Jurgen Klopp explains why Liverpool reverted to 4-3-3 vs Napoli - and if it is here to stay

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Liverpool defeated Napoli 2-0 in the Champions League at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp insisted that reverting back to a 4-3-3 formation was never ‘off the table’ for Liverpool as the decision reaped rewards against Napoli.

Klopp has chiefly deployed a 4-3-3 system during his time as Reds boss - and it yielded Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup glory.

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However, amid Liverpool’s stuttering form so far this season, Klopp shelved his tried-and-trusted set-up. Instead he’s opted for 4-2-4 and 4-4-2 diamond formations in recent weeks.

But the Anfield supremo went back to what he knows best against Napoli in the Champions League last night. And goals from Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez delivered the Reds a 2-0 victory which saw Napoli suffer their first loss in all competitions this term.

Liverpool now prepare for a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday. But Klopp revealed that it doesn’t mean that his side will necessarily continue to play 4-3-3.

He said: “It’s the system we played most often, it’s the system which is familiar to us when we played well and we can defend better in that system. We didn’t do that that often when we played it recently, [so] that’s why we had to change a couple of things – to give the boys a few new things to think about, a few new [pieces] of information and all these kind of things.

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“It was always on the table for us - it doesn’t mean we will play it from now on all the time. Darwin came on and offensively it’s not a problem, there is no difference to a diamond really, but defensively it is a big difference and we just have to figure out what is best for us when which players are playing.

“I thought Curtis [Jones] did extremely well, to be honest – he did really well. We had Fabio [Carvalho] who can play there as well in the league maybe. [Alex] Oxlade[-Chamberlain] is now ready for the league as well, so we have a couple of players who can play there.

“But no decision made, we will see what we will do against Tottenham, but it was never off the table this system, it was just that we had to change a little bit, to give ourselves a new impulse and to feel the defending stuff again in a new way. That’s sometimes how it works.”

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