Should Liverpool bring back the diamond against West Ham?

Brendan Rodgers 2

Injuries struck during the international break which has led to Brendan Rodgers opting against playing his rather more bold formation.

Liverpool made the 4-4-2 diamond formation work wonderfully last season and, in the early stages of the season they only used it from the start on one occasion - in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Injuries sustained to Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen and Emre Can over the international break made it harder for Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to play that system against Aston Villa and Ludogorets - but in the latter stages of their Champions League win over the Bulgarian Champions, the switch was made, and it eventually paid off.

The personnel currently at his disposal may not be as effective operating the roles required, but the system allows the side to get the upper hand in midfield, Steven Gerrard can operate a little more freely in the deeper position, and the full-backs that are keen to get forward are allowed to do so.

It looks unlikely that Sturridge will be available, and it appears Rodgers doesn't fancy playing Rickie Lambert up front alongside Mario Balotelli, but Fabio Borini proved to aid his fellow Italian with a bit more freedom to operate in a lot more space when he was introduced into the action on Tuesday night. In addition, his work rate since returning to Anfield in the two cameos he has had so far have been excellent.

There are still question marks over the fitness of Joe Allen, though we are led to believe they are minor after picking up a knee problem on international duty. However, let's assume he will be absent for the trip to Upton Park and consider Lucas Leiva for selection.

Though the Brazilian's form hasn't been the best, he did play an excellent role in the win at Upton Park last season, and offers a bit of defensive know-how to try and win the battle in the middle of the park. 

The switch to the diamond had a big part in winning the game for the Reds last season against West Ham, and when they've played a lone striker system with Balotelli, the side seems to run out of ideas in the final third. 

Liverpool do have pacey and creative options to bring off the bench should a change of system be required at Upton Park, e.g. if he wants to protect the lead and counter attack - with the likes of Lazar Markovic and Philippe Coutinho to call upon.

It's going to be fascinating to see how Liverpool line-up on Saturday evening, but a return to the diamond would be bold and show a tremendous amount of faith in other members of the squad who may not have been regarded as frontline players this season.

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