Liverpool legend: "Drop Coutinho for Manchester United game - play Joe Allen"

Liverpool hero John Aldridge believes that Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho should be dropped this weekend - in order for Joe Allen to start.

Brendan Rodgers' side travel to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, with three points a must in the Reds' bid to mount a late title charge. Four wins in a row and seven from the last nine has put Liverpool right in the mix for the Premier League title, sitting seven points behind Chelsea with a game in hand.

Spearheaded by strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool have been climbing the table gradually, but former Inter Milan star Coutinho has also played a key role in the Reds' successful season to date - yet with one of the biggest games of the season on the horizon, Aldridge believes Coutinho should be dropped - in favour of former Swansea midfielder Allen.

"A lot of debate will centre on the type of team Brendan Rodgers will pick at Old Trafford, I am sure. For me, I think Joe Allen will start, and I can see exactly why, as well," Aldridge said.

"You need grafters when you go to places like Old Trafford, and a midfield of Allen, Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard is full of graft. United struggle in central midfield, it is well documented, so I would make that part of the field as strong as possible," added the former Tranmere Rovers boss.

"If that means leaving Philippe Coutinho on the bench, then so be it. I think Raheem Sterling has to start, and Coutinho has looked a little jaded in the last couple of games. Mind you, it’s not a bad option to have to bring off the bench, is it?"

Aldridge's point is well-founded, particularly as Liverpool are aware from home and will need to be combative to break down United attacks and set away the likes of Suarez, Sturridge and the blossoming Raheem Sterling - yet with the Red Devils having their worst season in a long time, isn't this the perfect chance to go for the kill, just like Liverpool did against Arsenal?

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch