Jurgen Klopp explains why Divock Origi was selected over Sadio Mane for Champions League clash

Liverpool ring the changes against AC Milan

Following their strong start to the season, Liverpool have wrung the changes for their Champions League group stage opener against AC Milan.

Joe Gomez was handed his first start of the season following a season out injured, while Divock Origi has come in from the cold amidst injuries to Harvey Elliot, Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino.

The Reds, who will be looking to improve on the disappointing defeat to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals last season, now look light in attack, while defensively there is still no debut for new centre-back Ibrahim Konate.

Why Origi is starting

Even with the injury crisis, Divock Origi has seen gametime hard to come by. In fact, he is yet to play a minute of competitive football this campaign, and has not even made the matchday squad for the last three fixtures.

However, Klopp retains faith in him, and explained why he opted for the Belgian forward over Sadio Mane, saying:

“It’s about bringing in fresh legs and surprising the opponent. I’m sure he will play well tonight.” 

Could it be that Origi will offer something different to a Liverpool frontline that is likely to see a lot of the ball, while offering a more physical presence than Mane.

Both Mane and Minamino are on the Liverpool bench, just in case the plan does not have the desired success, but could Origi prove an unexpected hero?

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Author: Ben Browning

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