What is Liverpool’s best starting XI?

The Anfield side are fighting for a top-four position, but what is their ideal team on paper?

Brendan Rodgers has been the architect of a revival at Anfield in recent times, with Liverpool looking like a side ready to contest for honours this season.

Much of the reason is an expansive transfer policy by the Merseyside club, which has given the Northern Irishman plenty of options to select from across the pitch.

With this in mind, here is what I contend to be Liverpool’s best XI if everyone is fit and available, in a 3-5-2 formation.

GK – Simon Mignolet

CB – Mamadou Sakho

CB – Daniel Agger

CB – Kolo Toure

LWB – Jose Enrique

RWB – Glen Johnson

CM – Steven Gerrard

CM – Jordan Henderson

CAM – Philippe Coutinho

ST – Luis Suarez

ST – Daniel Sturridge

The 3-5-2 system allows Rodgers to play both of his star strikers centrally, with key playmaker Philippe Coutinho in behind.

It also makes the most of two attacking full-backs, with three of four central defenders fighting for a place.

Mamdou Sakho has earned his place in the side, while Daniel Agger is the club’s best defender with the ball at his feet and should play in the centre of the three as a sweeper of sorts.

Between Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel is a tight call, but the Ivorian has looked rejuvenated since his summer move.

John Flanagan is unlucky not to be included after good performances of late, but Jose Enrique gets the nod as he is left-footed and superior going forward.

In the centre of the park, Lucas Leiva is an excellent enforcer, but a partnership of Gerrard and Henderson is more rounded.

Where do Liverpool need to strengthen?

Looking at the Reds’ first team, there are no areas of real weakness that need to be strengthened. There is an argument that a top-drawer left wing-back would add to the team, but Enrique is competent.

In January, Liverpool may look to add a new face or two, but the first team they have seems more than capable of going toe-to-toe with fellow table-toppers this season.

image: © Vincent Teeuwen

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