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Predicted Liverpool XI to play West Bromwich Albion - Midfield re-shape as Lucas returns

Match to be played on Saturday 26th October 2013 at 15:00. Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.

Liverpool will be looking to stay close to Arsenal at the top of the Premier League when they take on West Brom this weekend.

Liverpool dropped points last weekend thanks to a 2-2 draw away at Newcastle United and they have a chance to get back on track with three points against the Baggies this weekend.

Liverpool are currently third in the table, just two points behind Arsenal and behind Chelsea due to goal difference. Rodgers has a tough decision to make over the fitness of key midfielder Philippe Coutinho and whether to risk him as he returns from a shoulder injury.

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Here is the side he could go with.

GK – Simon Mignolet

The Belgian has been one of the stand out performers for the club so far this season. He’s been consistent, looks comfortable with the pressure of playing for Liverpool and his distribution skills are vital in setting up attacks quickly.

RCD – Kolo Toure

Toure should continue in the back three. He provides a great deal of experience to the Liverpool defence and he’s looked solid since he joined the club over the summer. He also provides an aerial threat in the opponent’s final third.

CB – Martin Skrtel

Expect to see Liverpool’s Slovakian defender retain his place in the heart of the defence. Skrtel has been very consistent in this position and he works well with the defenders either side of him, showing a good ability to organise the backline under pressure.

LCD – Mamadou Sakho

On the left hand side of central defence should be Sakho. He’s settled in nicely to Premier League life with the club, offers strength to the defence and his pace means he can cover anywhere along the back for players caught out of position.

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RM – Glen Johnson

Johnson is likely to continue on the right hand side of midfield, dropping back to a right-back role when Liverpool are under pressure. He had a decent 80 minutes against Newcastle and should be sharper for that game time which will make him more precise in attack.

DM – Lucas

Lucas should return to the starting side after missing the Newcastle game for the birth of his child. He’s been the best at the club so far this season when it comes to playing that holding role in front of the Liverpool defence.

CM – Jordan Henderson

Henderson should have a chance to come into a much more natural central position thanks to the return of Lucas. Henderson can pull the strings in the heart of the midfield as well as releasing Steven Gerrard to get forward as well as covering multiple positions.

AM – Steven Gerrard

As the dust from Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments on Gerrard settles, he has another chance to show why he’s one of the great midfielders the Premier League has ever seen. Gerrard will drop back when he needs to and his ability to make attacking runs from a variety of positions doesn’t need to be sold.

See also: Former Liverpool striker hits out at Fergie, Gerrard achievement 'incredible'

LM – Victor Moses

Moses may get a chance to revert to a more natural wide position although there is going to be an emphasis on him to cover defensively. Either Lucas or Henderson will have to offer him support or Liverpool could end up exposed down that side.

ST – Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge has the ability to drift out to the left hand side which offers Moses even more support. He’s been one of the best strikers in the Premier League so far this season with seven goals from eight game and two assists, which means his confidence will be sky high.

ST – Luis Suarez

Suarez’s ability to cause chaos for an opposition defence is world class. He can occupy two central defenders on his own which allows Sturridge to make a variety of different runs, utilising the space which Suarez creates.

What do you think? Should Lucas come straight back in?

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