Liverpool have been a bit of a feast to famine club in recent years. They haven’t had consecutive stints in the Champions League since 2010. Having managed to pull the club back into Europe’s premier club competition, Jürgen Klopp will be determined to build on last season’s fourth place finish. Klopp has strengthened the squad adding Egyptian maestro Mohammed Salah as well as Hull’s Andrew Robertson and Chelsea’s young striker Dominic Solanke.
The Liverpool boss clearly wants to bring in more players with high profile pursuits of both Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk suggesting that he is not satisfied with the current squad. It seems as if their campaign to bring in Kieta has failed with the Liverpool Echo reporting that the Reds have given up on signing him this season with the intention of reigniting their pursuit of him next season.
Van Dijk, however, is another story with the Dutch defender apparently unwilling to play in Southampton’s first game, according to The Mirror, in order to push through a move. On top of transfer related matters Klopp will be considering how to set his side up as the new season begins. With that in mind, we take a look at two different options for the German manager.
2The Attacking Option: 4-3-3:
Klopp has a wealth of attacking talent: Coutinho, Firmino, Sturridge, Lallana, Mane, Salah and Solanke can all play in advanced positions, and he also has both Danny Ings and Divock Origi as options. Playing a 4-3-3 would allow him to get most of these players and put them into their strongest positions while also retaining at least a degree of solidity in midfield.
Last season, Liverpool really struggled to break down the smaller teams. They dropped so many points against sides they should have beaten and playing 4-3-3 should allow them to break them down more easily and then retreat into a more defensive variation when needed.
Klopp could begin with a front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah with Firmino playing a false nine role when he can drop back and pick up the ball before finding Salah and Mane. Behind them, Coutinho could play in an advanced midfield role with both Henderson and Can playing more defensive roles behind him.
The team then could be seen as having a front 4 (Mane, Firmino, Salah and Coutinho) with a back 5 of Can, Milner, Matip, Lovren and Clyne with Henderson sitting in midfield as a box-to-box midfielder. If and when they want to defend a lead any of the front four could be replaced by a more defensive midfielder such as Wijnaldum.