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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp hints at possible switch to 4-2-3-1 – and why he hasn’t tried it yet

Given Liverpool’s ongoing problems with personnel in midfield, Jurgen Klopp has hinted he could switch to a 4-2-3-1 – though other issues have stopped him so far.

There was an expectation following the signings of Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho that Liverpool could change formations heading into 2022/23.

But throughout pre-season, the 4-3-3 remained, and that has been the case in the opening four games of the campaign proper.

Monday saw Klopp drop Fabinho and start Jordan Henderson as his No. 6, with Harvey Elliott and James Milner retained in the advanced roles, as Carvalho served as the only other senior option on the bench.

It led to a shambolic display that compounded Liverpool’s issues with Thiago, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all currently out through injury.

Speaking in his post-match press conference at Old Trafford, Klopp explained his decision to omit Fabinho and, referencing the issue with numbers, suggested he has considered moving to a two-man midfield.

However, the manager also noted how, with Nunez and Diogo Jota also currently out, he would struggle to field the four attackers a 4-2-3-1 system requires.

“We have, in the moment, five senior midfielders, and we have to start with three,” he told reporters.

“We could start with two if we had more attackers but we only have three attackers, so it means we have to start with three and change during the game.

“How we want to start and how we want to change, we have to think before the game. That’s the only reason for it.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As it stands – discounting 17-year-olds Stefan Bajcetic and Bobby Clark – Liverpool have five fit senior midfielders in Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Elliott and Carvalho, and three forwards in Mo Salah, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino.

In short, there are eight players for six positions, with both Carvalho and Elliott capable of filling in a variety of roles between midfield and attack.

That has left Klopp to stick with his tried-and-trusted 4-3-3, with the availability of Thiago, Jota and Nunez arguably key to any shift to a 4-2-3-1.

It is interesting, however, that the manager has floated the idea of changing formations again, as was the case back in July when discussing his midfield options.

There is an element of fantasy in it at this stage, but a midfield of Thiago and Fabinho, Jota or Firmino as the No. 10 and Salah, Diaz and Nunez in attack could be a devastating setup for Liverpool.

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