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Liverpool XI Jurgen Klopp should pick vs Manchester United

Liverpool visit Old Trafford on Sunday and they may be in a buoyant mood as Paul Pogba remains unavailable for the hosts through injury.

It is a notable absence which could possibly deflate Manchester United as much as boost Jurgen Klopp’s side, and that could prove decisive in the Reds maintaining their 100% record in the league.

Another bonus for Liverpool is that many of their players were able to rest over the international break, including Mo Salah, whilst Roberto Firmino continued his fine start to the season with a goal against Senegal.

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Salah looks to have overcome the knock he sustained against Leicester whilst there are also significant returns in other areas.

Alisson is expected to start for the first time since the opening day clash against Norwich, whilst Joel Matip is in line for a return to the team-sheet after injury forced him off against Sheffield United, a prospect which could be a big boost for the visitors.

Above all, though, is the problem of Pogba being missing, as that could have enormous tactical repercussions and determine how the game is played.

That is primarily because, without the France international, the Red Devils are a different outfit.

Their midfield lacks an attacking dimension and there is a derth of quality and creativity going forward when the likes of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred play.

Pogba’s passing stats suggest as much, as he completely surpasses any of his teammates in that area, with Fred’s 0.8 key passes per game the next best behind Pogba’s 2.6.

As a result, United will lack a threat in midfield to unleash the likes of Marcus Rashford and Dan James, and that means Jurgen Klopp can concentrate on attacking.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain should therefore earn a recall as he can provide the injection of pace and flair in the middle of the pitch that Jordan Henderson lacks, evidenced best by the 29-year-old’s average of 1.4 successful dribbles per league game.

The Reds will not have to worry about him having to cover defensively against Man United’s midfield because of their lack of attacking threat, and that means Klopp should be more adventurous, particularly as his side failed to score at Old Trafford last year.

Article title: Liverpool XI Jurgen Klopp should pick vs Manchester United

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