Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is yet to start for the club this season, but the third round Carabao Cup clash with MK Dons is a great chance to stake a claim.
Specifically, it’s a real opportunity for Lallana to show he has the quality to operate in the ‘number 6’ role – the holding midfielder.
Lallana was given some game time in the position during pre-season. Speaking after the 3-1 win over Bradford City in which the attack-minded Lallana played deeper than usual, Jurgen Klopp said (Telegraph): “Adam is the kind of player who can play that and he enjoys this ‘Jorginho’ role – I hope Maurizio Sarri doesn’t see the games or he will make an offer.”
At Stadium MK, Fabinho will likely not be involved and so given Klopp’s pre-season comments, it is safe to assume there’s a good chance Lallana will be challenged to deputise.
The holding midfield role is massively important and Klopp needs to know he has options should Fabinho ever be unavailable.
He got a look at £110,000-a-week star Lallana (Spotrac) in pre-season, but he could do with a strong performance in the role in a competitive setting.
It is often forgotten how good the former Southampton ace is technically, and he has the potential to dictate the game tonight just as Jorginho often does for Chelsea.
With no current standout replacement for Brazilian maestro Fabinho (James Milner and Jordan Henderson are better used as box-to-box midfielders), it could be a big night for the 31-year-old.