Jürgen Klopp faces the Takumi Minamino dilemma as Liverpool ponders midfield reform

Jürgen Klopp faces the Takumi Minamino dilemma as Liverpool ponders midfield reform

Liverpool finished their preparations for the Premier League season with a live showdown against Blackpool at Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds came from behind 2-0 to finally win 7-2 over a team led by their former under-23 coach Neil Critchley.

The new champions begin their title defense when they host a rising Leeds United side on Saturday night.

Jürgen Klopp will now consider his options while keeping the accusatory finger crossed with those on the international duty to return injury-free.

Here, we look forward to the changes the Reds coach can make when his team is next.

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Matip stakes claim

Klopp would be relieved to see Joel Matip play at Anfield on Saturday, scoring a header during a strong showing after more than two months.

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The Cameroonian is the only center-back option for Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, both of whom are in international service.

Nico Williams, who scored the late winner for Wales against Bulgaria on Sunday, has been at right back in recent weeks, but Trent Alexander-Arnold was fit enough to play for England in their UEFA European Championship win in Iceland on Saturday. .

The potential lack of availability of Kostas Tsimikas reinforces Andy Robertson’s primary role on the other side of defense.

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Downtown up for grabs

A visit to Leeds could come too early for captain Jordan Henderson, who was not fully prepared for the friendly against Blackpool over the weekend.

Fabinho seems certain, but otherwise, the formation of the engine room would certainly be given much attention by Klopp.

Jenny Wijnaldom remains a supporter despite being in his final year of contract amid mounting speculation about Barcelona’s interest, while James Milner will be desperate to appear against his childhood club.

Naby Keita continues to impress post-shutdown while Curtis Jones bet his claim aggressively during the pre-season.

A squad shift, as seen against Tangirin on Saturday, could see Takumi Minamino in the central role.

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Origi returns

Minamino shined particularly well when used on the left flank, a position he mainly appeared in when knocking off the bench and scoring during the Community Shield against Arsenal.

But while Divock Origi made a welcome comeback to score goals against Blackpool, it would be surprising if Klopp messed excessively with the usual front three.

Instead, it would be surprising if the players failed to form the squad completely, with the Premier League returning to the seven-man seat once again.

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