Jermaine Jenas Believes Mohamed Salah Could Lose Starting Place to Philippe Coutinho
Radio 5 Live guest and former player Jermaine Jenas believes that Mohamed Salah's place in Liverpool's starting eleven is at risk - given a disappointing performance against Manchester City in a 5-0 defeat.
Salah lacked a final product against City, failing to finish a one-on-one and pick out his teammates as Liverpool dominated the opening 20 minutes. Looking threatening with his pace in behind, Salah was not as effective in front of goal as Liverpool failed to capitalise on their chances.
This is why Jenas believes that Salah could lose his starting place, despite scoring twice this season already, saying: "He has been brilliant so far but, does Mo Salah even start for Liverpool if Coutinho is back in the team?” You’ve got Adam Lallana to come in as well."
The question on everyone's lips is when will Coutinho be reintroduced into the starting eleven -having been left out of the squad against City. With a Champions League clash against Sevilla approaching, Coutinho has been named in the squad and could even start against the Spanish side.
Gini Wijnaldum v Man City— LFC Stats (@LFCData) September 9, 2017
0 chances created
0/1 aerial duels
Jenas believes Coutinho could be deployed wide left, with Mane shifted to the right-hand side - with his ban not applicable to European competition. However, it's more likely that Coutinho is introduced into the centre of the park, with Georginio Wijnaldum being the man to lose his place having been a passenger against City.
Back at Anfield, Liverpool will be looking to bounce back instantly from an embarrassing performance. Reintroducing Coutinho may reinvigorate the squad, and dropping Wijnaldum may motivate the Dutchman to up his performance levels. Given his ability to win a match by himself, Coutinho would be a huge improvement on the existing midfield trio.
Jenas also observed Liverpool's style of play, hinting at their undoing against Man City: "Liverpool have been very good against the other sides in the top six for the past few years. The best way for them to defend is to get in the opposition's faces and press high up the pitch.”
Ultimately, this creates space in behind, as City passed their way around the press more often than not. Using the flanks to exploit Liverpool's defensive frailties, Benjamin Mendy and Leroy Sane were effective in the 5-0 demolition of the Merseyside club. With Jenas' comments in mind, Klopp will be hoping for a much better display on Wednesday night.