Reds to be unchanged – Predicting Liverpool’s XI vs. Man United


We take a look at how Jurgen Klopp could line up his team for the visit of rivals Man United on Sunday afternoon.

Klopp experiences his first taste of English football’s biggest game as Louis van Gaal’s side arrive at a hostile Anfield for the much anticipated rivals clash.

The German welcomed back some important players in midweek and is set to have a similar squad at his disposal for United’s visit.

But after a big collective effort from all who featured in the Arsenal draw, Klopp could introduce fresh legs with the Reds looking to force their way into the top four race.

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Team News

  • Klopp still missing some key men but stronger squad available again
  • Lovren and Sturridge ruled out with the duo not ready to feature
  • Skrtel and Coutinho still sidelined with hamstring injuries
  • Origi unavailable after undergoing knee surgery
  • Reds could remain unchanged with little option to change
  • Henderson fit to continue midfield partnership with Can
  • Firmino in line to lead Reds attack again after brace in midweek
  • Caulker could come in for Toure however to provide younger legs
  • Allen also pushing for start after goalscoring impact in midweek
  • Lucas also an option to enter midfield
  • Benteke hopeful of recall after assist from the bench vs. Arsenal


Liverpool’s XI

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With squad depth still in short supply and little room for manoeuvre, Klopp could name the same XI that started the breathless 3-3 draw against the Gunners.

After scoring only one goal fewer than managed across the last six games against Arsenal, there’s no reason to alter the attacking set-up, while keeping with the same defence and midfield would allow for some consistency and combinations to develop for upcoming games.

An unchanged team against United would see Liverpool line up like this at Anfield:


But after an exhausting game on a heavy Anfield pitch on Wednesday, Klopp could introduce fresh legs to his side and a change of shape.

Toure’s potential struggle to make two starts in quick succession could see Caulker start alongside Sakho, while Allen’s impressive impact and goal could see the Welshman handed a start.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 13, 2016: Liverpool's new signing Steven Caulker in action against Arsenal during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ibe – who endured a mixed night in the goal-fest – should be the man to make way for the Wales midfielder, who could play in a three man midfield with Henderson and Can, allowing Milner to play in the three man attack with Lallana and Firmino.

Those changes to shape and personnel would see the Reds line up like this come 2:05pm kick-off time:

United 4-3-3

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With the chance to take a giant step in the race for fourth place, Klopp’s side must hold their nerve and produce a positive result as they look to fire themselves into genuine Champions League contention.


WATCH: Klopp’s pre-match press conference

INJURY UPDATE: Klopp on who is available

QUOTES: Firmino and Lucas on the United match

PREMIER LEAGUE: Full preview of all the games this weekend


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    • Easier to make a team that suits Firmino then it is for Benteke! Especially against teams that play some sort of structured passing game which suits Klopp’s tactics.

  1. Would like to see us play a 442 diamond with Benteke and Firmino up front. It allows us to pick our best available players. A midfield of Lucas/Allen, Can, Milner and Henderson. Give Henderson license to run beyond the strikers sometimes, which he can do quite effectively.

    We can’t keep picking Ibe and Lallana. They haven’t scored a single EPL goal in more than half a season, and both are poor decision makers in the final third. They are passengers.

    Benteke has 6 league goals and deserves to start.

    United are very poor and this will be points dropped if we can’t beat them at home.

    • Benteke has too many problems right now. Doesn’t run enough and he only slows us down. Firmino, Lallana and Ibe play very well together up front. That’s why Firmino was better.

      • Ibe and Lallana are attackers, but don’t actually score or create any goals. They offer nothing of importance.

        Benteke’s main problem is the fact we aren’t putting in enough good crosses.

        Goals matter. Benteke scores them. Without his goals we would be 14th/15th in the table.

  2. Kolo wasn’t great against Arsenal, we could’ve done with Caulkers height against Giroud. United have some big players too so I’d rather Caulker starting along side Sakho.

  3. Well I’m concerned about Milner.

    Milner’d best position is wide rather than CM. There’s a reason he was not able to play much in mid even when yaya was not starting ( tactically not due to injury) . He is workhorse, because he fails to keep possession. That’s why he needs to make those extra runs. In turn he commit fouls. He is a side effect that remains for long even after the end of chronic disease ( Brogers). Wish grujic was not loaned back. If klopp decides to play 4123 than I would like ojo/ tex making a start over Milner.

    If allen plays as a DM hour will again be the Welsh Xavi. He is better as a CM i.e., Welsh Pirlo.

    Else everything is good. For now

    • Yeah, Ibe was our weakest player against the Gunners. I also hope Ojo is on the bench at-last as I see we could benefit from their penetrating runs.

