Merson still has one ‘worry’ about Liverpool star as he makes Leeds United prediction

Paul Merson talks about Liverpool Credit: Alamy
Paul Merson talks about Liverpool Credit: Alamy

Paul Merson is still worried about one aspect of Darwin Nunez’s game as Liverpool prepare to host Leeds United on Saturday.

Apart from their blip last weekend, that saw them lose 1-0 to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, the Reds have been on a good run of form in recent weeks with Premier League wins over Manchester City and West Ham and Champions League victories over Rangers and Ajax.

Liverpool are currently 12 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal with Jurgen Klopp’s men currently sitting eighth in the standings.

If Nunez – who Liverpool bought from Benfica for £85m in the summer – can start hitting the back of the net on a regular basis then Jurgen Klopp’s side should start climbing the table.

Merson is expecting Liverpoool to beat Leeds 3-0 on Saturday evening but one “worry still remains about Nunez’s game.

The former Arsenal midfielder told SportsKeeda: “Liverpool pulled off a brilliant performance against Man City. They then endured a shocking result against Forest and went on to beat a good footballing team in Ajax. Jurgen Klopp must be pulling his hair out. Liverpool have been very consistent under him in recent years, but they’ve been up and down this season.

“Fabinho has played a lot of matches this season. I do like him, and I’m not sure what the problem is there. If Liverpool are to be a success, they need him at their best. A lot of what he does goes unnoticed.

“If you’ve watched Liverpool over the years, you’ll know that the midfield three made everything happen. They’re struggling without a settled midfield.

“Darwin Nunez has been a bit stop-start this season, but I think he’ll be a success. My only worry is his link-up play – he didn’t even see Mohamed Salah’s run against Man City and when you play for a team like Liverpool, you need to be able to pick those passes.

“What I do like about him is that he doesn’t shy off. He missed a sitter the other day, but he still scored after that. It might take him some time, but he’ll come good for Liverpool.

“Leeds are struggling, aren’t they? I like Jesse Marsch and I think he works hard, but Leeds keep shooting themselves in the foot. I expect Liverpool to win this game comfortably.”

Liverpool boss Klopp remain wary of Leeds despite Jesse Marsch’s side’s eight-game winless run heading into the match on Saturday.

Klopp told reporters: “When we talk about our situation, how can we improve it, it sounds like we just have to play better and then – ah, there’s still an opponent.

“And Leeds are really going for it, Leeds are super lively, super aggressive. I think Jesse at Salzburg, Leipzig was a lot of high press, stuff like this. Now it’s a lot of midfield press, make spaces really small, going for counter-attacks, a lot of really good players, talented players.

“(Patrick) Bamford is back, then (Jack) Harrison, (Brenden) Aaronson, speed and desire, then they have real machines. I’m not sure (Tyler) Adams can play, but if he can, another hard, hardest worker in midfield. So there’s a lot to like about this team. And they have no result the last six, seven games, no real result.

“So they will be here. And I heard Jesse Marsch saying he is sick of losing, and he’s already very emotional on the touchline. He’s obviously in the dressing room pretty lively. So he will set them on fire.

“That’s our opponent – how could I think for a second about a time after the World Cup? We have to be prepared for this game, nothing else.”

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