Roberto Firmino has been talking about Jurgen Klopp’s decision to switch from our regular 4-3-3 formation to 4-2-3-1 last time out v Red Star Belgrade.
The boss deployed a double pivot in midfield, with Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum anchoring the side and allowing Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino offensive freedom.
In our 4-3-3, Firmino is a false 9, but in the 4-2-3-1, he’s more of a withdrawn no.10, with Salah ahead of him. In both positions, his job of linking play and bringing team-mates into our plays remains the same, however.
It worked fantastically, with Liverpool obliterating the Serbians 4-0 – and in truth – it could have been plenty more.
Now, fans are wondering whether Klopp will bring an extra midfielder back for Cardiff’s trip to Anfield on Saturday afternoon, or if he’ll continue with the excellent Shaqiri as a roaming playmaker.
“They’re two different tactics,” Firmino told the official website. “The 4-3-3 is more focused on pressing, and we played with this formation for basically the whole of last season.
“We tested out a new formation in the last game and it went well, as we won. The midfield was more cohesive but also had more space, and it turned out well, and both tactics are good for us.
“We have only conceded three [league goals], which shows that we’re really tight at the back, and that we’re always really solid. I hope we can carry on like this until the end of the season.”
We think at home in matches we should be winning, there’s no harm at all in using the 4-2-3-1. It gets all our best attacking players on the pitch and favours the likes of Fabinho and Naby Keita, who played in a midfield two at their previous clubs.
Against Cardiff, we’d like to see the same XI used, although versus Arsenal a week later, it would probably be smart to bring James Milner into the three for extra shape and stability – relying on the front-three to create chances on the counter-attack.