    • My sentiments exactly..Allen should start instead of Ibe.
      Then bring in both Benteke and Allen as impact substitutes. Put Ibe on the now tired Darmian,do he cuts in from the left,shoots or pass with the favoured right foot. Caulker for Kolo if Fellaini gets converted to the offense(especially if we lead into the dying moments) bring in Kolo and let Caulker tag Fellaini.

  4. Bring in Allen… he will do well.
    This match will be about the midfields. .. whichever team wins the midfield. … will be going back home happily….
    SCUMS can be boring…but they will up their game in this particular match…. just worried that we never had good records againts boring and poor team.

  5. I’d be disappointed to see an unchanged 11 vs United. I’d much rather see Allen play over Lallana, who is useless.

      • Neither Allen nor Lallana IMO. Both have shown they’re not good or consistent enough for a top 4 club. Lallana has good energy but can’t create and doesn’t have good ball control or pass accuracy. I’d like to see Teixeira given a chance while Couts doesn’t return. We’ve seen some glimpses of his quality and he still hasn’t played in his best position for us, which is just behind the striker(s)

      • Lallana does nothing important. Over half a season in the EPL with no goals. That is an embarrassment for an attacking player.

        Waste of 25m.

        • I have to say though, he’s ended up creating a lot of chances that the other LFC players just haven’t taken..we lack finishers, something Lallana is admittedly also guilty of but that’s part of the reason he doesn’t get many assists to his name.

          • There is a real lack of cutting edge in this team and it’s beyond frustrating at times. Lallana work’s his backside off but needs to get goals, just needs to. We’re imo really suffering without a guaranteed goal scoring striker to take the pressure off of the midfielders.

    • he’s not useless … yes he doesn’t score or assist .. but his movement to create space for others is brilliant

  6. Here’s my problem with Migs. You look at ramsey’s goal when he got beaten at the near post, migs is wayyy too slow getting down. The one thing people defending him say is that his shot stopping is good. He saves some good shots, but he’s not in the top 5 of shot stopping in the premier league. He has no command, and his distribution is poor, so he offers us nothing. Even a guy probably not considered in the top 5 casper schmeichel, is a keeper with good shot stopping and good distribution, perfect for leicester. GKs are cheapest players out there so why not get a great one? De Gea annually gets the scum an extra 9 points with his saves and migs annually loses us 9 points directly, possibly more indirectly. pay 20 mil and get a top keeper and stop paying 32 for a chance at a good striker.

    • I agree with you on Migs, we could do far better than him and younger too (which would give us a long-term no. 1). However, if the striker is good enough then 32 million is fine, as long as he bangs in the goals, which is far from being Benteke’s case.

    • Yup good point. The one thing that Migs is supposed to be known for, his reflexes and shot-stopping abilities let him down badly with the first goal. Possibly even the second it can be argued since it was coming right at him.

      • The way I see it is that just about every goalkeeper in the PL has great reflexes and is a good shot stopper, that’s a basic requirement of any GK but what separates the the really top keepers from the rest is their decision making, awareness, positioning and the ability to take charge and organise the defence, Mignolet doesn’t and probably never will posses any of those qualities..

    • Should have signed Forster from Celtic. Now we can’t sign him because if we do 1000 arm chair managers will be up in arms over us only buying from Southhampton

  7. I would go with the second option. Time to bring on Allen, he deserves it: but I would switch him with Hendo in that formation. Ibe is not good at reading the game and giving key passes in the final third, but he is young.

  8. This game scares me shyteless, cant remember when last we managed to “get up ” for two games in a row…especially with only a 4 day break in between.

    • I think last season’s back-to-back losses are still fresh in your mind against Arsenal and United. Not to mention the poor track record recently against United. One big change though since then – our manager! We got greater momentum going into this game but only marginally I feel.

      • I still worry , but maybe I shoudnt as its Kloppo ( and his smart support team ) this time and not Rodgers …

  9. The other thing that scares me shyteless is that I have unconditional faith in Herr Klopp’s judgement , but then he rates Mignolet . That one I do not get ..

    • He just doesn’t wanna throw him under the bus. As soon as a replacement is found & settled, then when Ward takes over as no.2, Migs’ll be gone. His wages would be too high for 3rd choice.

  10. There simply must be a change in defense. The defending against Arsenal was nowhere near the standard required for the premier league. If any of our other center backs are fit then he must start. Therefore, Caulker must start.

    • Dave , do you think Klopp really rates Mignolet…? , or is he saying what he needs to say to keep him as a No 2 into the future ( and his confidence up for now ) with a view to getting a No 1 keeper in the summer ?

