Rodgers hopeful Liverpool can cope without suspended midfielder

The Liverpool manager was speaking ahead of their game with Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Liverpool host Crystal Palace this weekend at Anfield but the Reds will be without Lucas Leiva in the middle of the park. Speaking at his press conference ahead of the game, manager Brendan Rodgers thinks they have enough quality to fill the void left by the Brazilian.

‘He’s come back very well from his injury over the last number of months. The idea is to have a squad that when you miss someone, someone else can come in. There’s no doubt he’s started the season well. He’s a very honest committed player who understands what it is we’re trying to do.

‘It’ll give an opportunity for someone else to come in and hopefully that will prove seamless.’

One of the players who could fill in for Lucas is Jordan Henderson and Rodgers has been full of praise for the utility player, who has filled a variety of roles under the manager including central midfield, on the wings, at wing-back, full-back and as a wide forward.

‘I’ve been so impressed since I’ve been here [with him]. His level tactically is very, very good. He wants to improve all the time. If I didn’t he can play in the role, or function in the role properly I wouldn’t put him there so it’s a great credit to him.

See also: Moses' season, Suarez return - Liverpool morning news

See also: £37m star linked to Liverpool - Do they need him?

‘Jordan's got quality. I don’t see it as a hindrance for him, I see it only as a positive and I know that he’s really enjoying playing. And wherever he plays, there’s no drop off. He’s a really good young footballer whose understanding of the game is improving all the time.’

The Liverpool boss has received a couple of injury boosts this week, and expects the trio of Aly Cissokho, Joe Allen and Glen Johnson to all be available for selection after the international break, though Cissokho could be in the squad for this weekend’s Premier League game.

The manager acknowledged the Palace manager Ian Holloway’s achievement of getting his club promoted and Rodgers is wary his opposite number may well get the very best out of his players.

‘They’d done brilliant to get promoted. Ian is excellent. I think it’s worth acknowledging how remarkably well he’s done in getting promoted, and he’s an outstanding manager. He’s been around a long time, he’s got a lot of experience. He will always get the best out of the players he has so we know that it will be a really difficult game.’

image: © Bernard C

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch