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Football Whispers
 By Dave Usher

Liverpool fans unsure on Alberto Moreno again as Klopp faces big call

There is little love lost between Liverpool and Chelsea, but much of the ill feeling that exists between the clubs was stoked by the spiky presence of Jose Mourinho on the touchline. Without Mourinho as the focal point, to most Liverpool supporters, Chelsea's visit to Anfield on Saturday is now just another clash between two top-six teams, with no more of an edge to it than when the Reds face Arsenal, Tottenham or Manchester City.

Winning is still important, of course, but the fixture is not as toxic as it once was because Chelsea are a different beast these days. Antonio Conte is a likeable chap and seems to be the antithesis of Mourinho, while many of the Chelsea players whom Kopites loved to hate -- John Terry, Didier Drogba and Diego Costa -- have moved on. There will always be a mutual dislike between the two sets of supporters, but the rivalry has been watered down considerably.

Barring an unforeseen loss of form for Manchester City, everyone else now looks to be playing for second place, and although both Liverpool and Chelsea will feel they can finish as "best of the rest," nothing will be decided this weekend whatever the outcome.

The Reds have been in good form since losing at Spurs a month ago, but the nature of their midweek collapse in Seville may have dented their confidence a little. It shouldn't, because it's much more difficult to establish a 3-0 lead away from home in Europe than it is to defend one.

It's encouraging that Liverpool have mastered the hard part; now they just need to get better at the easy stuff. Meanwhile, if they can keep scoring three or four a game as they have been in recent weeks, they'll win far more than they lose or draw, even with their leaky defence.

Whether they can score three or four against Chelsea remains to be seen, but they certainly have the firepower to cause anybody problems, and Mohamed Salah, in particular, will want to show his former club that they were premature in allowing him to leave.

The Egyptian is likely to take his place in an unchanged forward line, but eventually Klopp is going to have to mix things up a little as he cannot keep sending out the same players twice a week.

Klopp's selections in the past few games show that he has a clear first choice XI, or at least a clear nine or 10. There is rotation at right back, and it's a toss-up between Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield, but by and large the team hasn't changed much.

With so many games coming up over the next six weeks, that cannot continue. Klopp might even make some changes this weekend, but given the quality of the opposition, it's more likely that he rolls the dice one more time with his favoured 11.

One change he might need to make is at left-back, though. Alberto Moreno has been a clear first choice so far this season and has no problem playing twice a week as he is a natural athlete who rarely gets injured. He doesn't need to be rested, but many feel he should be dropped after the difficult evening he endured on his return to Sevilla in midweek.

After a positive run of form, Alberto Moreno is back at square one again.

Much of the goodwill Moreno has built up with his improved displays this season was blown away by an erratic display in which he was directly responsible for two goals and had to be substituted before he could do anymore damage.

Dejan Lovren had a similarly bad experience in that 4-1 loss to Tottenham. Lovren was at fault for two goals and had to be withdrawn early. Most expected him to be dropped, but Klopp initially named him as a starter for the next game before having to make a late change when Lovren tweaked something in the warm up.

In fairness to the Croatian, he's been steady enough since his return, but he has a long way to go before supporters will fully trust him. It will be fascinating to see if Klopp handles Moreno in the same way.

Andrew Robertson has played well in the limited opportunities he's had and must be frustrated at his lack of playing time. Moreno's performances have been of a high enough standard that Klopp has been able to tell Robertson he must wait for his chance, but if he doesn't get the call this weekend, the Scot would have legitimate cause to feel aggrieved.

It would make sense to take Moreno out of a pressured situation, particularly given the quality of opposition this weekend, but Klopp has been so supportive of the Spaniard and repeatedly spoken of how much he has improved that he may feel as though he needs to stick with him rather than cast him aside after one bad game.

It's a difficult call for the manager, but he's going to have to make plenty more of those over the next six weeks as the games come thick and fast.

Dave Usher is one of ESPN's Liverpool bloggers and the founder of LFC fanzine and website The Liverpool Way. Follow him on Twitter: @theliverpoolway.


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