(Reuters) - Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum believes preparations carried out in training will help him adapt to a deep-lying role in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Manchester City.
As Emre Can sits out with a back injury and Jordan Henderson serves a suspension, Wijnaldum is expected to be flanked by James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Etihad Stadium as Liverpool look to protect a 3-0 advantage.
The Dutchman was impressive in a holding role during Liverpool’s goalless Premier League draw at Everton on Saturday and Wijnaldum said he was prepared by manager Juergen Klopp for such situations.
“The manager was trying it in pre-season and he said it might happen in the season,” Wijnaldum told British media.
“He said at that time that it could happen that I will play in that position and he might look to do it in the future. Now that time has come.”
Liverpool will need to be competitive in midfield to secure a semi-final spot but Wijnaldum expects the visitors to take the fight to Manchester City.
“We are not going to sit back. We are going to play our game. That is what we always do,” Wijnaldum added. “Of course we know that we are not already in the next round, we first have to play the game.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru