Jurgen Klopp misused Christian Benteke in Newcastle defeat

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Football News

Liverpool's recent 2-0 defeat at the hands of struggling Newcastle United can be attributed to Klopp's team selection.

He chose a team that lacked balance, Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva do not provide the box-to-box option and, therefore, leave the midfield lacking in the energy and enthusiasm department.

Christian Benteke is still a bit of a square peg in a round hole. His style of play differs so much from most of the other players in the team.


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Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge - the other options to start as the focal point of the attack - are either far more frightening, dangerous or smarter than the big centre-forward.

Had Klopp selected a more energetic and decisive 11 and killed the game off before half-time - like he did at Manchester City - he could have brought off those players who are still on their way back from injury such as Jordan Henderson and Sturridge.

Using Henderson alongside Lucas in the absence of Emre Can would have given Liverpool the enthusiasm in central midfield they are more accustomed to. Even popping James Milner more centrally alongside Lucas and introducing Adam Lallana to the starting eleven in place of Allen would have been an improvement.

Firmino was playing behind a striker who thinks on a different wavelength and, as a result, Liverpool looked quite dull in attack. Hopefully for Reds fans, Klopp will see this and realise he must work out how Benteke fits into the team - it may simply be as an option to come on towards the end of the game and occupy the centre backs of the opposing team.

Liverpool received a reality check which will hopefully spark them back into winning ways, but it's nice to see Klopp settling on a familiar back five each game. Now if he can get his front four combination right and select a balanced midfield duo each game, Liverpool can expect similar performances seen at Chelsea and Manchester City.

With an almost fully fit team the starting eleven would look something like this:

Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Emre Can, Lucas, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Sturridge.

This, for me, would be Liverpool's strongest eleven and the only position where rotation would be considered rotating regularly could involve Lallana for Firmino or introducing Milner for either Emre Can or Henderson.

Christian Benteke
Premier League

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