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I'll mix it all up again if needed.

Byline: IAN DOYLE

JURGEN KLOPP will continue tweaking Liverpool's formation to get the best out of his players as he explained his change in approach this season.

The Reds have recently lined up in a subtle shift away from the 4-3-3 tactic that served Klopp and his team so well last season.

Mohamed Salah has started the last two games as the sole striker and Roberto Firmino in the centre of a midfield three, with Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum at the base of a 4-2-3-1. Liverpool also previously utilised a diamond formation in the 3-0 win over Southampton in September with Xherdan Shaqiri at the attacking tip. And Klopp believes his players are embracing tactical variety as he ponders his line-up for this evening's trip to Arsenal.

"Players shouldn't lose rhythm if you change the system a little bit," said the Reds boss.

"It's not like we are only playing with two at the back and eight up front. It's really not that massive a difference.

"The system is there to bring the players at their best and most comfortable position, but if they stay in that position it's a boring game, they have to move.

"You need to create a formation for defending where everybody knows what to do, and then a formation offensively where everybody is in their best area on the pitch.

"We can do that in different ways. "We are not that stubborn systemwise. We were never.

"Maybe without people seeing it, we have already played a diamond this season and nobody spoke about it.

"Obviously it wasn't that obvious otherwise there'd have been big stories about it!

"We try to use players in the best way and give them the position where they can shine."

With both Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita again missing at The Emirates today - the pair are also likely to remain unavailable for the Champions League clash at Red Star Belgrade next Tuesday - summer signing Fabinho is poised for a third successive start at the weekend.

And Klopp, who will choose between Shaqiri, Adam Lallana and James Milner for the third midfield role, is content with the manner his team have coped with the absences in the engine room.

"That's what you build a squad for," he said.

"Two should always be possible to deal with. The third one would have been a bit more problematic.

"Line-up wise, it's never a real problem, but how can you change during a game which you should do because of the intensity of all of the games.

"It's good that we could deal with that in the way we did.

"The boys did really well, we adapted, we changed system a little bit. There was no doubt about that.

"The most intense period of the season - and we've had a few already - is still to come.

"We have now a very intense week, then the international break which is my favourite part of the year, and then we really go for it, it feels like we play until March every second day. That's the same for everyone.

"We need the players fit. "Hopefully we have them all fit and we don't look or excuses, which we never do, and look for what we can get."

CAPTION(S):

Roberto Firmino takes on Dejan Lovren during training

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 3, 2018
Words:551
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