New Liverpool signings Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak are yet to make their debuts, despite the former Preston North End man featuring on the bench at Anfield earlier this week.
The Wednesday night fixture offered a performance to forget from the Reds, which we’re almost coming to expect based on form in recent months.
Liverpool have struggled against sides who sit back and break on the counter, with a depleted midfield and auxiliary defence.
It’s difficult to pinpoint where it’s going wrong for the Premier League champions, but the additions of Kabak and Davies could really help out.
Even if just one of them is brought in to play alongside Nat Phillips in the coming weeks, it’ll allow Jordan Henderson to return to the heart of the team in the middle of the park.
The Reds have missed their captain’s influence in midfield of late and would greatly benefit from it, and the same can be said of Fabinho.
What’s more likely is Kabak and Davies being selected to play alongside each other for the majority of the remainder of the season, with Phillips doing a commendable job but not consistently at the level required.
So – if we exclude players we aren’t likely to see again until next season, we at Empire of the Kop believe this is our new strongest XI…
Alisson, Kabak, Davies*, Trent, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Mane, Firmino**
*Playing Fabinho in place of Davies and bringing Gini Wijnaldum into the side is another great option, **as is Diogo Jota in place of one of the front three.