This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Jurgen Klopp’s lack of rotation in his starting XI could prove problematic later in the season, particularly in regard to his midfielders.
Liverpool were consistent throughout the entirety of the last campaign but much of that was because they were able to rotate when necessary, and avoid their players burning out which has occurred previously.
Given the nature of their style and the high-press they deploy, it is more surprising that the Anfield outfit don’t run out of energy more often, but once they begin to compete on all fronts their players’ fitness could begin to take a hit.
A major reason for that would be the number of games played. Other than regulars Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, the same eight outfield players have started every league match this season, and if they continue to do so Liverpool could fall behind title rivals Manchester City, who have great strength in depth by comparison.
The main concern lies up front and in midfield, but a lack of quality in their attacking options outside of the regular front three means it is midfield where changes must be made.
There are currently seven first-team centre-midfielders at the club, all capable of playing at the highest level and winning Liverpool games in Europe and the Premier League, which makes it strange that Klopp has not mixed up his starting line-ups more often.
So far this year the Reds have typically utilised a midfield three consisting of Fabinho, Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum, and whilst all are very fit and have done well so far, it is surely only a matter of time before another player is brought in.
It is a difficult task for the management to decide who drops out. All three are playing well but players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Adam Lallana are all pushing for a place too.
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It is useful that Klopp now has several options to choose from so could make wholesale changes in other competitions, and that will be required if the squad is to replicate its achievements in the last campaign.
The return of Naby Keita from injury will also act as a boost and could prove to be a blessing in disguise by the end of the season, when he may be less fatigued in comparison to his teammates.