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Carragher: Liverpool midfield is missing a key piece

Jamie Carragher has identified a missing piece which he says Jurgen Klopp needs to find whether the Reds win the Premier League this season title or not.

Since the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the Liverpool midfield has been widely viewed as quite pedestrian compared to dynamic combination of the front three and the complete rejuvenation of the defensive unit.

Klopp is someone who places great trust in the likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner when the big games come around, while Gini Wijnaldum is a constant presence whoever the opposition may be.

While the trio have a unquestioned work ethic and individual qualities that they bring to the team, as a trio they seem to blend into one, which translates into a lack of creativity from the middle part of the pitch.

Klopp's selection for the Merseyside Derby saw the captain come into the starting lineup for Milner, but playing alongside Fabinho and Wijnaldum the same issue was evident and the goalless draw was a somewhat predictable outcome. It was easy money for anyone who had taken advantage of their William Hill promo code.

The season long absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through injury and the inablilty of new signings Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita to produce on a consistent basis has not helped matters in this sense.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the 0-0 draw with Everton, the former Liverpool great was clear in his thoughts:

"Yes, in terms of the make-up of the midfield three but it isn't just a problem now, I think that was even a problem if you go back to the end of last season when Liverpool were doing so well in the Champions League.

"There were certain games, like the final of the Champions League, where you looked at the set-up and thought that they lacked just one player.

"They lost Coutinho last January and they never replaced him.

"They tried to replace him with someone from Lyon (Nabil Fekir) but they couldn't get him.

"Even if Liverpool win the league I still think it is a position that Liverpool need to try and fill."

 

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Carragher also questioned the effectiveness of Klopp's substitutions which he believed did not do enough to change the overall result and in his view bordered on the conservative side.

"Today I was looking at the substitutions and thinking 'bring Roberto Firmino on, try and get someone behind Everton's midfield' and he stayed with the three in midfield.

"If you're bringing Firmino on, play him as a No 10 and play two central midfield players so instead of having three midfield players that Everton's midfielders can see in front of them, put one in behind them.

"Even when Adam Lallana came on, he didn't come on as one of the midfield three, he came on as one of the front three. 

"Now maybe Klopp thinks at that stage that it isn't a bad point."

Carragher played in sides who had plenty of natural talent, but their achilles heel was being unable to translate dominance during games into results when it mattered the most.

He is starting to see some similarities with this side at this present time.

"I played in a season when we only lost two games and never won the league. It doesn't matter how many games you lose, it's points that you drop and these points at the moment are proving vital.

The scoreless draw saw Liverpool hand back the initiate in the title race to Man City and they will be hoping to regain their scoring touch when Burnley come to Anfield next Sunday.

 

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