Connect in the back of the net

There are a multitude of reasons to get excited over the coming Premier League seasons.

The arrival of the likes of Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte; the return of Jose Mourinho, the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and perhaps Paul Pogba, all signify that we might be in for a real treat.

Liverpool face a tough season ahead themselves. With no European competitions to worry about, the burden of extra games is obviously removed.

In a season where competition poses to be extremely difficult given the presence of the likes of Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp will have to make sure he doesn’t miss out.

His managerial abilities will definitely be put to test and it will be interesting to see what system he will use.


The Wijnaldum factor

Klopp has been known to favour the 4-2-3-1 formation and its variations, something he used greatly during his time with Borussia Dortmund. During much of the first season, he used the 4-4-1-1 off-the-ball system with Liverpool.

It must be noted that Klopp didn’t make any signings in that time, so he obviously used the system from which he thought he could extract the most out of the existing personnel.

The signings made by the club and the pre-season gives indication that the Reds might be seen in the 4-3-3 system in the coming season.

In most of the friendlies, Klopp has played this system. While this could just be something he is using in the pre-season, given Liverpool don’t have their full squad available — Ovie Ejaria and Marko Grujic have featured heavily in the midfield — due to Euro 2016.

The signing of Georginio Wijnaldum does in fact indicate that the system Liverpool will use for the coming season will be the 4-3-3.The central trio will not be limited to controlling the central areas of the second third of the pitch.

All three players press high up the field and are spread across the width of the pitch.

Klopp wants his midfielders, all his players in fact, to have the ability to win possession by pressing and pressuring the opponents, break attacks and quickly move the ball forward into threatening positions.

Last season, with Jordan Henderson’s injury woes and declining form; James Milner’s limitations in midfield, Klopp was not able to carry this out.

Wijnaldum is known to be extremely versatile. He can pretty much play anywhere in the midfield, as a box-to-box midfielder, an attacking midfielder or little back as a central midfielder.

The 4-2-3-1 formation could see him play either in an attacking position behind the striker, or further back in the midfield double pivot.


The ideal system

However, perhaps the 4-3-3 system would be the most ideal one for him.

He could play as the most advanced of the midfielders, slightly ahead a central midfielder, with a holding midfielder further behind, which would ideally extract the most of his qualities. This would also allow him to be in a position where with the additional defensive support, he would have a stronger platform from which he could attack.

The plan might be to use three in the midfield; a holding midfielder with two midfielders ahead focusing on the attack, but also help shield the midfield. Emre Can looks like a definite starter, but the position he will play remains up for question as always.

This is a crucial season for Jordan Henderson, who might not have a guaranteed starting role. Henderson has always thrived in attacking from deep as he enjoys going forward and arriving late into the box to add goals.

Wijnaldum is likely to compete with Henderson, Milner and Lallana for the two remaining spots in the midfield.

Perhaps Coutinho might also be used in the midfield if Klopp wants to use Firmino and Sadio Mané on either side of the striker, likely to be Daniel Sturridge.

Of course this is just conjecture, but at the moment, it is more likely than not, that Klopp goes ahead with the 4-3-3 system for the coming season as he hopes to finish in the top 4 at the end of quite possibly, a very tough and competitive season.


Written by Aakriti Mehrotra

Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1

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