Liverpool head to the City Ground today to meet Nottingham Forest in their lunchtime Premier League kick-off, and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his tenacious team can accrue another three points by capitalising on their opponents’ misfortunes.
Forest are currently bottom of the table and have only picked up one win in their first 11 outings, so the Reds have a great opportunity to take advantage of their hosts’ poor form by picking up their third consecutive top-flight victory.
It would be no surprise to see the German continue to tweak his formation and tactics, owing to the fact that it has been largely successful over the last few weeks, so a 4-4-2 setup would be a likely sight.
As a result, Klopp should unleash Harvey Elliott in the advanced right midfield role, as the 19-year-old could terrify Forest with his creativity, flair and freedom in that position.
The €30m (£26m)-rated sensation, who has been dubbed “creative” by Kevin Campbell, has become a key player in Liverpool’s attacking threat this season and plays a huge part in the manager’s plans for the future of the team.
Across 10 Premier League appearances, Elliott has scored one goal and created three big chances, taking 1.5 shots and winning 2.2 duels per game. He has also successfully completed the majority of his dribbles (56%) so far, proving that he is showing glimpses of the creativity that he can offer to the forwards and highlighting the fearlessness that he displays in his performances.
The teenage talent has been the recipient of high praise for his presence on the pitch this season, with BT Sport pundit Lucy Ward branding Elliott “top-class” after his performance against Newcastle United in August.
She said of the youngster: “I think he’s been brilliant, Harvey Elliott. He’s dragging his team forward from that midfield position.”
“He’s really benefited from games and minutes, too. Growing in confidence, I think he’s showing that he’s a top-class centre-midfielder.”
With that being said, Klopp must unleash Elliott in midfield against Forest this afternoon, as he could be a key component in delivering goal-scoring opportunities to the two strikers if the manager sticks to his most recent formation, and that would only continue to build the 19-year-old’s experience and confidence.