Former Liverpool man Danny Murphy has suggested that the Reds have a more robust midfield than Manchester United and that it’ll be key in their Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona.
The Reds will take on the Catalan giants, who knocked out United in the previous round, with the first leg to be played at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
Over the two games between the Red Devils and Lionel Messi and co., it was painfully clear that the two sides weren’t cut from the same cloth as Barca ran out 4-0 winners on aggregate.
Liverpool will be hoping to do better than their bitter rivals against the Spaniards and Murphy has backed the Reds to do a better job.
“I don’t want to tempt fate but I think Liverpool are better equipped to deal with Lionel Messi than Manchester United were at the Nou Camp,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“They have to be concerned about Barcelona’s wizard, of course, but not obsessively so. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jurgen Klopp spends as much time working out how to deal with the runs from Jordi Alba at left back.
“If Alba and Philippe Coutinho are allowed to go two-against-one with Trent Alexander-Arnold isolated, that does spell danger for Liverpool.
“Stopping Messi isn’t simple but if you’re looking for a midfield three to do the job, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Gino Wijnaldum would be near the top of the list.
“All of them are what I’d call proper midfielders in that they have natural defensive instincts. They sniff out potential trouble ahead of time; which player needs marking, what space needs condensing.
“Even if Klopp can’t name his favoured three, he has other options in Naby Keita and James Milner, who have the athleticism and positional sense to deal with threats.
“That’s why I believe Liverpool should play their normal game. They have an excellent defensive record for a reason and Virgil van Dijk will be constantly chatting to his team-mates, telling them if Messi is coming as a live threat.”