Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has urged Jurgen Klopp to start Lucas Leiva ahead of summer signing Marko Grujic in the midfield against Tottenham Hotspur. The Reds make a trip to White Hart Lane as they face Spurs in the Premier League clash scheduled between the two sides on 27 August, Saturday.
Mellor believes fielding Lucas can provide cover for the gap left by Alberto Moreno when he is going forward. The left-back has been criticised for his display in Liverpool's 4-3 win over Arsenal.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager is likely to be without the services of Emre Can as the German international picked up an ankle injury in his side's 5-0 EFL Cup win over Burton Albion. After the match, the midfielder's manager admitted that Can could be doubtful for Liverpool's trip to Tottenham.
"If Emre Can doesn't make it at White Hart Lane, who plays in central midfield will be interesting," Mellor told the Liverpool Echo.
However, Klopp has Jordan Henderson, Grujic and Lucas as the player to field at that position.
"There are those calling for Marko Grujic, but for me he's no different to Can and Jordan Henderson in that he's more effective going forward.
"Lucas Leiva is arguably the only senior player who is, but I'm not sure he'll be a regular under Klopp. Clearly, Liverpool are going to be reliant on their attack this season, and that's refreshing to see," Mellor said.
Meanwhile, Liverpool's back four has been inconsistent as they have already conceded five goals in the two Premier League fixtures.
"A lot, then, depends on the defence and the ability to keep clean sheets, although we haven't been helped by an unsettled back line.
"Joel Matip got his first bit of game time at Burton, and as he's likely to be the main man, it's a question of who partners him. Nathaniel Clyne is the right-back, but it appears Klopp isn't convinced with Moreno as the left-back.
"If you have a defensive midfield player then Moreno gets away with it a little bit, but without one there's nobody to fill in when the full-backs go forward," the former striker added.
Mellor concluded by saying "Tottenham will be our toughest test this season. I actually think they will go close to winning the league this season as they have a good nucleus, don't give away much defensively and have an impressive manager. But we've done well against bigger teams under Klopp."