      • I think Klopp will sign another keeper if the right one becomes available in the summer. I also believe that Mignolet is fully aware of this. Klopp is not the type of person who will lie to a person to keep him at Anfield.

  11. United are nothing like Arsenal. Arsenal play a high tempo possession based brand of attacking football. United will play with a more direct approach and on the counter. For this we need a holding midfielder. Lucas will start.
    Moreno Sakho Caulker Clyne
    Henderson Lucas Can
    Lallana Milner

    Lallana and Milner simply because they won’t lose the ball as much as the likes of Ibe, allowing United to counter more.

    • I disagree. I don’t think Sterling would improve our current team significantly. If anything, we still miss Suarez.

        • Maybe. The situation with Sterling could have easily been avoided but at the end he had to go.
          Suarez deserved his move though. He gave everything he had in every game he played for us.

          • Yes he did . Have full and total confidence in Herr Klopp to build his own team , I just dont get his faith in Mignolet …do you ?

          • I get it to a point. Mignolet is the best that he has right now. We will see if he really rates him highly in the summer.

  12. My biggest problem with this team is inconsistencies, we can’t seems to play very good football in 2-3 games in a row, I guess the reason for that is the average players that we have in the squad , way too much, so I don’t see us winning or getting a point from this game tomorrow.

    • If we are going at 100 mph we are fine , don’t have the quality to play “a normal game ” and win like City and Arsenal can do . We cannot go at 100 mph every game ( we do it every second game ) that’s why this game against United scares me shyteless… we need proper quality in the summer …must back the Klopp horse to do it in the summer..

  13. Not a lot of options, so not a whole lot to think about going ahead of this match really. I will say that all 3 of our substitutes did make a bit of an impact upon coming on. Last match we were really playing a 4-4-2 with Ibe and Milner stationed wide as wingers. Doubt we’re going to be playing that formation again.

    Decisions Klopp will have to make is whether to start with Allen, Benteke and/or Caulker. Can Caulker potentially be our Fellaini haha!? I’d probably continue with the same starting lineup as the last though I’m really not impressed with Milner a whole lot…just a utility player who’s a workhorse but didn’t do enough over the course of the match.

    • I can see a situation where if Fellaini starts he virtually man marks one of our centre backs (whichever one they see as the biggest weakness) it’s a tactic they’ve used before and if they do it again we’ll have to ensure we win all the second balls, they’ll be looking for them..

      • I doubt Fellaini will be starting in that CF position..LVG loves Rooney too much to place anyone else in that position. Even Martial is being pushed over to the wings at Rooney’s expense at this moment. Though Fellaini has played in that CM position because of injuries to Schweinsteiger and Carrick I think. His play is still as brutish and unrefined as ever..think he was lucky to not get a second yellow card in that match against Newcastle.

  14. The second option, by a mile. I’d switch Can to the deepest lying spot, though. Allow Allen and Henderson to cover for him when he inevitably bombs forward, but let him do so from deeper where he is more dangerous with the opposition in front of him.

    I’d be tempted to give Milner’s spot to Ibe, but could go either way. It would be nice to have a bit more pace up front as a threat, but Milner is a strong presser and knows how to work in a pack.

    • Klopp Kidz [email protected]

      Are u running a high fever?

        • Klopp Kidz [email protected]

          Aha…. another Bodgers’ lemming…
          Talented? He has won zero trophy in his life.
          Young? Most top managers have won trophies at younger age than Bodgers.

    • Knows a thing or two about making Anfield a fortress. Gave us our best home record in the PL era (Rafa, Houllier, Evans, et al).

      Respect him a great deal, but a big part of that my appreciation may have been because I don’t pay much attention to press conferences. Rodgers loves to talk tactics, but he doesn’t always talk tactfully. I hear Klopp’s press conferences are a real jazz, but I still can’t be bothered.

  15. Second team option is fine. This sounds racist but the more british players for this game the better. The importance and the rivalry is better understood by them which will give them an edge.

    • That’s just absurd… so we start with all British? I’m sure we can put up an all British line up… and we could land in history as the first club to start with all British line up since the start of premier league.

  16. Bench Lalana and give Texteira a go. Maybe put Ward in goal. They musta had a good look at him at melwood by now. Also wouldnt mind seeing Ojo on the bench. He looks like a good impact player.

  17. I thought Ibe and Mignolet were a bit frustrating vs Arsenal, not knocking but hoping for 20% more positive contribution. Both part of our best XI.

