Jurgen Klopp regularly blames the players that allow opponents the ball in the first place, and not the defenders, when we concede goals.
He’s usually furious at midfielders or attackers for presenting opponents space and is more easy to forgive the back four.
On Saturday at the Etihad, we conceded five – largely because of Manchester City’s excellent play – but equally because our intensity and positioning was terrible after the Sadio Mane red.
Klopp has claimed his midfielders, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum, let him down at the weekend.
The boss told the Liverpool Echo: ‘If we lose the ball in the middle, then they can play the ball there. City are always playing like this. They use opportunities like this pretty well.
‘The first goal was so easy to defend… push up! Then two players are offside.
‘But we didn’t, and that’s what the first half was like, we weren’t compact enough and didn’t cause them enough problems. I was not happy, but I also realise we had those kind of situations going forward too.
‘City is very offensive-oriented and we are very offensive-oriented. And if players are properly defending in midfield (you have a better chance) – we are usually much better at that than we were against City.’
On Wednesday, we expect Coutinho to enter the midfield three, and although this doesn’t obviously solidify us in this area, it’ll help us retain possession and create a faster transition from back to front.
Wijnaldum had a shocker at the Etihad and we’d suggest he’s the most likely to make way, meaning Can will move to the right of Henderson and Coutinho could begin from his left – but be given licence to roam.
At the weekend, Coutinho could replace suspended Mane on the left, allowing Wijnaldum to return centrally.