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Talking Tactics: Should This Liverpool’s Work Horse Start Against Manchester United?



Mid-week action intensifies as Liverpool march ahead on their Europa League campaign with a visit to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the second leg of the round of 16. The first leg ended with a triumphant victory over their biggest rivals. Liverpool enter this match with a comfortable lead of 2 goals on aggregate. Anfield erupted with joy as Liverpool had showcased one of their finest performances of the season. Jurgen Klopp was delighted by his side’s performance and said that he expects his team to perform in the same way in the away leg.


Liverpool are expected to go in this match with a lot of confidence but Old Trafford is a venue where unexpected things have happened in the past and the manager is well aware of this. His side cannot afford to be complacent about their aggregate score-line and need to deliver a performance which would delight the manager as well as the travelling fans. Jurgen Klopp had clearly mentioned in the post-match conference about his side’s approach in the second leg.

Milner to start?

Jordan Henderson has not been in the best of his form and Louis Van Gaal is completely aware of this and would urge his side to exploit on this weakness. It would not be a surprise if Jurgen Klopp decides to opt for James Milner for this fixture. Milner had missed the first leg due owing to an illness but he is fit and ready for the mid-week action. Choosing Milner over Henderson will certainly give Liverpool that much needed defensive strength in the middle of the park as Milner is known to make those crunching tackles and those runs to avoid the counter attacks.

Tactical Changes

With Milner coming in the game, Klopp will need to rely on Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho for the attacking duties. Emre Can will get a respite at the heart of the midfield with Milner giving him support with his tremendous work-rate. Later in the game, Klopp might just look to capitalize on the lead but the manager’s top priority is to stop United from scoring in the opening minutes. If Liverpool manages to score even a single goal, Man United will need to hit 4 in order to advance. Considering this, Klopp might just go ahead with the English work-horse and play him for the majority of the game. If things do not go as expected, Klopp might just want to replace him with an attacking option as the game progresses.