£25 million man set for Liverpool debut against Aston Villa - report

Adam Lallana is reportedly in line for his Liverpool debut in place of the injured Daniel Sturridge.

Sturridge suffered a thigh injury during England training, ruling him out of the Three Lions' clash with Switzerland.

But that injury will also keep him out of action with the Reds, with recent reports suggesting he could miss 2-3 games for Brendan Rodgers' side.

The striker's absence, then, leaves Rodgers with a conundrum.

Should he stick with the diamond and play Fabio Borini or Rickie Lambert up front? Or should he change Liverpool's formation back to a 4-3-3 with Mario Balotelli playing as a lone striker?

Well, according to the Daily Mirror, the Northern Irishman is opting for the latter - choosing Lallana as the man to deputise for Sturridge. The 26-year-old proved his fitness during a closed-door friendly, in which he scored the winner against Wolves.

The move could see the Reds keep their back four and midfield three the same but shift Raheem Sterling out wide and have Lallana on the opposite wing.

The former Southampton midfielder moved to Anfield for £25 million this summer but a knee injury ruled him out of the club's opening games of the season.

Liverpool host Aston Villa during the evening kick-off on Saturday, before welcoming FC Ludogorets to Anfield in their first Champions League game since 2009.

For both fixtures, Lallana should be fit enough to play - and Rodgers clearly values the creative midfielder, if reports are to be believed. Indeed, even in a 4-3-3, the options are plentiful for the 41-year-old, as Philippe Coutinho and Lazar Markovic can also play out wide for the Reds.

As explored by HITC Sport several days ago, however, now could be the perfect time to give 26-year-old Lallana his first taste of competitive Premier League action at Anfield. 

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