According to Liverpool blog Empire of the Kop, Liverpool supporters are urging manager Jurgen Klopp to recall striker Daniel Sturridge and to drop out of form No. 9 Roberto Firmino for the team’s weekend visit to Newcastle.
Both Liverpool players saw time in the Reds’ 1-1 draw against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday. Neither player could break the deadlock late on, although Sturridge and Firmino had several opportunities to do so.
Firmino was guilty of missing several opportunities in the midweek match. The Brazilian has tallied three goals and two assists in all competitions this term. However, Firmino hasn’t scored since Liverpool’s Champions League draw with Sevilla on matchday 1, and many fans want him to be dropped for his lack of finishing.
Is Daniel Sturridge the answer?
Sturridge came on as a second half substitute against Spartak, but like Firmino, the Englishman missed chances. Sturridge played the final 20 minutes of the game in Moscow, however, he looked well off the pace. Not only did the striker look slow and his touch was missing; but Sturridge lacked match fitness.
Sturridge has featured in four games for Liverpool this season. He has started twice and appeared off the bench twice. The Englishman scored against Arsenal in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over the Gunners in August and added an assist in the Reds’ win over Leicester last weekend. Other than those two appearances, Sturridge has failed to find the form he once displayed at Anfield.
For some time, many Liverpool supporters have felt Klopp’s deployment of Firmino as the team’s No. 9 was foolish. Despite the goals Firmino has scored in a Liverpool shirt, many supporters have called for Sturridge to be reinstalled up top.
Since arriving at Liverpool, Sturridge has scored 62 goals in 125 games. He has also added 22 assists. Although Klopp has favoured Firmino as his starting No. 9, there is a chance Sturridge could get the nod ahead of the Brazilian against Newcastle. Firmino could use a rest to prevent being overplayed. The Brazilian is one of only two players to start all six Premier League matches this term.
Daniel Sturridge or Roberto Firmino?
Klopp’s decision to play Firmino over Sturridge shouldn’t be difficult to understand. Sturridge’s 20 minute performance on Tuesday night wasn’t spectacular. He looked slow and his timing on the ball was off. His injury record has also shown a steady run of games is not possible. He has already missed two games due to a hamstring injury this season. In 2016-17, Sturridge missed a total of 11 games through various injuries. In all, Sturridge spent 82 days injured last season.
With Liverpool drawing once more in the Champions League, Klopp will have a considerable amount of pressure on his shoulders to win when the competition resumes.
Do you think Dainel Sturridge should be recalled over Roberto Firmino for Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle?