Liverpool’s starting lineup against Manchester United on Sunday caused a surprise as Harvey Elliott retained his place over Stefan Bajcetic. Jurgen Klopp made three changes to the team that won 2-0 against Wolves in the midweek, with Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, and Cody Gakpo coming in.
Although it was expected that Henderson would start in a crucial game like this, it was assumed that Elliott would be dropped, and Bajcetic would continue in the team due to his excellent form. However, when the teamsheet was released, it was revealed that Klopp had chosen Elliott over his slightly younger teammate.
Explaining his decision to Sky Sports, Klopp said that he made the decision based on a mix of experience and footballing ability. He praised Elliott for his performance in the previous game and his contribution to the team’s counter-pressing situations, adding that he is a good connector.
Klopp went on to say that Henderson’s experience is the reason why he chose him to start, but that it says nothing about Bajcetic, who has been outstanding. The Liverpool manager also mentioned that there were other options available to him, which is a good thing.
Elliott will be playing alongside Henderson and Fabinho in the midfield, and Klopp hopes that his intensity will help the team win the ball back quickly. His combination play with Robertson and Darwin Nunez will also be crucial to Liverpool’s success in the game.
Bajcetic remains an option on the bench, along with Diogo Jota, Fabio Carvalho, and Roberto Firmino. Jota was always expected to drop out of the starting lineup after two consecutive starts, with Gakpo taking his place.
Klopp explained that while Jota was “really good” against Wolves, he did not want to “force it” after a four-month injury.