Is Liverpool’s fab four the future? Pros and cons for Jurgen Klopp to consider | Football News

first_img– Advertisement – In the most demanding fixture of their Premier League season.“It was a tough decision to change the system before we play City,” he admitted afterwards. But it was largely vindicated.Liverpool were beaten 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium in July and there was a 5-0 defeat in this fixture back in 2017. Klopp has still never beaten Pep Guardiola’s side at the stadium in a Premier League fixture but the attacking approach almost blew City away early on.- Advertisement – In the build-up to Manchester City's penalty against Liverpool, Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson were caught out to leave Gini Wijnaldum exposedImage:In the build-up to Manchester City’s penalty against Liverpool, Mane and Andrew Robertson were caught upfield leaving Wijnaldum exposed preview image “I thought it made sense, that’s it,” Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports before the game when asked about his selection. “If you want to get something here, you have to be really brave.”Faced with the decision of whether to choose long-time favourite Roberto Firmino or the in-form newcomer Diogo Jota, the Liverpool manager opted for both in a bold 4-2-4 formation.- Advertisement – Sadio Mane is caught inside forcing Gini Wijnaldum to close down Kyle Walker and leave Kevin De Bruyne in space for Manchester City's equaliser against LiverpoolImage:Sadio Mane is caught inside forcing Gini Wijnaldum to close down Kyle Walker and leave Kevin De Bruyne in space for Manchester City’s equaliser against Liverpool Firmino, playing as a centre-forward alongside Mohamed Salah, was one-on-one against Ederson within minutes. Sadio Mane found himself in space at the far post soon after. Manchester City were pinned back, they were put under pressure, and they were creaking.“Obviously, a little surprise for the opponent, the different system.” GRAPHICImage:Liverpool’s wide forwards were more tucked in during the second half as Klopp sought to control the half spaces “Half-time, we could adjust it,” Klopp explained.“The boys were compact again, we did not have these situations any more, City had to play a lot around the formation and these kind of things. All what we wanted.“In the game when they do not close this gap or do not close that gap, they think that it would not have happened with the other system. But the boys are just ready to listen, ready to adapt, and ready to perform, so I am really happy. It was really good football.“It is the game with the lowest number of chances that City have had against us. Even when they won the games, they had more.“The game, I liked a lot.” Gabriel Jesus’ equaliser illustrated the issue. Mane was upfield in a central position rather than in that left-midfield slot and that compelled Gini Wijnaldum to move wide to close down Kyle Walker in possession. That left De Bruyne free in the middle to feed Jesus.Over on the other flank, it was Jota caught ahead of the ball when Alisson’s kick went straight to Ilkay Gundogan. He passed to De Bruyne and they went close once more. The situation in the build-up for the penalty was slightly different. Andy Robertson was dispossessed by Walker and with Mane also out of the game having anticipated the pass, the covering Wijnaldum was left in a two-on-one situation and De Bruyne was away again.Robertson can make that ambitious run when playing in a 4-3-3 formation. Wijnaldum coming across is not such a problem when Fabinho is stationed in midfield. Asking the Dutchman to provide that protection in a two-man midfield leaves spaces vacant. FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool “That is always the big danger if you have got two in midfield and the wide players are wingers,” Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports.“If you think of the teams in the mid-1990s when you were going into Europe, and you played 4-4-2, a lot of times it’s like, ‘OK, that is great going forward, but can you get back in and help us, make us solid, make us compact’.“And that is sort of the risk and reward. A couple of times – as Jurgen Klopp says – they could not quite get back in there, that is when Kevin De Bruyne showed his class, setting up one goal, putting in a cross for Raheem Sterling, and also where the penalty came from.“But it happened very rarely.”That is because Liverpool found some of the solutions at the break. Jurgen Klopp felt it was a super game of football against Manchester City 4:20 Liverpool were worthy of their lead and it is that opening 20 minutes that will encourage Klopp that weaker sides could be beaten if they repeat this frenzied opening against others.What followed will be the concern.“For us, the biggest challenge for us tonight was for Sadio and Diogo, defending these half spaces. They are both, in their mind, very offensive players, but in these moments they have to become midfielders. These gaps, we left them open for like 10 minutes, and in these moments they got the goal and they got the penalty. That is how football is.”This was a genuine 4-2-4 in the first half and, as Klopp suggests, while that brought positives, there were also negatives.Allowing Kevin De Bruyne space proved costly. 3:00 – Advertisement – Diogo Jota was caught ahead of the play in the build-up to Kevin De Bruyne's shot in Liverpool's draw at Manchester CityImage:Diogo Jota was caught ahead of the play in the build-up to De Bruyne’s shot Klopp is right. The expected-goals numbers show that – penalties aside – Manchester City’s chances against Liverpool on Sunday had an expected-goals value of just 0.63.That is significantly down on the numbers for the past two years and a mere fraction of the figures for the two seasons prior to that. Playing the extra attacker somewhat stifled City.“It is an offensive line-up but if everyone is doing their job, it is an even more solid defensive formation,” he added.Perhaps the worry is that it robbed Liverpool of something at times too. When Klopp points out that it is “an even more solid defensive formation”, this is likely because it becomes a four-man midfield rather than a three-man midfield given the demands on the wide midfielders.Is that the best way to utilise Mane and Jota?“It’s another goal threat for Liverpool,” said Carragher. “All the chances, it is always these four players involved, it is not one of the midfielders getting forward. It’s always about the real attacking players to get the goals for Liverpool.”Klopp has found a way to get his four forwards into the team. Finding a way to get them into their most effective positions and functioning to their maximum is the challenge now.last_img read more

