Jurgen Klopp faces a selection conundrum this weekend as his Liverpool side play in-form Arsenal. The German manager selected a more attacking formation against Rangers, meaning Fabinho was dropped to the bench.
Jurgen Klopp Faces Fabinho Selection Dilemma Against Arsenal
Jurgen Klopp was unhappy at Fabinho during the second half and made his point forcibly towards the midfielder who appeared to selectively choose to ignore what was being said until the message from the boss became too loud to turn a deaf ear towards.
[🗞 Liverpool Echo] pic.twitter.com/5K51KrSdAM
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Will Klopp Start Fabinho Versus Arenal?
A change in formation by Klopp led to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Rangers in the Champions League.
His side dominated from the first whistle to the last, with goals from Trent Alexander Arnold and Mo Salah sealing the victory.
Fabinho was left out of the starting team as Klopp opted for only two midfielders. This allowed him to play a more attacking side, letting Salah, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz bombard the Rangers defence. Thiago and Jordan Henderson were preferred over the Brazilian for the two midfield positions.
Fabinho’s Poor Form This Season
Questions have been raised about Fabinho’s indifferent form so far this season and there have been several calls for him to remain on the bench for their match this weekend.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher voiced his concerns on Sky Sports MNF regarding the midfielders’ form, saying: “There’s no doubt they’ve got a huge problem. [in midfield]”
“I think certainly Fabinho, he’s been miles off the pace from what he’s normally been this season.”
The Brazilian has been one of Liverpool’s most consistent performers since his signing in 2018 from Monaco but has struggled to find his form this year. The 28-year-old’s preparations were hindered for the campaign by the short pre-season he had and it seems he is still feeling the effects of this.
The midfielder is renowned for his defensive positioning in the heart of Klopp’s side but was off the pace by his standards versus Brighton & Hove Albion last time out. The decision to leave him out of the starting side against the Scottish side may have been to rest him for Arsenal but Liverpool need Fabinho back to his best to revive their faltering season.
Speaking to BT Sport, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said: “I think Fabinho comes in and plays against Arsenal. In defensive positions in midfield, he’s fantastic, been a mainstay, so I don’t see him not coming in and playing.
“Having those four attacking players on the pitch tonight (against Rangers) was perfect. I think Arsenal is a completely different proposition and I think they won’t be able to play as freely and expansively as they did today.”
Fabinho Can Still be Integral to Klopp’s Side
While Liverpool could live without the defensive nous of Fabinho against Rangers, the match against Mikel Arteta’s side will provide a much sterner test and his experience will be vital.
The North London side currently sit second after only dropping three points so far this term. The signing of Gabriel Jesus has proved key to Arsenal’s blistering start to the campaign.
Defeat at the Emirates Stadium for Klopp’s men would mean they would trail Arsenal by 14 points, illustrating the significance of the match.
Arsenal possesses a display of attacking talent, and Liverpool will need Fabinho to break up their dangerous counter-attacks.
The 28-year-old must regain his past dominance in midfield to attempt to kickstart Liverpool’s season and there would be no better time to do it than on Sunday.