Ahead of Liverpool’s vital Europa League second leg against Man United, we take a look at how Jurgen Klopp could line up his side at Old Trafford.
Liverpool arrive in enemy territory looking to complete the job started so brilliantly at Anfield a week ago to move into the quarter-finals of the competition.
Boasting a crucial two-goal cushion, the Reds know exactly what is required in order to progress to the last-eight and eliminate their arch rivals in their own back-yard, with the onus firmly on Louis van Gaal’s side on Thursday night.
Klopp has an interesting decision over how to approach the tie and with a strong and fully rested group at his disposal, the German manager has a couple of selections available to deploy at Old Trafford.
Liverpool Team News
- Strong group available to Klopp for crunch clash
- Squad strength boosted further by return to fitness of Milner
- But Moreno could miss out after appearing to suffer hamstring injury in Old Trafford training
- Smith in line to deputise with Flanagan ineligible
- Skrtel not yet ready to return with under-21 involvement on Wednesday night
- Big decision over how to approach the game for the Reds’ boss
- Klopp could keep same starting XI after dominant first leg win
- However changes could be forthcoming in different approach
- Milner could return for midfield assistance if Klopp does alter set-up
- Allen also an available for extra solidity after assured cameo display last week
- Origi offers alternative striking option following recent promising outings
The Reds XI vs. United
Having directed his players to “play again as we did in the first leg” in his pre-match press conference, Klopp looks set to stick with the same team and approach in Manchester.
That would allow Liverpool to pick up from where they left off last week and maintain a dangerous attacking threat on the night to find a potentially contest-ending away goal – despite van Gaal’s confidence that his side can score four goals.
The same line up – assuming Moreno is fit to feature after injury scare – would see Liverpool take to the “better grass” at Old Trafford, as stated by United’s Ander Herrera, looking like this:
Klopp could, however, opt for a slightly more cautious approach, which is complicated by the potential absence of Moreno.
If the Spaniard fails to prove his fitness, the Reds boss will be forced into shuffling his improved defensive unit with Brad Smith in line to come in at left-back alongside Lovren, Sakho and Clyne.
And for the more defensive outlook, Milner’s availability could see the 29-year-old return to the XI to provide the underrated balancing act between defence and attack, allowing Firmino to spearhead the Reds, keeping Sturridge available to unleash from the bench.
One change would see the Reds XI look like this come 8:05pm kick-off time:
After playing their way into a commanding position in the tie so superbly at Anfield, Liverpool must “stay cool” to see the job through on a huge night at Old Trafford.
Watch Klopp’s full pre-match press conference here
See also: Man United vs. Liverpool – 5 pre-match questions
Read more: Three key battles at Old Trafford, including Sturridge vs. De Gea