Ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid tonight, This Is Anfield writer Henry Jackson took to Twitter (via @HenryJackson87) to give his views on the likely composition of the Reds’ midfield, believing that Georginio Wijnaldum is the only certainly to start.
In assessing the other midfield options, he believes that Fabinho is out of form, Jordan Henderson could be rusty after missing four games through a hamstring injury, James Milner may not be risked having not started in midfield since January and Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are “unpredictable”.
Have no idea what I want the midfield to be tonight, but I'd say Wijnaldum is the only guaranteed starter.
Fabinho – badly out of form
Henderson – could be rusty
Milner – hasn't started in midfield since Jan
Keita – a bit unpredictable for such a big game
Ox- same as Keita
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) March 11, 2020
The Brazilian has been criticised by some Reds fans for some of his recent performances, while Keita’s injury record again came under the microscope after a hip problem ruled him out of last week’s FA Cup game at Chelsea and Oxlade-Chamberlain has only once completed a full 90 minutes all season, having been the first Reds player substituted against Bournemouth at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp went with a midfield three of Henderson, Fabinho and Wijnaldum in the first leg defeat against Atletico Madrid, with that trio also playing the most regularly among Liverpool’s midfielders so far in 2019/20 (as per TransferMarkt).
These Reds fans on Twitter weighed in with their midfield picks for tonight, with one feeling that the Dutchman “has to start” while another said that the captain’s lack of recent action due to the injury he sustained in Madrid three weeks ago is a worry:
Henderson worries me greatly when he’s rusty. Usually poor for a couple of games, then bang at it, but…it’s not like we’ve been doing well without him.
This game could be tailor made for Naby, so I wouldn’t be as surprised as most will be if he starts.
— Yesitsme (@YesitsmeDigby) March 11, 2020
I can’t see him leaving hendo out despite possibly being rusty. Gini has to start. I think he will do safe to start with and go with our ultimate professional Millie. It might not be a very forward thinking midfield but it’s a safe one. Suspect klopponuts miggt have other ideas!
— ?Rachel Ellis? (@RleEllis) March 11, 2020
Fabinho doesnt deserve to start he’s been awful since his return. Probably go Henderson, milner and gini. Or maybe drop milner for Chamberlain
— Rob Edwards (@robedwards85) March 11, 2020
Can’t see him leaving Henderson out of the starting lineup. He has so much impact and he will be well up for it, rusty or not
— Paul Healy (@Paul_Healy_) March 11, 2020
Fabinho Henderson keita would be my midfield I wouldn’t drop Fabinho
— Ahmir Amin (@Mahnoor39727590) March 11, 2020
Fab Gini Keita for me. Milner and Hendo to replace the latter 2 as soon as we get our 2 goal lead.
— Naushad Essa (@Naush_SA) March 11, 2020
deep down we all know keita wijnaldum henderson is the best possible
— ? (@_HamzaYNWA_) March 11, 2020
Keita Henderson Gini for me but I think klopp goes with Fabinho or Milner instead of keita though
— HITMANHARJ ? (@hitmanharj) March 11, 2020
Liverpool fans, who would you like to see starting in midfield against Atletico Madrid tonight? Join in the discussion by commenting below!