Since nobody wants to take responsibility, again, it seems my erstwhile contribution to the pre Match thread starting squad is once again required.
Away goals don’t count anymore, for a start, so will be interesting to see how teams approach it. Inter is unlikely to be too gung ho anyway as we are probably going to seek to dominate the ball as usual. I’ve no idea of their team so will get straight onto ours
The usual back 5 of Ali, Trent, Virg, Joel and Robbo.
I’d like to see a midfield of Fabinho, Thiago and Keita, personally and,
Salah, Jota and Mane get my vote for the front 3
Tough calls in there, options on the bench to be Harvey, Diaz, Henderson, Firmino with Konate and Tsimi to provide the defensive cover. We’re spoilt for choice at the moment, long may it continue.
Can’t remember playing this lot, tbh. Lets rip em a new one so… Allez, Allez, Allez and off you go lads.
Nicolo Barella is suspended for the first leg after his red card in Inter’s final group game. His absence is a huge blow for the home side. Arturo Vidal may deputise.
Alessandro Bastoni will return in defence after missing their 1-1 draw with Napoli at the weekend through suspension.
January signing Robin Gosens still isn’t fit so Ivan Perisic, who worked under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund from 2011-2013, will likely continue at left wing-back for the hosts.
Edin Dzeko has scored in each of his last three matches against Liverpool. He scored home and away against them for Roma in the Champions League in 2017/18 and in his final Premier League encounter against them for Manchester City in 2015.
Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez only has two goals in nine career appearances against Liverpool but is another option in attack alongside Lautaro Martinez.
Barella is a big miss, we’ll see if it’s Vidal or Gagliardini who replaces him. They will go up against Thiago on their right and our left side of central midfield. Central battle will be big, with Inter’s system and their key players being right through the spine; de Vrij, Brozovic, Barella, Lautaro. Calganoglu will play in moments of the game as a high left sided CM and of course have the most licence to join support the attacking duo. Hence why regardless of his weaker form lately, I expect us to start Hendo without much doubt. Not like we have another CM in such brilliant form, shape, etc.
Stylistically though, with de Vrij being the central CB and Brozovic starting all their attacks from the single pivot spot in that midfield trio, I would’ve liked to unleash a bit of the Bobby medicine on them. See how that’s like. But form wise, it’s very much on Jota, who could also pose different problems with his movements, turns, balance, finishing.
We’ll see if it’s really Matip or maybe we decide that he can’t start this game. I’m going to guess he will play, but that remains to be seen.
Against Norwich at home, I’d expect a few more changes, perhaps half the team or close to it. Someone like Tsimikas, Keita or Elliott, Diaz.
Happy with any lineup that starts tomorrow. 5 changes possible and we will have some good options from bench.
For the rest of the season we don’t have many games left where we can rest many players. The FA Cup and maybe the league game vs Norwich at the weekend might give Klopp the opportunity to make 4 to 6 changes.
Although their recent history (and success) is smudged by (dirty) money, Internazionale is a proper football club. In Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso they had two of my favorite players. Zanetti reminds me of Milner; a no-frill, no-fuss player always giving 110% for the team.
Inter are currently second, with a game in hand, in the league table. Since January, they have beaten Lazio, Roma, and Milan, and have drawn with Atalanta and Napoli. Edin Dzeko is their top-scorer (13 goals in all competition) and that probably is a symptom of their weakness.
Very humbled and happy that Inter fan group the Curva Nord is planning to pay tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster during the upcoming game. Respect.