Danny Murphy explains why Roberto Firmino should get nod over Diogo Jota

Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy has explained why Jurgen Klopp should put Roberto Firmino in the starting line-up against Manchester City this afternoon.

It would mean Diogo Jota would be dropped back down to the bench.

But the Portugal international’s form this season cannot be ignored despite the fact he was supposed to play back-up to Liverpool’s tremendous trio.

The 23-year-old has made a case for a starting berth with his performances.

In his first 10 games, he has scored seven – despite largely being on the bench.

And in his last appearance, the ex-Wolves star wowed on the European stage when he scored a hat-trick against Atalanta in the Champions League.

Liverpool star Diogo Jota should be booted out of the starting XI in place of Roberto Firmino, argues Danny Murphy

But Murphy believes Firmino’s experience in big games should see him get the nod ahead of his striker rival.

He told the Daily Mail : “We are nowhere near a situation where Roberto Firmino should be dropped for Liverpool ’s biggest games, even though he has scored only three goals in 30 games.

“No doubt, that’s a disappointing record but it’s not as important when the team is winning.

“Despite the Brazilian netting just 12 times last season, the bigger picture for Jurgen Klopp is that he contributed hugely to Liverpool winning the championship.

“They were also top of the table going into this weekend’s fixtures with Firmino working and creating rather than scoring.

“I can see why new signing Diogo Jota is receiving praise after his midweek Champions League hat-trick.

Jota has been in fine form this season

“But I’d be mightily surprised if the manager has seriously considered splitting his trusted big three of Mo Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane at Manchester City.”

After Jota’s hat-trick against Atalanta, it was Firmino that Klopp rushed to the defence of and he berated reporters asking about the Brazilian rather than his side’s fantastic win.

Murphy added: “It’s not a misjudged sense of loyalty on Klopp’s part. Firmino just fits this Liverpool team, his link play is excellent and it allows Salah and Mane to be at their best in their preferred positions.

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“Liverpool won’t dominate possession against City so when they have the ball, they need someone they can rely on to hold it and build play. That‘s Firmino.

“He also understands the attacking movement and rotation that is such a potent weapon for Liverpool.

“If he sees Mane go past him making a run to the right, Firmino has the intelligence to fill the hole.”

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