Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez ready for Old Trafford start?


Each of the pair found the net in Liverpool's 2-1 win in the FA Cup at the weekend, but should Rodgers start both of his available senior strikers at Old Trafford on Sunday?

A fine performance and a first goal will have given Liverpool fans plenty of reasons to be pleased with their new signing Daniel Sturridge, and for many the most exciting prospect is how the England striker will go on to link up with Luis Suarez. Given Sturridge’s strong start, should Rodgers throw caution to the wind and give his two main strikers their first chance to play together in the most daunting of fixtures - away at Old Trafford on Sunday?

Playing both would likely necessitate one of the pair moving out to a flank. From an attacking point of view this is unlikely to be a problem, as both men have played in similar positions before in their career with success. In terms of simple goal threat, Sturridge and Suarez are arguably the two most effective players at the club, and they also seem well-suited to play against United's defence.

Much has been said about Ferguson's side inability to keep clean sheets this season, and although they might tighten up as Nemanja Vidic gets back to full match fitness, they still look vulnerable at the moment.

As pacy players with plenty of skill on the ball, Suarez and Sturridge could cause United's back four plenty of problems and can also exploit any counter-attacking opportunities that arise. Even with United's poor recent defensive record, Liverpool are going to need to ensure they take their chances if they want to get a result at Old Trafford, and on that basis you would want two of your most clinical players on the pitch.

However the worry could be that their defensive work might not be up to scratch against United's marauding full backs, who have been a key part of Ferguson's attacking unit this season. Sturridge was often out of position when he played on the flank of Chelsea's attack at the start of last season, leaving the defender behind him exposed.

So if Sturridge and Suarez were played you could expect that Rodgers would have to adjust his formation elsewhere to ensure that Liverpool remain defensively sound. I would argue that this is worth doing, as the two strikers can carry plenty of threat with their movement even if they become a little isolated from their midfield. You can more or less predict how United will play at the weekend, and their attacking style should give Liverpool chances of their own. They will be in the best position to exploit those chances if they have both Suarez and Sturridge on the pitch from the start.

images: © Sanjiva, © Sorren Lissner

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