Premier League leaders Liverpool return to action on Sunday in a mouth-watering clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield and Jurgen Klopp will know that a win against their fellow Champions League quarter-finalists is crucial as they continue their bid to claim their first league title since 1990.
Spurs go into the game with the league’s third-lowest amount of goals conceded. With Serge Aurier the only real defensive injury concern, the Tottenham backline could prove tough for Liverpool to break down.
While Mo Salah and, in particular, Sadio Mane have both been in fine form for the Reds in recent weeks, Roberto Firmino has struggled to keep up with the pace of his attacking partners. With this in mind, it’s time to change things up and give either Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi a place in the Liverpool starting line-up this weekend.
Firmino has just two goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions for the Merseyside club, both coming in a comfortable 4-2 win at home to Burnley. With 13 goals and five assists in 39 appearances so far this season, some Liverpool fans have started to question the Brazilian’s impact.
Not so impressive. His final ball this season have been generally below average.
— Iyke (@BetterToday_) March 25, 2019
Hurts me to do it so lowly but a 6 out of 10 for me…
— Cameron Alexander (@CousinCAH) March 25, 2019
One goal involvement every two games is a decent return, yet a little shy of the level expected at Liverpool. In comparison, Salah and Mane have 20 goals apiece having made 40 and 37 appearances respectively, before you even bring assists into the equation.
Former England international Sturridge has struggled for game time in recent years, but there remains a sense that he could one day reproduce the form that helped him gain a reputation for being one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
Sturridge has just three goals from 22 games in all competitions this season, yet 17 of these have come from the bench. Having established himself as one of the best finishers around during the 2013/14 season in which Liverpool came so close to claiming the Premier League crown, could he be the man to see them over the line this time round?
After spending last season on loan at Wolfsburg, Origi has the same amount of goals as Sturridge this campaign, having played just 13 times. He most recently scored in Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford at the end of February and subsequently kept Firmino out of the starting XI in the following game at Everton.
Having come off the bench in both of Liverpool’s games since, it appears that Origi is likely to be the preferred choice if Klopp does decide to spring a surprise in attack against Tottenham but either way, its a massive decision for the Anfield gaffer to make in such a crucial game.