Brendan Rodgers has a couple of selection dilemmas ahead of the match with the main one being who replaces creative midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who is out until next month with a shoulder problem.
Here is the side he could go with for the match at Anfield this weekend.
GK – Simon Mignolet
There isn’t any reason to drop the Belgian who continues to develop, solidifying his position as Liverpool’s number one. He’s a great shot stopper and is well suited to the way Liverpool like to play the ball out from the back.
RB – Kolo Toure
Andre Wisdom was nowhere near his best against Swansea, which could force Rodgers into playing Kolo Toure at right back. Toure doesn’t have the pace or the skill when it comes to getting forward but he is reliable and will do his basic defensive job well.
CB – Martin Skrtel
Skrtel should continue in the side after his recent resurgence in form. He offers strength and aggression whether that’s in the air or when he tries to break up play on the floor. He also offers a good threat in the opponent’s final third when it comes to set pieces.
CB – Daniel Agger
Agger should return to the side if he’s shaken off a knock that prevented him from playing against Swansea. He’s been one of the club’s best defenders this season and is one of the only players, in a busy area of the squad, assured of his starting place when fit. If not then Mamadou Sakho will take his place.
LB – Jose Enrique
Enrique will play at left back. The reliable defender offers options at both ends of the pitch and he’ll be priceless getting forward because Coutinho won’t be available to drift out to the left hand side of the pitch.
RM – Raheem Sterling
If Sterling plays on the right hand side then it releases Henderson to move into a central position. The worry is that Sterling has looked a little sporadic at times this season, but did well for the under-21s in midweek. However, his pace and ability to play wide means there will be less pressure on Toure to get forward.
CM – Lucas
Expect to see Lucas as the holding player, sitting in front of the back four and breaking up the play. He’s been very effective this season when it’s come to controlling Liverpool’s midfield, linking the back four with the middle of the side, pressing forward.
CM – Jordan Henderson
Henderson will probably fill the role normally played by Steven Gerrard. He’s good enough to control the tempo of Liverpool’s attacking play and his passing skills are good enough that he can play simple and longer passes to all areas of the team under pressure.
CM – Steven Gerrard
Gerrard will probably be urged by Rodgers to play the creative and attacking role vacated by Coutinho. The Liverpool captain certainly has the experience to do that job and he’s one of the best in the business when it comes to supporting an attack. He could thrive if he’s given the sole task of attacking.
LM – Victor Moses
Moses had a great debut against Swansea City, which should keep him in the side despite the form of Luis Alberto in the Under-21 team. Moses offers a good threat from the left in terms of supplying the ball and he can also cut inside to support the attack centrally.
ST – Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge said after the Swansea game that he still doesn’t feel fit but he’s going through one of the best spells of form so far in his career. He looks a constant threat in the Liverpool attack and the imminent return of Luis Suarez will only make him more determined to be successful and hold his position.
What do you think? Will Sterling come into the side? Who replaces Coutinho?
image: © kong niffe