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The Chalkboard: Klopp should keep faith with new formation during Liverpool trio’s struggle

Liverpool are having an almost perfect season so far domestically as they are unbeaten in the Premier League and sit two points behind leaders Manchester City after 12 games, but they are yet to rediscover their scintillating performances from last season.

It seems that manager Jurgen Klopp is finding a new way for the Reds to win, but what does he need to do to ensure that they stay unbeaten?

The Chalkboard

The majority of Klopp’s time at Liverpool has seen his teams line up in a 4-3-3 formation.

Last season it worked perfectly as it allowed Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah the freedom to rip apart opposition defences in the final third.

In the current campaign, the trio have been struggling to collectively find their rhythm, and considering that the club never replaced Philippe Coutinho, a creative outlet has been missing.

In games against Southampton, Cardiff City, Red Star Belgrade and Fulham (all at home), Klopp has selected a 4-2-3-1 formation.

At the weekend when the Reds welcomed Fulham to Anfield, the manager opted for Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum to sit in midfield, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri ahead of them.

Mohamed Salah was given the role of central striker, and even though it was not a vintage display, the team managed to earn a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from the Egyptian international and Shaqiri.

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Fulham

Is this the way forward for Liverpool?

There are some issues with the system as it restricts Mane and Firmino in the final third somewhat, but it is certainly an option that should be used more frequently by Klopp.

Shaqiri has hugely impressed the Liverpool following since joining the club from Stoke City in the summer, and this particular formation allows him to come into the fold from the start rather than as a substitute.

One of the Reds’ main problems has been a lack of creativity, but with Firmino dropping into the number 10 role, he has an opportunity to provide the spark that has been missing.

The Brazilian is a proven goalscorer, and Liverpool risk losing his impact in that area, but if Salah is in top form then Firmino’s contribution will be welcomed in other ways.

Klopp has enough quality members in his squad to tinker with formation, but the 4-2-3-1 setup could in particular be useful when taking on teams that will set up to stifle.

Article title: The Chalkboard: Klopp should keep faith with new formation during Liverpool trio’s struggle

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