The tactical change Klopp must employ v Ajax if Liverpool are to successfully ‘reinvent’ themselves – opinion

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Much has been made of Jurgen Klopp’s post-Napoli promise that Liverpool will reinvent themselves in response to a crushing defeat at the hands of Luciano Spalletti’s men in Naples.

Will this involve a series of personnel change in the starting-XI for our hosting of Ajax (assuming the tie is set to go ahead following the death of Queen Elizabeth II)? Perhaps a tweaking of the high line as Jamie Carragher suggested on CBS? Or, my personal favourite, a formation change to get the best out of the club’s currently available options.

Adding more forwards to the starting-XI on the pitch against the Dutch champions – as part of a move to a 4-2-3-1 – may seem like insanity to some. How on earth, after all, can taking out a midfielder make our midfield less easy to play through?

Putting aside the reality that we have a higher proportion of attackers available compared to midfielders for a moment, one only needs to cast their mind back to our surprisingly goalless stalemate with Everton back at the start of the month.

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A toiling Liverpool, once again struggling to gain a foothold in the middle of the park, seemed rejuvenated by Jurgen Klopp’s decision to take off an injured Fabio Carvalho for Bobby Firmino.

Slotting the Brazilian in the hole between Mo Salah and Luis Diaz, dropping Harvey Elliott back into a double pivot with Fabinho and pushing Darwin Nunez ahead as a lone striker not only seemed to get the best out of the latter but also helped Klopp’s men showcase some proper connectivity across the park.

Given the complete lack of that of late, it’s left our back four increasingly exposed to balls over the top with our Brazilian anchor often left with far too much to do in the absence of counter-press initiator Thiago Alcantara.

The reality remains that we can’t simply stick to a rigid application of the high line without a midfield that is capable of providing proper protection to the backline and maintaining a reliable presence in the middle of the park – it’s exacerbating both our defensive and offensive concerns.

Dropping the forward line (bar Nunez) a little deeper would get the best out of Firmino’s interconnective play whilst also potentially allowing us to assert ourselves more in the midfield until our Spanish playmaker is fully back up to speed.

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