I don’t think we’ll go with both. Midfield battle is too crucial in a game like this (what City do in 2-3 positions and terms of structure will be also interesting and not easy to predict) and Bobby isn’t in form at the moment to provide that balance between midfield and attack. It’s true that Keita or Milner aren’t ideal for different reasons, so we might prepare a change “in advance” there after an hour. Hopefully we have Thiago on the bench as another option, but we’ll see.
One thing is for sure, I certainly won’t criticize Klopp if he sticks for Bobby from the start for this one. Form is on Jota’s side. But not everything is about form. There’s also different opposition, individual quality, experience, understanding between team mates. I think the public and especially fans are always quick to jump on the form factor and scream for a change or something new. It’s not really how football staff think a lot of the time. They’ll still go for the “boring old” option more than one thinks.
More on Bobby, this reaction lately doesn’t surprise me. He’s an unusual player, let’s be honest. I felt from the start, it took a lot of fans quite a while to understand what he does for us, reluctantly accept or even start loving him a bit (some more, some less)! Some still can’t quite fall in love with him and I understand it. You have different roles in football. He’s not fast, he’s not a finisher (let’s not count those no look tap ins), he can have some technical brainfarts here and there.
I think a lot of people were late to the Bobby party in the first place and a lot of those will be among the first to leave that party if you like. It’s fantastic speaking to some in real life who go on about how great Klopp’s system is, how incredible we are considering out net spend and a bit different way of building this team. Let’s be fair, some who adore him can also overrate him. But Bobby was/is truly one of the key players so far.
Back to the game, I actually feel it might well be Jota. He also gives us the option of switching it up top for certain periods. Mane can go central, Salah can, Jota can. We did something very interesting a few years ago in the CL away game at their place when we played Bobby off the left, Mane on the right and Salah up top. But that was different context and we decided very early to focus more on counter attack and leave Mo up top.
Atalanta were wild (we were great, but they also really didn’t play well, that’s what you get from teams like that, some inconsistent results from time to time), it made sense for us to go with 3 of our most mobile attackers, who can beat people 1v1 and run ih behind. City are also offensive and will probably have more of the ball, but it’s totally different.
I think there should be no problems with whatever Klopp goes with when the XI’s are out. If it’s Jota, I hope we don’t lose a lot of the key and established elements Bobby brings to our game, linking the midfield (which might be light on Sunday) with attack (yeah, we might not need much of that against City in comparison with Jota’s qualities). If it’s Bobby, I hope he plays better than lately (I also think that was a bit exaggerated, he wasn’t that bad for me).