How Liverpool Should Line-Up Against Southampton - Multiple Changes?

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A selected few of the Anfield Edition team have picked their Liverpool XI’s to face Southampton on Saturday.

 

Taylor Powling – Shaqiri to come in for jaded Salah

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After two hard fought, narrow wins against top quality opposition in the form of Tottenham and Paris Saint Germain, I can see Jürgen Klopp using this opportunity to make some alterations to his team. Southampton certainly can’t be written off, but when you look at the run of fixtures we have on paper you’d have to say the Saints represent the easiest task of them all.

I would still keep the backline unchanged as, although they did suffer a few potentially costly mistakes against PSG, they have for the most part defended resolutely as a unit and been a key figure head in our incredible start to the season. With Lovren only just returning to training and Matip being our only adequate backup at this point in time, I think it would be more beneficial for the so far successful Van Dijk and Gomez partnership to be broken up in the Carabao Cup.

Midfield is where I can see the majority of the changes being made. A lower league club visiting Anfield represents the best chance for Fabinho to be given his starting debut in place of Jordan Henderson, in a game where the Reds’ will expectedly have the majority of the possession.

In addition, I would also like to see Keita dragged back into the fold to replace Milner, as the Englishman has accumulated a lot of minutes recently and deserves a well earned rest for this one.

In attack I would replace Sturridge with Firmino and also give Shaqiri his first Premier League start for the club in place of Salah, who has been looking a bit jaded recently.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino) 

 

Owen Maers – Keita to start from the bench again 

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Liverpool thoroughly impressed fans and the wider football world alike with their 3-2 win over PSG on Tuesday with many players earning their respective places in the side. We saw Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge introduced to the side in the Champions League clash and both players impressed.

Jordan Henderson has been the subject of much criticism recently but he was a marshall in the midfield and has earned his place for Southampton. As for Sturridge, it’s likely that he will lose his place to Roberto Firmino who was only benched due to an eye injury – but a goal in his first UCL start in six years is an incredible display of his recovery.

In spite of this, Firmino will come in and Henderson will maintain his place, with everyone else most definitely retaining their places. The last time we faced Southampton, Firmino and Salah were firing us to a win and to see the latter score this weekend would be a huge confidence boost for the Egyptian.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino)

 

Elliot Whitelaw – Wijnaldum could do with a rest

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Back 5 excellent against PSG, we’ve come a long way in the last year with this defence. No changes to that back line at the moment.

Fabinho deserves a start against Southampton after his 30 second cameo against PSG. Besides, Gini could do with a break anyway and we should use the ability to rotate to our advantage.

Milner was excellent against PSG and needs to keep his place against Mark Hughes’ Saints.

Keita will obviously eventually become a guaranteed starter but the sooner the better for me, so I would start him on Saturday.

Front three unchanged, possibly swap Shaqiri for Salah as he looks a little frustrated at the moment.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino)

 

Laurie Yarde – It’s time for Klopp to bench Salah

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You would have thought after getting 5 wins out of 5, Klopp would try and resist temptation to tinker massively with the team, but fresh changes are needed and Saturday marks the ideal game to do so.

The only area I’d keep free of rotation is the defence. With only 2 league goals conceded this term, you need to try and keep as much stability in the back five as possible and even with Lovren returning to full training, this is currently the strongest defence. Robbo and Trent in particular deserve a rest, but this can come for them midweek against Chelsea.

The midfield ran themselves into the ground against PSG and for that reason, changes are probably advisable. Fabinho should get his full debut at the base of midfield, while Keita should return to the line-up after having to settle for a place on the bench on Tuesday. I’d have Wijnaldum retain his place; Milly has ran himself into the ground this season and Hendo is no longer suited to playing anywhere other than a number 6, which has to be occupied by Fabinho.

Despite arguably being the best front three in world football and almost untouchable when all three are fit and firing, I think it’s time for Klopp to have Salah take a place on the bench. Whether it’s a lack of confidence or just having to deal with the immense pressure after last season, something’s looked off about Salah so far this campaign and he may be better suited to coming off from the bench. If he can grab a goal or two similarly to how he did when coming on against Stoke last season, it could do wonders for his confidence.

Having said that, I’d give Shaqiri his first start for the club on the right of the attack — the effervescent Swiss has looked encouraging in his few cameos off the bench and I’m excited to see what he’s capable of when starting alongside Firmino and Mane.

Klopp has a squad and this is the perfect time to use it. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season and let’s hope Klopp can keep the winning momentum going.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino)

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