"Liverpool should send their weakest team to play Salzburg" - Dion Fanning
This Saturday, with the visit of Brighton to Anfield, Liverpool embark on a run of nine games in 29 days.
Liverpool are eight points clear of second placed Leicester City in the Premier League but missed a chance to reach the knock-out stages of the Champions League when they were held to a 1-1 home draw with Napoli.
The Reds are still top of Group E but they are in danger of being eliminated from the competition they won last season if they lose to Red Bull Salzburg on December 10.
While many Reds would hate to be be dethroned in such a manner, Dion Fanning argues - on The Football Spin - that winning a first domestic league title in 29 years is their priority this season, and that all other competitions must fall in line.
Asked by Paddy McKenna how Jurgen Klopp should play the Champions League pool stage decider, Dion Fanning declared, ""Liverpool should send their weakest team to Salzburg." He added:
"Why would Liverpool want to risk anything on the Champions League right now, when they are eight points clear at the top of the table and have a chance to win a first league title in (almost) 30 years. They've won the Champions League. They've already won it.
"Why would you? The chances of Liverpool retaining it now... the benefit to Liverpool right now is to have no Champions League fixtures next year.
"This has landed perfectly... They've got Brighton at the weekend, and then Everton and Bournemouth and then Salzburg. And then there's Aston Villa in the League Cup and the World Club Cup. They are matches that Liverpool shouldn't send anyone that you've ever even recognised. It should be like watching the Ireland squad getting off the bus at the Aviva Stadium, and you're asking, 'Who are these people?' That's what Liverpool should be sending to these (cup) games.
"Because the only thing that matters to Liverpool is winning the league."
Fanning believes the price to pay - potentially having senior players injured or fatigued - is not worth it. To that end, he argues that the most damaging aspect of Liverpool's latest game was not the 1-1 draw but midfielder Fabinho going off injured.
The three most important games, before Christmas, are Brighton (home), Everton (home) and Bournemouth (away). As much as many 'Pool fans would love to retain the Champions League, there would not be much arguing with Klopp if he prioritised the league.