I know it's a little soon after today's match but I really wanted to have something else to talk about besides today's performance and result.
I have been expecting Jürgen to go all change for this one. He has rightly been prioritizing the league and UEFA so far. Using a blend of backups and U23 players (or in the case of the last match, just the U23s) has provided some great moments so far.
There also should be some real incentive for a few backup players to show why they are getting paid the wages they earn. I'm thinking of Divock Origi, Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and Joel Matip. I don't doubt the ability of any of them but it has been a while since any of them have had a meaningful impact on the team (Matip has been out injured mostly I realize). These four in particular need to step up, and of course Keita's big injury (recurring, niggling injuries) may not even allow him to be involved. Shaqiri won't play and he's off anyway.
There likely will be some call for the first choice players to step in because of what happened vs. Watford, but Jürgen will want the group to focus on the training ground this week and if those players featured Tuesday, they basically would have 1.5 training sessions before Bournemouth and he won't want that.
Let that acid taste linger in the starters' mouths for a few days longer. Then watch them come out vs. Bournemouth and remind some of you how they got to this place.
James Milner appears close to returning to training but I don't know if Jürgen will use him from the start, so he and Keita are big question marks. Matip should start and I would have expected Lovren, but I don't know if he will feature again just three days after his last match (where he played poorly). If Jürgen is telling the truth then Gomez should be back by next weekend.
Minamino will start up front, unless Jürgen decides to use him as a #8.
Among the kids, Neco Williams will start at right back, Curtis Jones at forward and probably Harvey Elliott at forward. Adrian will get a game in goal.
So maybe it looks like this (players in italics with fitness questions):
D: Williams, Matip, Lovren, Milner
M: Lallana, Keita, Jones
F: Elliott, Minamino, Origi
Subs: Kelleher, Hoever, Van den Berg, Chirivella, Lewis, Millar, Hardy
I should add that if he's fit, I would prefer Milner to start in midfield where he badly needs a game. Jones can play up front and Adam Lewis can play left back.
« Last Edit: Mar 01, 2020 02:23:21 pm by Robby The Z »