Sunday 26 January 2020

Sturridge may lose starting place to Origi

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

Chris Bascombe

Daniel Sturridge's place is under threat as Jurgen Klopp considers naming Divock Origi in his Liverpool starting XI for the Europa Cup quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund tonight

Klopp is assessing whether Origi's pace is a better fit for his opponents' high-intensity game, which the German introduced when he was in charge at Signal Iduna Park. Sturridge is still not 100pc match sharp following his long absence from injury and it might be more of a risk to start with him for the first leg.

Liverpool have one more training session this morning when Klopp can finalise his plans, but it would be a significant tactical call should Sturridge be left on the bench. The striker has displayed his displeasure on several occasions when substituted in recent games, but it has been clear he has not been at his best since his comeback. Origi is more suited to stretching opponents with his pace.

Klopp will be able to call upon attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino, who has recovered from a hamstring strain, for the first time since Liverpool's last-16 win over Manchester United. James Milner said the teams left in the competition gave this season's Europa League the same pedigree as the Champions League.

"It's two teams with great European history. This tie would not look out of place in the Champions League," the midfielder said. "It's a massive achievement to win any European trophy and Liverpool has a history of that. Ultimately we want to be in the Champions League but this is a pathway."

Milner suggested all the focus on his manager could work to the players' advantage. "All the attention is on him. It makes it easier for us to play football," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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