The selection headache Liverpool have without Lucas Leiva

Lucas Leiva

Liverpool's defensive midfield player is suspended for the match against Crystal Palace, leaving manager Brendan Rodgers a bit of a selection headache.

It is amazing to think that already this season, a player has picked up five yellow cards, but Lucas Leiva has managed and will miss Liverpool’s game with Crystal Palace on Saturday as a result.

Liverpool’s midfield this season seems to have a combination of Henderson, Lucas, Gerrard – usually Henderson operating wide and sometimes tucking in. But Gerrard and Lucas seem to be the duo sitting deep yet Lucas is the man responsible for breaking up the play and pressing the ball more often than the Liverpool captain.

The options could include bringing Henderson inside and playing one of Sterling or Jordon Ibe on the flank – in what seems to the full back role in the current 3-5-2 system – or there is the option of bringing the relatively inexperienced Luis Alberto into the side with Steven Gerrard taking a lot more of the responsibility.

There is also the option of shifting Victor Moses out to the flank after taking up more of a central role in the past couple of weeks and bringing Henderson inside, with someone to play through the middle further up the park, which could also allow Alberto to come into the side.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted that Joe Allen is getting close fitness wise to be available for selection, and would probably be the most natural choice to play in that role yet whenever he does play, he still looks out of place – this could be a massive selection headache for Brendan Rodgers.

The worry is for Liverpool, given that Lucas has picked up so many bookings in such a short space of time, how many more games is he going to miss this season?

He is the player that puts his foot in and breaks up the play, and as a result is the player that is most likely to commit cynical looking fouls. If he doesn’t cut down the card count, it could be a couple of more games he’d miss, and they could possibly carry more significance than on Saturday afternoon.

image: © faisalzaman

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