Liverpool attacker Roberto Firmino will be benched for the team’s Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday, according to the Mirror.
The 5ft 11in Brazilian [Source: Transfermarkt] has scored just one goal in his last nine games for the Reds, and that poor form will lead to Daniel Sturridge starting in Belgrade.
The 27-year-old has netted just four goals this campaign as Liverpool’s famously ferocious front three have failed to fire on all cylinders this term.
Sturridge has also scored four goals this season, but has secured his strikes in 312 minutes, 734 minutes less than Firmino has achieved his tally in.
When you look solely at the goal scoring statistics then it seems as if this change has been a long time in coming. Sturridge has been excellent when he’s gotten a chance this season, but Firmino’s contributions can never be defined only by the goals he scores. The Brazil international is the tone-setter of this Liverpool team and his constant work rate never gives the opponent a moment’s rest. His relentless pressing is key to the Reds’ success and, while Sturridge also puts in a decent shift, Firmino leads the line in a particularly suffocating way. So Jurgen Klopp will be sacrificing Firmino’s overall impact on the team for Sturridge’s pure goalscoring ability. It’s an interesting call from the German but one that probably makes sense considering the quality of the opposition. Red Star aren’t the toughest team in Europe and on the back of an intense draw with Arsenal it probably makes sense to give Firmino a rest here if ever he’s to get one.