Following the impressive victory over Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday night, Liverpool now switch attention to Premier League duties. Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United outfit visit Anfield tomorrow for a 7:45pm (BST) kickoff. Here’s a preview of the game.

The Reds are fresh off the back of a convincing victory in the Champions League that secured their passage to the knockout stages. The 3-0 victory saw the manager tweak his recently adopted 4-4-2 formation into more of a diamond setup.

This was to allow Darwin Nunez drift into central areas as part of a strike duo with Mohamed Salah, instead of having the 23 year old hug the touchline like an old-school winger. This system also handed Bobby Firmino a free role at the tip of the diamond.

The Brazilian revelled in the role as he roamed all over the pitch, dropping as deep as he wanted without leaving the team a man short upfront. This new setup wasn’t without it’s teething problems as Ajax were by far the better side in the opening half hour.

The Reds held form though, riding their luck when they had to, before settling and taking the game away from the hosts. Goals from Salah, Darwin and Elliott did the damage on the night as the new formation tweak passed its first test.

With the injury hell easing ever so slightly, the hope is we see more of the same tomorrow. Liverpool have been way too inconsistent in the league this season. This is why the Reds lie 8th in the table, sandwiched between Fulham and Brighton.

Eleven games in and the Reds have only managed to win four times, losing three games already (more than they lost in the whole of the previous campaign). It’s been a stop-start season thus far, with the defeat to Forest last Saturday coming just a week after an impressive victory over Man City.

Klopp’s men are five points off Newcastle United in fourth and twelve points off the summit. Not exactly insurmountable deficits but if there are still designs on mounting an unlikely title challenge, games like tomorrow need to be won with minimum fuss.

Opponents Leeds are enduring a harrowing campaign thus far, with American boss Jesse Marsch coming under intense pressure in recent weeks. A strong start to the season proved to be a false dawn for the Yorkshire club.

They won 7 points from their opening three games, with the 3-0 hammering of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea particularly eye-catching. Since then however, their record reads: played 8, won 0, drawn 2, lost 6.

They are on a four game losing streak, with this wretched run of form seeing the manager pushed to the brink as certain sections of the fanbase call for the sack. Marsch succeeded fan favourite Marcelo Bielsa last season and staved the club off relegation.

He will set his side up to sit deep and frustrate tomorrow, before looking to hit on the break. The last thing he needs is an open game that could lead to a hammering at Anfield. Klopp’s side looked toothless against Forest’s deep lying defence but will hope for a better result here.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Marcelo Bielsa failed to adapt, sending his injury ravaged side out to play the same man marking high tempo style. The Reds ran out 6-0 winners a few days before the League Cup final success at Wembley.

Leeds’ previous trip to Anfield before that saw them fall to an opening day 4-3 loss, with Salah notching a hat trick. Jürgen Klopp is unbeaten against the Whites, guiding his side to four victories and a draw in five meetings across all competitions.

Team News

For Liverpool, Matip, Keita, Arthur, Diaz and Jota remain out. Konaté is available again, with the manager suggesting the Frenchman wasn’t fit enough to feature despite being on the bench at Ajax. Jordan Henderson is expected to be fit following a knock he picked up on Wednesday.

Thiago is also expected to be available after missing the last two matches with an ear infection. Oxlade-Chamberlain is also fit and available after marking his return from a serious hamstring injury with a 15 minute cameo at Forest last week.

For Leeds, there will be late fitness checks on Luis Sinisterra, Rodrigo Moreno, Tyler Adams, Joe Gelhardt and Liam Cooper. Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw and Leo Hjelde remain long-term absentees.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s