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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Champions League: Midtjylland vs Liverpool; Is Neil Critchley available?

This is the first time Liverpool have been in this position under Jürgen Klopp, does anyone know what to do?

Klopp and his coaching staff could play the kitchen staff for a laugh and it wouldn’t matter because finally Liverpool have managed to top the group with a game in hand. Thank God!

In 2017 The Reds had to beat Spartak Moscow, in 2018 they had to beat Napoli and last year they had to beat Red Bull Salzburg. 

Liverpool won those games with an aggregate score of 9-0 which tells you everything you need to know about the mentality that Klopp has installed over the last few years, but it never does the nerves any good.

This time round though you can have a bevy and relax because even with the injury crisis Liverpool managed to secure their place at the top after beating Ajax 1-0 at Anfield last week.

Klopp will be gutted that Neil Crtichley left in the summer as he would have probably liked to give him this game whilst he was sat at home just like he done with Shrewsbury and Aston Villa.

The kids played those games with immense pride and done extremely well against Shrewsbury winning 1-0 which has left still complaining about it.

Due to the fact that as well as the Champions League squad the under 21’s can play unregistered Klopp might give this chance to a lot of the youngsters.

Two midfielders who have been on the bench quite frequently in the Champions League are Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson.

The pair started that game at Anfield against Shrewsbury Town in last season’s FA Cup running the show in the middle of the park both playing 90 minutes with Clarkson getting subbed off in injury time.

They could get their Champions League debuts on Wednesday if Klopp is to go with a relaxed side.

In the press conference Klopp did suggest they might have a chance saying when asked about whether a young squad may start: “Our squad is already very young, five or six players in the whole campaign so far. Yes, they will travel and then we make decisions.

“We have a session later. I have a few hours to make decisions. Our line-up is not finalised yet. They will all play a part in my thinking.”

So, some senior pre-match Champions League nerves for the first time in their career what a moment in could be for them.

Some players who are maybe on the fringes of things might get the nod as well.

With the likes of Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino wanting to grasp the chance.

Origi has only had five appearances this season scoring one and assisting one against Lincoln City in the League Cup whereas Japanese international has had quite a few more chances with 12 appearances scoring twice and assisting once yet again against Lincoln City.

It is fair to say they both need to prove everyone they are capable of producing when it matters most.

Klopp is the one who wants to see it most as he said in his press conference, he wants to see our way of playing.

“I want to see our way of playing, whoever plays. It is clear for the boys how intense we want to be for the opponent. There are lots I want to see but that is what I want in all the games. This game is only 1 part different that we don’t have to win it” is what the Premier League winning manager said.

The German also heaped praise on the youngsters who have stepped in in recent weeks and done a sublime job saying: “We had problems injury wise to top-class players but when one door closes, another one opens. 

“Rhys, Nat, Neco, Curtis, Caoimhin, without them we would have been lost. They were really well prepared.”

Some of them may be rested but if not, it is another invaluable match to enhance their experience.

Midtjylland gave Atlanta a great game last week so they will definitely be up for a potential historic night for them but just chill relax put your feet up and watch some of the future legends take to the pitch for the six-time European Cup winners.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Faces of Liverpool – Neil Jones

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