Graphic: Why Jurgen Klopp should select this Liverpool XI versus Rubin Kazan

Liverpool face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday.

Jurgen Klopp’s first match at Anfield as Liverpool boss sees his side take on Russian outfit Rubin Kazan on Thursday in the Europa League.

The Reds have opened their European account with consecutive draws against Bordeaux and Sion. It’s not a particularly ideal start, but there are four games left to secure qualification.

They will want to beat Rubin Kazan, yet Klopp should keep in mind that the Reds face Southampton on Sunday and another 90 minutes of high intensity will tire his players.

As such, Klopp must use his squad well and look to rotate accordingly in order to keep everyone fresh.

Back five:

With Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan ruled out with injury, it leaves Liverpool short in the full-back areas and it’s highly unlikely that Klopp will adopt the three-man defence often seen under Brendan Rodgers.

Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne are the only two realistic options, while Kolo Toure should come into the middle so that Martin Skrtel can get a well-deserved rest.

Dejan Lovren is still battling fitness, therefore Mamadou Sakho ought to retain his place.


Again, injuries leave Klopp with few options as Jordan Rossiter and Jordan Henderson are ruled out.

Joe Allen has rarely featured this season, but his passing ability cannot be questioned and in a game where the Reds will look to dominate the ball, he is an ideal starter.

Emre Can is versatile enough to play either at the back or in midfield, and his breaking up of play in front of the back four will be important as the Reds look to break at pace.

Attacking four:

Daniel Sturridge is a doubt, while Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino are out.

James Milner has one of the best engines in Liverpool’s squad, therefore he should have little problems in being asked to feature on Thursday and Sunday while still giving his all.

Adam Lallana wasn’t at his creative best at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, yet his pressing was phenomenal and Klopp will want to see what he can do at a buoyant Anfield.

Jordon Ibe deserves a chance to shine under Klopp, while Divock Origi is arguably the only realistic option at present fit enough to lead the line – a situation which Klopp may look to rectify in January.

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