COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Senior players Lucas and Emre Can should be dropped from the Liverpool starting line-up to face Tottenham on Saturday.
The Merseyside club host Spurs at Anfield in the Premier League and Jurgen Klopp should make two changes to his team from the side that lost 2-0 against Hull.
The Reds defender Lucas should be dropped from the side and replaced by first-choice centre-back Dejan Lovren if he is available, with the Croatian being assessed ahead of the Spurs match.
Meanwhile, central midfielder Can should be axed from the starting XI and replaced by the more energetic Wijnaldum.
Can has looked out-of-sorts recently and has lacked energy in the midfield, something that will be needed against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Simon Mignolet should retain his place in goal despite recent errors, with a crunch game against Spurs not the correct time to bring back Loris Karius.
The Reds should field their strongest backline if available with Lovren playing alongside Joel Matip at centre-back, while James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne operate the full-back positions.
Liverpool were so effective in the earlier stages of the season and Can’s return to the side from the injury disrupted a settled midfield trio.
Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Wijnaldum should start together and they will be able to match the intensity of Spurs.
Indeed, if they are able to recover their pre-Christmas form, Liverpool are capable of ripping Tottenham to shreds on Saturday.
Klopp’s sides are well recognised for playing high intensity football and they need to recapture that if they are to end their five-game winless run in the Premier League.
Liverpool should operate with the preferred attacking set-up of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, three players who could all cause Spurs problems if they perform well.
In other Liverpool team news, the club’s supporters want their young player to be recalled against Spurs.