Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Could Get First Real Liverpool Chance Today

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Since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his £40 million move from Arsenal to Liverpool on summer transfer window deadline day, he’s featured eight times for his new club, but only made one start. That first team appearance came in just the League Cup, so the young Englishman is still truly awaiting a real big time chance with the Reds.

It could come tonight against Maribor in UEFA Champions League group play.

The Ox impressed manager Jurgen Klopp during his cameo appearance in the club’s 0-0 draw with United, and the German hinted at a potential first team opportunity in the making today.

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“I don’t know about the lineup today. He is my mind … if it is about a start you will see tomorrow,” said Klopp.

“Since Alex came in he has been twice with the national team, there have been a lot of games with no training and so his start has been interrupted.

“He is a big signing for us, obviously, but a fast player like him needs the circumstances to perform so he needed time. So far it has been okay but not what we know he is able to do. But then Saturday ‘Bang!’ Comes on, uses his speed, really spot on, it was a very nice sign. I loved to see it.

“I was not only happy about his offensive situation a lot [against United] I also liked the way he reacted after we lost the ball, little things. I cannot say how happy I was to see Chambo playing like this.”

“I said he needed a little bit of time and my most positive thing was that finally he has arrived, but it always takes time. I really loved the performance when he came on.”

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Liverpool are massive away favorites tonight. The best odds still available on a Reds win are 1/5, but other firms have them as low as 1/6.

Given Maribor’s attractive odds (22/1 with one bookmaker) it’s no surprise that, since the last round of UCL games, a Maribor win has been the most popular option with punters looking for value. 42% of bets for a result have been on the home side being victorious.

A game like this, where Liverpool are strongly supposed to win, at least on paper. That’s when you play the guys who don’t normally crack the first XI. Klopp has suggested Oxlade-Chamberlain could fill play one of three positions for the Reds right now, with help on the wing being the most likely place.

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With Sadio Mane being out long term, it’s an area of the field where the team could really use Oxlade-Chamberlain right now.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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