Liverpool go into Saturday’s early kick-off at St James Park looking for three points which will keep them at least joint top of the table with Arsenal.
Johnson is a key component of Liverpool’s back four and he’s closing on a return following an ankle injury, which he picked up earlier in the season in the 1-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers is in a difficult position because the player himself has suggested he does have enough time to put himself in the frame for a start this Saturday despite the recent form of the side.
Trained with the team today. Felt good and will hopefully make enough progress in time for Saturday!!! #FingersXd— Glen Johnson (@glen_johnson) October 15, 2013
Liverpool tried to retain a back four in Johnson’s absence but using four central defenders across the backline was partly to blame for the recent 1-0 defeat at home against Southampton.
That prompted Rodgers to switch to a three at the back system, which has been used in back-to-back wins for the side in their last two Premier League games.
If Johnson is fit enough to start this Saturday, Rodgers has to decide whether to leave him on the bench and retain that 3-5-2 style formation or whether to slot him back in at right-back with the side reverting to a more conventional four at the back.
It certainly can’t be viewed as a negative that Johnson is closing on a return because he’s one of the best fullbacks in the country when he’s fit and in form but Rodgers will be criticised if he changes the system and Liverpool don’t have a positive result this weekend.
What do you think Rodgers will do?
image: © kong niffe