Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has told Sky Sports that Jurgen Klopp should consider dropping Mamadou Sakho for our Europa League trip to Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.
We travel to Klopp’s former club at the Westfalenstadion tomorrow night in what could be an emotionally-charged first leg of a highly-anticipated quarter-final.
Dortmund are widely considered favourites for the tournament, in no small part due to a forward line which includes the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus.
Our defence could be in for a busy evening and so it is imperative that Klopp gets the personnel of his back four right. Thompson thinks that he has a dilemma on his hands.
The ex-Reds centre-back, a three-time European Cup winner with Liverpool, would be tempted to recall Martin Skrtel alongside Dejan Lovren due to Sakho’s shaky recent form.
The France international had some heart-in-mouth moments in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool have conceded five goals in their last three outings.
He told Sky Sports: “I’m not really sure what Sakho was doing in the first half against Spurs and he was extremely lucky to go unpunished, which you can’t expect to be the case against this Dortmund side.
“He obviously had a very difficult game and Dejan Lovren did very well to bail him out, but if you leave him out that will wreck his confidence.
“I would say Skrtel is very much in contention to start in Germany, but it’s a very big call for Klopp.”
Although Sakho can sometimes test the nerves of even the calmest Liverpool fan, Skrtel’s most recent performance against Southampton does not exactly breed confidence either.
The Slovakian, making his first appearance in three months following injury, came on as a half-time substitute when we were 2-0 up against Southampton, who came back to win 3-2.
That experience, combined with Skrtel’s lack of football in recent times, especially at such a high level, means that Klopp should stick with the Sakho and Lovren partnership.
Roberto Firmino injury latest: Brazilian travelling to Dortmund but faces late fitness test
Dortmund Police beg travelling Liverpool fans not to bring fireworks to Westfalenstadion
Five key players are one booking away from a Europa League ban – and the ref is a nutter