool’s somewhat chaotic pre-season campaign. Already, Klopp has twice had to mastermind a comeback from behind to win, with Aston Villa the first game where his side truly looked in control.

That pattern was firmly established in the warm-up fixtures, with Liverpool scoring four past the opposition on three occasions, but shipping four twice as well. Bundesliga 2 opposition alone managed to hit six past Klopp’s side, in a pre-season campaign that yielded 17 goals for and 11 against from just five matches.

Of course, if Liverpool keeps coming out on the right side of high-scoring contests, Klopp won’t be too bothered. But his search for control has been a defining feature of the second half of his Anfield reign — given how comprehensively Unai Emery’s side were contained, it seems fair to expect a similar line-up against Wolves.

“Now, international break and pretty much 48 hours after our South Americans play somewhere on the other end of the world we will play against Wolverhampton Wanderers.”

That affects Alexis Mac Allister, who will play Bolivia this evening. To make matters worse, that match will be played at the Estadio Hernando Siles, one of the most grueling venues in world football — it sits at an altitude of 3,637 meters.

Perhaps we can expect to see a debut for Ryan Gravenberch as a result, or else a second start for Wataru Endō. But that’s not the end of it, with Klopp also facing a double setback in attack.

Darwin Núñez looked like he had finally cracked it against Aston Villa. He would have liked to follow up his explosive two-goal cameo against Newcastle with more goals, instead of squandering some high-quality chances, but Klopp will nonetheless have been delighted — the Uruguayan pressed seamlessly as part of the Liverpool unit, pinning Emery’s outfit back.

But will Klopp give him the nod when he returns to Liverpool so soon before the squad travels to Wolves? Given the options in the attack, he would surely be tempted to choose a fresher option. The same holds true for Luis Díaz, in action even later than Mac Allister and Núñez (albeit only by a matter of hours).

It’s an unhelpful complication for Klopp, but it could be a golden opportunity for one of the stars of pre-season. Diogo Jota did get the nod in Liverpool’s first two games of the season — even finding the net against Bournemouth — but has been limited to a role off the bench since then.


Popular posts from this blog

Liverpool ready to offer 14 goal star new long-term contract, 25-year-old viewed as future of Merseyside club

Liverpool could plot Xabi Alonso and Bayer Leverkusen raid of Florian Wirtz and four stars

£35 million star has "verbally agreed personal terms" with Liverpool

Romeo Lavia has just tweeted four words as Liverpool transfer rumours swirl

Moises Caicedo now left furious after what Brighton have just done