Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was asked before the match against Villarreal by BT Sport about the omission of Daniel Sturridge from the starting eleven for the Europa League semi-final first leg tie.
The German replied that the England striker did not fit the system he was using, and he wanted more stability away from home. Asked about the decision to leave him out, he said:
“Yeah, very difficult decision. I thought about a lot of things, but in the end I decided for a little bit more stability. In the 4-3-3 we didn’t play with Daniel until now, and so we thought for today this 4-3-3, 4-5-1, sometimes a diamond this very flexibile style, we played in a few games before. It makes sense that the players played it together before, that’s why we decided for this line-up.”
Sturridge has been regularly starting matches in the Premier League and has scored eight goals in nine starts but he has been noticeably absent from the starting line ups in important Europa League matches, and in the Merseyside Derby with Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino taking his place up front.
With the 1-0 loss against Villarreal at the El Madrigal last night, 26 year old Sturridge will surely be in contention to start as they look for goals in the second leg on Anfield next Thursday.