  18. I think Lallana will change with Firmino and Benteke as CF. Lucas as CM and maybe Allen and Lallana for back up…. YNWA…. (y)

  19. Mignolet
    Clyne Caulker Sahko Moreno
    Henderson Allen
    Ibe Firmino Lallana

    Subs: Ward, Toure, Illori, Smith, Lucas, Milner, Benteke

  20. The time for changes will be Exeter—-this is one that is almost as much of a must win as we’ll have this season beyond bloodletting; 3 points puts us on level with them, we cannot drop points. Taking 4 from Arsenal and United are what we need. I would put Caulker in for Kolo and let Kolo play v Exeter. Caulker gives us some more height and he can help neutralize Fellani. I’d have Ibe and Benteke ready for the last 30 minutes and they too can start v Exeter. Milner has been average this year, yet, his work rate and intensity will be needed tomorrow. If we’re able to get ahead then Lucas can come in for Can or Allen. Allen needs to be further forward and as he’s on song right now I’d give him the start.

    Clyne Caluker Sakho Moreno
    Hendo Allen
    Lallana Firmino Milner

    • Kolo and Illori against Exeter would be a good shout as would Ward in goal, but for today I have to agree with you, I’d play Caulker..

  21. Two big calls that may or may not happen, firstly give Ward the nod over Mignolet, it’s a big gamble but let’s be honest so is sticking with Mignolet, secondly, love Kolo but not sure he can handle two games of this intensity in four days, add to that the fact that Sakho might not be fully fit yet so it might be the time to ‘rest’ one of them in favour of Caulker. having said that Klopp’s had three sessions at Melwood since the Arsenal game, he’ll have a far better idea than me of who’s in the best shape physically and mentally and I have faith in him to get it right..

  22. I think ibe scored that goal against stoke with his left. Every pro footballer is trained to have a weak foot. I agree that he was abysmal against arsenal but if we put him against darmian who has not been very convincing it could be a mismatch in ibes favour. But I think you are wrong in another part…caulker is not fast,he is as slow as kolo infact. I have seen some of his footage and believe me he cannot run,but I completely agree against arsenal he could have been an asset against giroud arial prowess

  23. JK should change the pair of Kolo and Sakho. Hé can use one of then with Caulker or even Ilori but not the two together.

  24. Caulker has to start as Kolo is very slow.
    Allen ahead of Milner, coz Milly’s passing is crap
    Ojo is worth a shot, Ibe is wasteful and overkill with his dribbles

  25. In my view, both Smith and Moreno should start with Lallana and Ibe dropped to the bench. My team would be:

    Clyne-Caulker-Toure ( dont think Sakho is fully fit)-Smith

    • That’s a risky side highly unlikely klopp is going to use ward,smith And Allen and toure is not going play since he can’t play 2 games in 4 days

      • I think Allen definitely deserves a go after the Stoke and Arsenal performances. Ward can hardly do worse than Mignolet at this moment and Lallana and Ibe were poor against Arsenal so this is the way to maintain a balance to the team.

        • Allen is too weak to play against untied because they have a strong med field ie.fellani who would just bully allen . Ik ward can’t be worse than migolet but if ward plays today and has a bad performace it can lower his confidence down and I would prefer to play ward against exter on Wednesday and he slowly makes his way into the first team . Ibe is young the only way for him to improve is to keep playing him and that’s the same story with can . Lallana may not score goals or assits but his work rate is key for us winning this game

          • I was thinking the same about you for Ward but then when talking to Carr, I realized his point made sense. If you get a chance, you take it and grab it with both hands. As for Allen, the guy gets rightly criticized for bad performances but when he puts in good performances, he deserves a chance based on merit. I know Ibe is young and not saying to permanently bench him but he has just come back from injury and needs to be managed carefully. As for Lallana, I have lost patience with him. When his “work rate” is his best quality, you know you can do better. United will be a game where we need attacking potency and I just dont think Lallana provides that.

          • Well for ward I really like him at abreeden as long as he his chance with both hands. I know allen deserve a chance based on last performance but tacticly we don’t need him to start , we need people like hendo, Milner, lallana and you might hate me but I think we need benteke for this game

          • We might need Benteke but the problem is he looks so sluggish whenever he starts. He looks such a different player when the game is stretched. But, when he starts, we as a team look really different. Milner had a good game against Arsenal having a hand in two of the three goals. He should play but Lallana, despite being one of our main attackers, never contributes.

    • Its a little too experimental. Klopp will play it safe. I worry he plays it too safe with his line ups occasionally, but today is not the time

  26. Id like to see both Allen and Lucas play, but realistically that’s not going to happen. I think at least one of them should come in and play Milner further forward, Milner will offer more than Ibe for this game. I hope Klopp doesn’t develop the same formation and starting line up all the time.

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