A Case Of Daniel & Divock

Three days shy of the visit to Old Trafford, Liverpool play Southampton in the first leg semi final of the League Cup at St Mary’s. All eyes will be on how the Reds line up.

Simply, Jurgen Klopp must play Daniel Sturridge. If he starts, and most certainly he will, then it’s not because the German’s hand is forced due to a ‘ Mané-sized hole in attack.

I feel the argument that Divock Origi being more suited to Klopp’s pressing play is starting to wear off. The Belgian had a good run. He scored 5 in 5 matches. But since then, he has been quite disappointing. Wasteful, if I may add. There’s nothing too critical here. I really like Divock Origi. Its just that the Belgian could have done better than he has in the last few fixtures.

When it comes to Origi, the most irritating part has been he looses the ball a bit more than I can tolerate. And where the argument of who over whom is killed with the statement that Daniel Sturridge has looked the most likely to score. Since his return from injury, the England striker has looked greedy, threatening and sharp as ever. That’s what you want from your front line player. That’s whom you must play!

Sturridge playing without injury is a treat to watch. You know something is going to happen. He has looked great in the last few matches. So let’s just start him in the semi final. Let him have a run! Yes, the all important match against Manchester United is on the horizon. But I want Daniel to start against the Saints. Roberto Firmino will play. Since Sadio Mané is away, Divock Origi should complete the attacking trident. If the Belgian needs to keep a place with Philippe Coutinho returning from injury, he has to step it up. And he certainly has the right tools for that. Look no further than the League Cup quarterfinal at St Mary’s last year. Divock ran riot!

Klopp has stated there is a strong chance of Loris Karius keeping his place. I agree Jurgen, I agree. The German didn’t have much to do in the last match. And frankly he needs to feel the emotion of a cup fixture. Karius needs that. If he can come with his head held high, it would do him a world of good. And that is where the Saints will try to exploit.

Alberto Moreno is another one. Hasn’t the Spaniard looked very positive and refreshing since being dropped for James Milner? I don’t know about you, but for me, Moreno has been solid. His attacking instincts would be great in the away fixture. Klopp says Milner is fit. But will he be risked today is a question.

Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren partnership is set to continue. I think Joel Matip will be cocooned for United. There is a possibility that Lovren might be rested. I don’t see the need to. He should play. And boy will he be facing a hostile Southampton crowd or what?!

Right Back is Nathaniel Clyne. End of story. The England man is one of the fittest players in the Liverpool team. He is up for it to play two fixtures a week.

Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum should start. I think Klopp might take off Lallana at some point and bring in the returning Philippe Coutinho. That is if the Brazilian makes the squad. Emre Can will play too. It is almost certain that Jordan Henderson will start against United. Right now, Lallana and Wijnaldum picks themselves into the playing eleven. So there is no point in resting Emre Can despite him starting the last two matches. Kevin Stewart has an outside chance of making the start.

Southampton have not been in the best of forms. Liverpool need to capitalize on that and should take an advantage to the return leg at Anfield. A win will certainly set the tone for the short trip to Manchester on Sunday. Come on Reds!

You’ll Never Walk Alone

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