Allen plays spoiler in Big O Speedway Red River IMCA Modified Tour feature

first_imgENNIS, Texas (May 28) – The first visit to the Big O Speedway for the Lone Star Super Gas IMCA Red River Modified Tour did not disappoint as Chase Allen, Bo Day and Jeffrey Abbey all raced to victory lane. Kaden Honeycutt utilized his pole position start to get a good jump on the field in the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod feature.  Chase Allen put his name on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot with his $1,500 Red River IMCA Modified Tour victory at Big O Speedway. (Photo by Stacy Kolar, Southern Sass Photography) Josh McGaha started inside row two and passed Taylor after a restart. Chris Elliott charged from the 18th starting spot to the top 10, gaining a little more real estate on every single restart as he worked the top and middle lanes of the track. Elliott settled into the top three after a green flag run. Every time McGaha closed in on Allen, Allen pulled away. McGaha and Elliott followed at the finish. Modifieds – 1. Chase Allen; 2. Josh McGaha; 3. Chris Elliott; 4. Jeffrey Abbey; 5. William Gould; 6. Drew Armstrong; 7. Cory Davis; 8. Fred Wojtek; 9. Eric Tomlinson; 10. Mark Carrell; 11. Tyler Stevens; 12. Kevin Green; 13. Brandon Hood; 14. Jeff Taylor; 15. Jerad Herring; 16. Jeff Hoegh; 17. Chris Morris; 18. John Gober; 19. Ronnie Bell; 20. Garrett Higgins; 21. Paris Archie; 22. Chris Bragg; 23. Matt Guillaume; 24. Jason Hunter; 25. Brent Tidwell. By Jackson Braun Southern SportMods – 1. Bo Day; 2. Kaden Honeycutt; 3. Cody Smith; 4. Rowdy Day; 5. Tommy Davis; 6. Jacob Pirkle; 7. Taylor Florio; 8. Tyler Bragg; 9. Kevin Rowland; 10. Justin Nabors; 11. Trevor Egbert; 12. Jake Upchurch; 13. Kamera McDonald; 14. Craig Oakes; 15. James Hanusch; 16. Trevor Raney 17. Chris Florio; 18. Chad Fitzgerald; 19. Casey Brunson; 20. Kaine Buckmeyer; 21. Tanner Houston; 22. Thomas Blackwell; 23. Bobby Parker; 24. Michael Martin. A caution slowed everything down and Bo Day was able to get around Honeycutt and claim the feature victory, his second of the 2019. Jeffrey Abbey has been unbelievably fast in his 2012 Voodoo Chassis as he propelled his car ahead of Williams and into victory lane. Williams followed in second, followed by Dean Abbey, Westin Abbey, and Shelby Williams. The IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars have seen the Williams clan and the Abbey clan fight tooth and nail for the best of the division each and every night, and tonight was no different. Gary Williams got to the lead once again and looked primed for his third victory on the tour but then came the Abbeys.  Tour career tour win number two for Allen, who took the opener last year in Kennedale, paid $1,500 and put him on the ballot for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational.  Feature Results Stock Cars – 1. Jeffrey Abbey; 2. Gary Williams; 3. Dean Abbey; 4. Westin Abbey; 5. Shelby Williams; 6. A.J. Dancer; 7. Jason Riddle; 8. Dennis Bissonnette; 9. Dustin Mooney; 10. Brandon Hood; 11. Lee Riley; 12. Vernon Owens; 13. Charlie Brown; 14. Tyler Muirhead; 15. George Egbert; 16. Gary Kerr Jr.; 17. Caleb Crenshaw; 18. Treven Geter; 19. Drew Garcia. Jeff Taylor and Allen led the field to green. Allen was fast from the start, getting the jump on the initial start and never looking back. Every single restart, Allen was smoother than cream cheese on a bagel as his no.  157 machine ran away from the field. last_img read more