The international break will give Jürgen Klopp a good chance to analyze his squad after the mixed performances in the first three games of the new season. The Reds will finally move to a new look Anfield, a bigger and more noisy one, when they welcome the Champions of England in their first game after the international break.
There will be a buzz in the stadium, mainly because it is the first game of the new season at home and also because of the new main stand that will be up for show for the first time. However, the manager cannot rely on this buzz to get him over the line on the night and will need to get most decisions right to get the better of Ranieri, the architect of Leicester’s title challenge last season. With the match-day not too far away, here are 3 things Klopp cannot afford to get wrong at Anfield this Saturday.
In the first three games of the season, we have seen Liverpool use Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge to lead the side in attack. The Brazilian has been impressive, racking up the highest number of chances created this season so far but Sturridge showed what he can do in front of goal in his quick brace in a League Cup game against Burton Albion.
It will not be an easy decision for Klopp as he will have to decide on two different playing styles, let alone players. Sturridge will run the lines and attract defenders while also provide a focal point. Firmino will sit back and invite defenders to free up space for runners ahead of him. Either style might do the trick or fail on the night so it will be important for Klopp to make sure that he sets out a team that can balance the act against the Foxes.
The holding midfield area that has been a problem for the club for years now, is getting weaker and weaker for the Reds. Though Lucas Leiva, who did a decent job last season is now back fit, Emre Can, who is now the first choice for the manager was left out of the Germany squad in the international break due to a foot injury. Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum did a decent job at Spurs, but Liverpool need that commanding presence in the midfield and Klopp has to decide if he wants to use Lucas or Henderson in that role for this game. Emre Can’s injury has not ruled him out of the Leicester City clash, it is unlikely that he will be risked and Klopp will have an important decision to make for a crunch game.
Avoid a repeat of Turf Moor
Liverpool’s only loss in the new season came at Turf Moor when Sean Dyche’s side managed to find two goals with just 19% of the possession on the night. The Reds were ruthless for most parts of the games snatching the ball away early and keeping it for long periods trying to break Burnley down. However, they failed to create enough goal scoring opportunities for themselves as they were left empty handed and if Liverpool have a similar game at Anfield this weekend, they will have huge problems.
The quality in the Leicester City side can hurt Liverpool constantly on the break and if they are not able to break the Leicester defense, it will be a long night at the renovated Anfield. Klopp has to make sure that his team has enough cutting edge to make that possession matter as Leicester City will be happy for them to have the ball making the contest an intriguing one.