FSG PR plant
- Aug 13, 2008
Headed to Belgrade, we had the group in hand. That match really was a damned disaster, it piled so much pressure on these last two at a time when we cannot afford any slip-ups in the league.If Mane isn't fit then we have to find some way of getting Shaqiri in the team. Think Sturridge might still be in the doghouse after his Red Star performance. The midfield will surely be Gini/Henderson/Milner, same as at Anfield. They were brilliant in that game and we'll need our best pressers on the pitch. Lallana is injured, Keita hasn't played for weeks and I'm not sure JK fully trusts Fabinho yet. PSG have some great individuals but their style suits us and we have a real chance here.
Not making the knock outs will be a setback, probably the first real one that Klopp has had since he's been manager. So far he's either met or exceeded just about every reasonable expectation. Tough group but we've made things difficult for ourselves with two piss poor away perfomances so far. JK didn't cover himself in glory tactically in either of those games and we were collectively half asleep against Red Star. Wretched stuff. Even so, despite this we could put it all to bed and qualify a game early by beating PSG tomorrow. We are lucky to still have it in our own hands and should be really up for this one.
I agree about Sturridge, barring injury needs, I don't think he starts again except perhaps in a FA Cup match. Against fresh defenders, he just doesn't do enough anymore, and the difference in ball pressure is startling. Shaqiri is inconsistent defensively, both in terms of effort and decision-making, but Sturridge actually isn't inconsistent defensively - he consistently doesn't do much. Klopp may have put up with that despite his better judgement because of Sturridge's goals, but Red Star showed that he won't make defenders work hard enough over the course of a whole match anymore.