Life can't have been easy for Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain over the last couple of years.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to the Liverpool starting lineup with aplomb. His performance and goal against Genk on Tuesday night again highlighted just how crucial he could be to the European champions. The midfielder has scored four goals in his last four games and is currently providing a unique outlet for the Reds.
But while it is all well and good putting in glittering performances against Genk and Arsenal's B team, does this mean that the Ox should start in Liverpool's biggest game of the season so far? Yes, yes it does.
The Reds host Manchester City on Sunday, a monstrous encounter between two of the greatest Premier League sides many of us have ever witnessed. Anfield awaits, and Liverpool know a victory could send them nine points clear of their title challengers before the international break.
Both sides have been in strong
Some of the issues Liverpool have faced this season have come from the midfield. A lack of creativity and mobility in the centre of the park has piled pressure on the front three and full-backs to provide almost all of the Reds' goals. However, they now have a more than apt solution to their problem.
4 - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored four goals in his last four games for Liverpool; as many as in his previous 45 appearances for the club. Mixing. pic.twitter.com/wIGLas79oq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 5, 2019
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to full fitness and is not only performing at a high individual standard, but is changing games for Liverpool. His direct and incisive runs from midfield are stretching opponents, offering space to the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. Not only this, but the 26-year-old is adding goals to his game, scoring some absolute wonder strikes from outside the box in recent games.
Manchester United thought they had set a blueprint for how to face the league leaders, back on 20 October in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. They pushed high and wide, giving no time or space to Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson on the flanks. This forced the visitors through the middle, and with little imagination from the central three, Liverpool had been stifled. But the introduction of the Ox, alongside Adam Lallana and Naby Keita, gave Jurgen Klopp's side a dynamic edge, pushing them higher up the pitch and penning Man United in.
Since then, Liverpool have had to adapt, and Oxlade-Chamberlain has become the key.
Source : 90min