Roberto Firmino leads the charge of Liverpool's high tempo title
BIRMINGHAM: Liverpool resumes its Premier league On Saturday he took over the title at Aston Villa with Jurgen Klopp in hopes of avoiding a repetition of the defensive chaos that almost ruined his dramatic victory of the League Cup against Arsenal.
Klopp played a reserve side for the fourth round draw on Wednesday, with a series of emerging stars, and saw them advance through a penalty shootout having twice overcome the two-goal deficit to draw 5-5 in 90 minutes.
Liverpool conceded as many goals in one cup game as they have all season at Anfield in the Premier league so, while it was a memorable evening, Klopp will be banking on his regular defence returning to their miserly ways at Villa Park.
The Klopp system is based on defending from the front and launching a devastating press every time the opposition is in possession.
It is an approach that led Liverpool to the glory of the Champions League last season and placed them in pole position to win the title this period.
Klopp's high-pace game plan also takes full advantage of the Brazilian striker's skills Roberto Firmino .
The 28-year-old has scored only three league goals in 10 appearances this season, below his normal productivity rate.
While Firmino's goal record may have been under scrutiny outside Anfield, within the club his status and reputation seem to be increasing with each passing month.
Experts have described Firmino as the best player in the world in what he does: implementing the complicated, tactical and pressing Klopp system.
In comparison, Xherdan Shaqiri has been with Liverpool for almost 18 months and Klopp still does not trust him, at least in the big games, due to his inability to carry out precise and demanding instructions.
The Liverpool coach requires that his strikers, when they are out of possession, constantly close the angles to prevent the opposition's defenses from passing the ball forward.
It is possible that many strikers do not have the proper discipline or ethics to carry out these demands, but Firmino and his teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane conform to Klopp's forward identikit.
The pressure on Firmino to score goals is much lower given the scandalous productivity of his two colleagues.
Salah and Mane both scored 22 goals in the Premier league last season and have five apiece in the league to date - figures that reduce the need on Firmino to score.
Speaking earlier this season about the durability of his three frontline strikers, Klopp did not hold back when talking about the value and durability of Firmino.
Hopefully it goes on like this, just miss a game, Klopp said. He missed some and that was not very good, but Bobby, what can I say about him that not everyone already knows?
He is an incredibly important player. He really likes playing on this team, being really there with all these super boys around him.
That's what helps, of course: if you have the speed around you, you can be this cheeky guy between the lines, be there and score the goals. Yes, he is a very valuable player for us.
On occasion, when Firmino has not been available, Klopp has complied with not putting his direct replacement in the central central position in the first three.
Sometimes, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has been placed in the middle of the trio, a reflection of the defensive responsibility that is generally asked of Firmino.
For Villa Park, Klopp has no new concerns about injuries, although Naby Keita limped out of the Arsenal Cup victory with a calf injury.