THE ANFIELD NOISE

The big decision

Who would YOU pick on Sunday?
  • Bobby
  • Diogo
  • Both
  • Neither

0 voters

After Jota’s hat trick in Italy last night and given Firmino’s recent lacklustre showings, is it time to start the Portuguese forward in our big clash with Manchester City this weekend?

Forget what you think Klopp will do- what would YOU do?

I would not risk Keita or Thiago so I’d play both Bobby and Diogo.

The question for the CB partner for Gomez would give me a bigger headache.

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I would still start with Bobby, to throw Citeh out and to hold Diogo back, then unleash him on a more tired Citeh at around 60 mins, which should be enough time for him to score a dozen.

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Bobby over Jota.

Think starting both along with Mane and Salah risks us losing the midfield battle. save Jota’s legs for the last half hour.

Bobby usually plays well against City.

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You can’t not start Jota, you have to start him ahead of Mane and Salah even… He is literally on fire and what a shit message you would be sending if he gets dropped.

I’d start the front 3 we started last night, behind its a bit tricky but something like…

Alisson
Trent – Matip – Gomez – Robbo
Gini – Henderson – Keita
Salah – Jota – Mane

Hopefully Matip can start, otherwise it’s an interesting call.

Imagine being able to bring on Thiago and Bobby when cruising 2-0.

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@cynicaloldgit opening the City thread with a caution, without explicitly calling it the match thread ? :stuck_out_tongue:

Initially I thought you were @Alright_Now in disguise trying to make a list of sorts for some purpose with the above line :joy:

On the topic though, would have Jota start. Agree with @Draexnael, no reason to not start him. Looks fit and in super hot form.

If Thiago, Matip both are fit, I’ll be tempted to go with the below
Alisson - Trent Matip Gomez Robbo - Hendo Thiago Gini - Salah Jota Mane.

If Thiago isn’t fit, I’ll prefer Bobby in the attacking midfield role than Keita, for this one atleast.

Teams have worked out that although Salah and Mane get all the media attention Bobby is the guy who really makes us tick when he’s on it. He’s being tracked better so can’t drop into those spaces he used to. He’s going further and further back to get involved but can’t influence the game in the same way. His confidence has definitely been knocked.

The way to beat City is to sit deep and play on the counter. Jota has the pace and the movement to cause City problems through the centre and his confidence must be sky high. He simply has to start on Sunday.

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The way to beat City is to find opportunities to run in behind them and exploit that. Vardy and Barnes did it well for Leicester, Jota/Mane/Salah can do it for us.

The 4231 has to be totally out of the question on the evidence so far this season unless we want to give De Bruyne all the freedom in the world again. I’d rather have Jones or Keita fill in as a central midfielder than Firmino or Shaq floating around in the 10 position.

Defend in numbers, be compact in midfield, hit them with runners in behind. Jota is playing much better than Firmino so it’s a very simple decision.

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With the way Jota is playing right now,we need that threat from the start against city and to keep him in this rich vein of form,if we need to tactically rotate to manage game time and keep our players fit,then bring him off and have Firmino as the perfect sub to finish the game.

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You have to go with the guy in form, and Jota is on fire right now. We know City’s defence can be got at, and having three incredibly direct attackers running at them could make them shit the bed.

Plus they won’t have played a Liverpool side containing Jota before, and that could help swing things in our favour.

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Start Jota. His form is sizzling hot. Goals, pace, skill, link up play. Lots for Man City to worry about.

Bobby is excellent, we love him, and he will come again.

But the point of having four top strikers is that you can shuffle the pack a little to keep the level as high as possible. Bobby has been a bit off form and Jota is on fire. Nuff said.

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Love that I knew exactly what was being debated when I saw the thread title.

I figure Klopp will play Bobby per usual in away games in a 4-3-3…I’d be pleasantly surprised if we went for 4-2-3-1 with Salah up top or a modified version of our default formation that’s more like 4-3-1-2/4-1-2-1-2 with Salah and Mane with Bobby in the #10. That said, Diogo is bang in form and his movement is next-level, and that’s not even mentioning his finishing and workrate. I do feel he will cool down a bit, as happens with all players, but if Klopp can start to get some of his streakiness and make him more consistent he’s going to be very hard to keep out this year…and will be on the precipice of Mane/Salah’s levels.

As for Bobby: I think Bobby is similarly exceptional in terms of being world-class when he’s in form — while he’s missed a number of clear chances, he also generally takes shots from deeper positions than Salah/Mane, so perhaps that has influenced his finishing in examining his conversion rate — but in terms of top 10 in the world, that’s where Salah and Mane are in my book (FWIW, we had 4 players in the top 30 of FIFA21 rankings and 2 in the top 10). To be clear, I’m not saying FIFA rankings are imperial certainties by any stretch, but they do seem to be fairly objective as it pertains to the players’ real-life attributes. Anyway, Bobby doesn’t have as much star quality as Diogo may attain but as Klopp said we’d not even be in the UCL without him, let alone winning the Premier League. It really does say something that (at least from my observations) when Bobby plays well, we usually win.

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When as Liverpool fans it is difficult to predict the way Jurgen will set the team up…
Imagine the amount of homework Pep Fraudiola is giving to his players between now and Sunday in an effort to cover all permutations… Sleep well Pep :grinning:
Anyone caught leaking our team news early again should be banished to support the Bitters…!!!

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Our midfield always seem to struggle against city, especially when playing away. I would think that adding Firmino to the midfield would be a major gamble, and that would be the case even if he was playing above his expected level. Any midfield combination vs City, with Bobby in the midfield, would be decimated. At this point in time, Jota is way ahead of Firmino when it comes to form, and that was even before his hat trick.

To add to this, our defence needs more help, so the strongest possible midfield, and at least three genuine midfielders. The top three (assuming Jota), have the skill and form to take care of their end, and they normally help in defence anyway.

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There we go, my previous post explained in a single sentence.

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).

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Yup, I think we’ll go with a solid midfield trio and a 433, say Hendo, Gini and Keita, rather than with a 4231 (unfortunately for us, this game comes too early for Thiago). Given that Mané and Salah have been in good form lately, this means that it is a straight choice between Bobby and Diogo. I’d go with the latter on the basis of his current form, but who knows…

Klopp might want to go with Bobby as the first defender to break up opposing moves, and spare Diogo for the last thirty minutes or so. We’ll see. Whatever Kloppo’s decision, it’s a great dilemma to have!

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Both of course is the answer City deserve. Rest Mané or Salah. The ultimate disrespectful gesture

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