The Liverpool fans are feeling confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their biggest fixture of the season so far against Manchester City at Anfield this evening.
The Easter weekend was a positive one for Liverpool Football Club as they strengthened their hopes of finishing inside the top-four this season with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Chelsea’s defeat against Tottenham Hotspur the following day has given them a 10-point advantage over 5th place Chelsea, albeit with a game in hand.
Liverpool’s lead over The Blues should be more than enough to ensure they will qualify for the Champions League next season, but the focus of the resident Kopites propping up our bar has been turned away from their league ambitions and towards their bid for the Champions League where they face Manchester City in the quarter-final of the competition tonight. The supporters are buoyed by the fact they managed to record a 4-3 victory over The Citizens in the league back in January, but the dynamic of this tie will be completely different to the one the footballing world bore witness shortly after the turn of the year
Although Liverpool will have to be much tighter defensively in order to record a desirable result against City tonight, they will need to emulate the positive aspects of their performance in January and attempt to control the midfield. With that being said, Klopp should adopt a similar approach once again and hand a starting berth to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (valued at £27 million by Transfermarkt) in central midfield.
Chamberlain – affectionately dubbed as ‘The Ox’ – has improved dramatically since he made the eyebrow-raising switch from Arsenal to Liverpool last summer. The consistency of his performances still leaves something to be desired, but he was in blistering form against City last time out alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can.
The 24-year-old England hopeful was the engine room of Liverpool’s midfield in a box to box role which he appears extremely well-suited to, and he got just reward for his brilliant performance by scoring a terrific opener inside the first ten minutes before assisting Firmino for Liverpool’s crucial second goal. Chamberlain’s impact on proceedings was one of the most pivotal to his side’s victory that day, and if they are to repeat their heroics once again this evening then Klopp simply has to deploy him from the outset.
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