LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp confirms next formation change – Curtis Jones role explained

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed another formation change for Liverpool’s clash with Napoli tonight, though the role of Curtis Jones may shift mid-game.

In recent weeks, the Reds have lined up in one of two iterations of a 4-4-2 system, with the last two games seeing a diamond midfield.

When the teamsheet was released for the Group A clash with Napoli this evening, it was expected that the same shape would be retained, with Jones deployed as No. 10.

But speaking to BT Sport in the buildup to kickoff, Klopp instead revealed that his side would revert to a 4-3-3.

That means a three-man midfield of Fabinho, James Milner and Thiago, with Mohamed Salah back to the right flank and Roberto Firmino the centre-forward.

Interestingly, it sees Jones take up his former role as left winger, having spent much of his senior career under Klopp as a central midfielder.

“We want to play a 4-3-3, but it’s difficult,” Klopp said.

“Curtis will play the left wing. We have to use our wings but, on the other side, it’s really important we have to defend properly.

“We have to be compact in all the situations, so I think it makes sense to go back to a system that we’re used to.”

It shows the flexibility of Jones, who remains one of the most talented young players at Liverpool, with the manager able to use him in a two-man midfield, as the left midfielder in a flat four, and both a No. 8 or No. 10 in the diamond.

Whether this suggests a long-term move back to the 4-3-3 is unclear, though it is likely that Klopp will use whichever formation is best-suited to a particular game.

With Darwin Nunez rested and Jordan Henderson not fit enough for the squad – along with the many injuries – there was clearly no better option than the tried-and-trusted 4-3-3 tonight.