Klopp explains radical defensive plan as Thiago, Ox start for Liverpool

Date published: Monday 4th January 2021 7:26

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Jurgen Klopp has explained his thinking behind playing Jordan Henderson at centre-back against Southampton in the Monday Night Football.

The England star lines up alongside normal midfield partner Fabinho at the heart of the Reds defence at St Mary’s.

With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all sidelined, Klopp has opted for Henderson’s experience over youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

That leaves room in midfield for the returning Thiago, while there is also a start for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Speaking to Sky Sports before the game, Klopp explained his selection: “The plan is to go for three points of course. We know the challenge, it is a big 90 minutes.

“Southampton play 4-4-2, aggressive, brave, you need to play football so I hope Thiago can be influential.

Jordan Henderson TEAMtalk

“Jordan Henderson has the experience to play in defence – we need him, he hasn’t played there often but he only plays a few yards ahead of it anyway. If he makes a mistake it’s my fault.

“I know all about the way they play, it’s easy to make a plan against it but hard to play against it.”

Wijnaldum worry for Barca 

Barcelona will struggle to sign Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum this month due to the club’s presidency election, according to a Spanish football expert.

Wijnaldum, 30, has been a workhorse of the Reds side since signing from Newcastle United in July 2016. He saw the most game time of any Anfield midfielder last term as Liverpool won their first Premier League title.

There is no doubting the Netherlands international’s importance to the champions. However, he will fall out of contract in the summer and is now free to talk to overseas clubs.

Barcelona were linked last summer, with rumours that Ronald Koeman is also keen to bring his compatriot to the Nou Camp. But, with presidential elections scheduled for later this month, it may be put on the backburner. Read more…

 

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