Roberto Firmino is expected to start for Liverpool against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday rather than new signing, Darwin Nunez, according to a former player.
In last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Fulham, the Brazilian was ineffective before being replaced by Nunez. The 23-year-old scored the first equalizer and then set up Mohamed Salah for the second to give the Reds a point.
Noel Whelan, a former striker for Leeds United, told Football Insider that despite Firmino’s lackluster performance in the season’s opening match, he would continue to start the 30-year-old and bench Nunez.
“You can’t write anyone off after one game. No one is really in their stride yet, and I think it takes four or five games to get there. No team has hit the ground running yet.
“I’d stick with Firmino. I’m sure Nunez is still learning a lot about the Premier League, and right now he’s effective when he’s coming off the bench.
“That could be a great weapon against Palace. Jurgen Klopp knows what he’s doing, and he’s sticking with what he knows.
“Nunez is still adjusting to the pace and the intensity of the Premier League – but he’ll be ready for his Anfield debut from the bench.”
Sports Deputy Verdict
Nunez has been effective when used as a substitute, as Whelan correctly noted in the Community Shield match against Manchester City and at Craven Cottage the previous week, so Klopp may take that into consideration.
Though it is challenging to discount his claims to start the match, the Uruguayan’s arrival on the pitch drastically changed the team and Mohamed Salah in particular.