Senior pair struggle: Three things we learned about Liverpool in win over Plymouth
By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Liverpool’s 1-0 victory against Plymouth in the FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday.
Sturridge and Origi struggle
Liverpool strikers Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are both out-of-form, something that could prove costly during Sadio Mane’s absence to the Africa Cup of Nations. The two senior players put in a shift against Plymouth, but ultimately are in the side to get goals. Sturridge managed to get into some good positions against Plymouth, but failed to get the goals that he so badly needs. The 27-year-old has found himself to be the third-choice forward option recently and desperately needs some goals to reignite his season. Origi got the nod at the weekend against Manchester United and failed to make an impact in that game. The 21-year-old was once again unable to really test the opposition’s defence and could find his place in the starting XI under serious threat. He missed the most casualties of penalties late on to put the tie to bed and looks like a player that is struggling.
Alexander-Arnold is a star
Jurgen Klopp once again played young defender Trent Alexander-Arnold on Wednesday and he impressed against Plymouth. The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut at the weekend in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, while first-choice right-back Nathaniel Clyne sat out with a rib injury. He is regarded as an emerging star at Anfield and he is proving recently why that is. The defender looked extremely composed against Plymouth and already looks a great athlete. England international Clyne is expected to remain in Klopp’s strongest XI, but they have got a hungry youngster in Alexander-Arnold who can challenge him each week.
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Klopp faces selection dilemma
Jurgen Klopp’s side have looked tired in recent weeks due to a busy January period and he gave his fringe player the chance to impress against Plymouth. They managed to edge past the lower league side and very few players came out of the tie with a good rating. They face two important games against Swansea and Southampton in the next week and Klopp may be forced to turn to some of his fringe players once again. The Reds are likely to field their best team in the Premier League match against Swansea as they fight for the title. The Merseyside club also face a huge tie against Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals, which they trail 1-1 from the first leg. Klopp will be desperate to reach the final of that competition, but may face a selection dilemma for the match.
In other Liverpool news, a London side have joined the chase to sign the club’s defender.