Jurgen Klopp has explained why he’s gone with the starting XI he picked today for our opening Premier League game of the season.
The boss went with Alisson between the sticks, Trent, Robbo, Gomez and van Dijk at the back; Gini holding with Milner and Keita either side – with the normal front-three…
It’s a mouthwatering side, especially considering the bench includes Sturridge, Shaqiri (who both shone in pre-season), new signing Fabinho and captain Henderson.
According to Klopp, the team was pretty much a no-brainer based on a combination of last season’s performances and the amount of training the players have done throughout the summer.
“[Alisson] has to play his game. We have worked together for two weeks; that’s not the world but it’s OK,” Klopp told Sky Sports, cited by the official website.
“Naby was here for all six weeks of the pre-season, like Fabinho. Shaqiri came later. Both are in the squad, that’s very important for us.
“Usually in the past, I think I always played with the team of last year at the beginning of the season but Hendo came back a bit late and stuff like that, so it makes sense.
“And they played really well together in midfield, for example against Napoli. Gini, Naby and Millie have worked together since we started pre-season, so that’s the midfield we wanted to have.
“Up front is clear. The defensive line is pretty much the defensive line of last year; Joe [Gomez] is in now at centre-half, he played a good pre-season.
“Of course, I never forget the last season – why should I? But the actual performance and impression training is more important, and that’s the line-up.”
What we like is that if things aren’t working, we’ve got options like Shaqiri and Sturridge who can come on and change the game – but also options like Hendo and Fabinho who can shore up the middle of the park.
Hopefully, we’ll consider using the last two after we go a few goals up, rather than need the attackers to come on and win us the game!