Liverpool’s triple swap revealed Diogo Jota’s tactical plan for Sheffield United


Liverpool face a team at Sheffield United which they beat at home and away last season – although that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.At Anfield in January, it was a relatively straightforward three-point for the Reds, aided by a Mohamed Salah goal, in a controlled performance by Jurgen Klopp’s men.

In the reverse game 13 months ago, Liverpool needed a slip from goalkeeper Dean Henderson – on loan from Manchester United – after Gini Wijnaldum shot from the edge of the box 20 minutes to go.

In both matches, Liverpool played their usual 4-3-3 system, with James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Wijnaldum forming the midfielder in the first and Fabinho replacing Milner in the second.

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This time around, however, the circumstances are perfect for Liverpool to move into a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Klopp and his players yet to use this system despite pre-season testing.

On the Analyzing Anfield podcast, Josh Williams said: “I think a 4-2-3-1 could be on the cards because we know for sure Sheffield United will play against five.

“Klopp sometimes goes 4-2-3-1 against a back-five system because the front-four attacking group can pin the back-five by occupying the channels between each player.

“If Fabinho is to be used in defense Diogo Jota is eager to leave, and Liverpool are at home too, maybe Klopp will go for four forwards and a midfielder two.

“Maybe he will be less inclined to play 4-2-3-1 without Virgil van Dijk in the background, but if Thiago Alcantara plays it gives you more control. ”

David Hughes added: “This is the perfect opportunity to change. You know what to expect from the opposition and even though there are question marks about Xherdan Shaqiri he tends to come and do the job.

“Think about the Merseyside derby last year where he came in and scored and had a really good game.

“I just think it’s the perfect opposition. They are not in great shape and you may need to break them down a bit more. Jota is a very good candidate to enter, and if Thiago is in good shape. [it makes even more sense]. «

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After Klopp’s triple change against Ajax, taking all three off his frontline on time in what was clearly a premeditated trade, Salah, Mane and Firmino would look certain to start.

Takumi Minamino is also hoping to have an impact on the game, although Jota appears to be the favorite to enter the camp and complete the attack after impressing the most on Wednesday night.

But regardless of Klopp’s choice in his midfield and front line, the shift to a more offensive formation and the 4-2-3-1 system that has worked so well in the past makes a lot of sense.


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