New Names, New Faces: what Is Liverpool’s Strongest Line Up For The 2018/19 Season?

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Article by Anish Dogra

@Anish_Dogra


Four weeks to go. As we await the start of the highly anticipated 2018/19 football season there is still plenty of debate as to what Liverpool’s strongest starting eleven should be for the upcoming season.

The Reds will once again be competing for major honours as they hope to mount a serious title challenge for the first time since 2013/14 and to hopefully go one step further in this seasons UEFA Champions League as well as aiming to win at least one of the two domestic cups, the league cup and FA cup.

Throughout this article I will be offering a variety of starting eleven’s that can hopefully be the answer in ending the club’s long trophy drought.

Option one

The strongest starting eleven from last season was quite successful in many aspects. They comfortably finished in the top four of the Premier League for a second successive season whilst making all the way to Kyiv in the UEFA Champions league Final. For those who need refreshing as to what the club’s strongest team was last season here it is:

Formation: 433

Karius
TAA Lovren Van Dijk Robertson
Wijnaldum Henderson (CDM) Milner
Salah Firmino Mane

Based on the signings that the club have already made this season, with potentially more to come it is highly unlikely that Klopp will use this starting eleven for the majority of games this season. Having said that, as this team had a season to gel with one another, Klopp may still revert to this team more often than not.

 

Option 2

Due to the signings that Edwards, Klopp and co. have brought in and the likes of Lallana, Matip and Clyne coming back from long term injuries, it is highly likely that the manager picks this eleven over the strongest team from last season.
Formation: 433

Alisson
Clyne Matip Van Dijk Robertson
Keita Fabinho (CDM) Lallana
Salah Firmino Mane

Hypothetically this is the starting eleven I expect to see on the 12thof August when LFC entertain West Ham United at Anfield for the first game of the new Premier League season. Reasons being are that Henderson, Lovren and TAA have all just finished playing for their respective countries in the World Cup and are not expected to return to training until the 6thAugust, just 6 days before our season starts. They will then need a few weeks of training to get back up to speed before Klopp can name any of those three players in his starting line-up.

As most of us have heard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be able to play for us for the majority of the season, potentially even for the whole season. This is a huge blow for everyone associated with our club as he was playing exceptionally well prior to his multiple cruciate ligament injury. Had it not been for the injury, AOC would be getting back up to speed with Henderson, Alexander-Arnold and Lovren after their excursions in the World Cup.

Option 3

Once everyone has got back up to speed after completing several weeks of training, I expect this will be our starting eleven for the majority of games this season:

Formation: 433

Alisson
TAA Lovren Van Dijk Robertson
Henderson   Fabinho (CDM) Keita
Salah Firmino Mane

In my opinion I believe this will be our strongest eleven in what will hopefully be a memorable season. Henderson has to be a guaranteed starter after his excellent season for club and for country. He possess a great talent in spotting a pass, and with Fabinho offering that security in front of the back four, Liverpool’s captain will be available to push further forward and hopefully contribute to more goals and assists in comparison to previous campaigns. Then there is the return of the outstanding Scouser in Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The incredible 19 year old who grew up a few minutes outside of Melwood will be back after an excellent campaign with Liverpool which saw him called up to the national side for the World Cup. Finally, who could forget about Dejan “Deggsy” Lovren, the former Southampton and Lyon centre-back also enjoyed a superb World Cup as he and his team mates progressed all the way to the final.

Since that dreadful day in October against Tottenham, Lovren has been one of our most consistent players and has formed a formidable partnership with Van Dijk which enabled the club to comfortably finish in the Premier League’s top 4 and reach the UEFA Champions League final.

Remaining Options

Since 2007, the year I started supporting LFC, I have never seen our club possess a squad of such depth and quality until now. The signing of Xherdan Shaqiri along with players who were out on loan last season and are now looking sharp in pre-season such as Daniel Sturridge and Sheyi Ojo have given us excellent options from the bench if a game isn’t going our way.

 

The returning players from their respective loans has given us more opportunity to rest and rotate players when needed. Below I have come up with several options which could be a possibility in the Champions League, cup games and other league games.

 

(For Cup)
Formation: 433

Karius
Clyne Matip Gomez Moreno
Milner Wijnaldum (CDM) Lallana
Shaqiri Sturridge Mane

 

(For Champions League)
Formation: 4231

Alisson
TAA Matip Van Dijk Robertson
Fabinho Keita
Shaqiri Firmino (CAM) Mane
Salah

(For other league games)
Formation: 4231

Alisson
Clyne Gomez Van Dijk Moreno
Fabinho Keita
Salah Shaqiri (CAM) Mane
Sturridge

With the signings that Klopp, Edwards and co. have obtained, for the first time in all my years of supporting this wonderful football club we are finally ready, in my opinion to successfully challenge for all four fronts this season. There is unbelievable talent in the ranks and plenty of options, how often us Liverpool fans have we been able to say that!

In your opinion what do you think is the strongest eleven to compete in all four competitions? How many changes will Jurgen Klopp have to make to ensure that the whole squad remain fresh and fit for the upcoming season? Let me know in the comments below.

Article by Anish Dogra

@Anish_Dogra

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