Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman says it would be a surprised if Jurgen Klopp starts his team with his fame “Fab Four” in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have made their names in creating impressive attacking displays and were also responsible in Liverpool’s 7-0 win against Spartak.
With a game on Sunday, some are assuming that Klopp could start the game with his four stars. But Osman believes that Klopp may hesitate to start all four attacking players on Sunday given that Jordan Henderson was rested in midweek.
“I would be surprised if he starts with all four of them – he usually plays three. It’s not reckless [if he starts all four], but he usually leaves out one, if not two in the big games,” Osman said on The Debate.
“I thought it was really interesting he left Henderson out. If he was resting anyone going into the game, I thought it would have been one of the front four.
“When you have a strikeforce as attacking as Liverpool’s, you need balance and energy. Everyone has documented their leaky defence, and you’ve got to have people that can protect that area, like Can and Henderson.
“I thought it was a compliment to Everton, that looking forward to this game on Sunday, he left out his protection, rather than his front four.”
And while Manchester City seat comfortable on top, Osman believes that Liverpool can still be compared with the Premier League leaders.
“The pace and guile, the way they link up – their second goal [against Spartak Moscow] with interchanging movement and passing to set up Coutinho for a tap-in. Even from across the park it’s great to watch, football-wise,” Osman added.
“You can certainly compare it to City and the way they play. I think City are a touch braver, who have an extra midfielder in (David) Silva and (Kevin) De Bruyne, but Liverpool’s attack is frightening enough on its own.”