Henderson out in Klopp 4-2-3-1: Liverpool best possible X1 to face Burnley
COMMENT By Alex Stevens
Alberto Moreno should not be the only Liverpool regular axed for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Burnley.
Jordan Henderson should also feel Jurgen Klopp’s knife hovering over his back as the manager selects the team best able to take all three points at Turf Moor.
Liverpool produced some exhilarating play to win a 4-3 thriller at Arsenal last Sunday but it would be glossing over reality to suggest that was the perfect away performance.
Moreno has borne the brunt of criticism for his latest error-strewn display but Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum were also over-run in central midfield for the opening half-hour.
One of the pair should make way at Burnley for Emre Can, who Klopp has revealed is in his thinking to make the starting X1 on Saturday afternoon.
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The Germany international was a second-half substitute at Emirates Stadium and produced the kind of smooth, unflustered display that makes it easy to see why he is regarded as Liverpool’s first-choice central midfielder.
Wijnaldum’s greater ball retention should give him the nod over Henderson and mean a rare demotion for the Englishman, who is used to always starting when fit.
The likely unavailability of Sadio Mane, who picked up a shoulder injury during a team training session at Melwood on Wednesday, means the three attacking midfielders virtually pick themselves.
The two remaining big decisions are the identity of the players to spearhead the attack and partner Dejan Lovren at the heart of the defence.
Daniel Sturridge is fit again and has the scoring rate to die for, 54 goals in just 92 appearances for the club.
But Divock Origi has the pace, power and willingness to work two centre-backs in a way that does not always suit Sturridge and, away from home, the Belgian’s game could provide a more incisive point of the attack.
The England international, unquestionably the club’s best finisher, can then be kept in reserve for a half-hour substitute spell and work his way gradually back to match sharpness.
Graeme Souness identified Moreno and Ragnar Klavan as the weak points in the Liverpool defence at Arsenal, which should open the door for Matip to make his first competitive start for his new club.
In other Liverpool team news, Jordan Henderson has claimed that his team-mate can be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.