Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers left Raheem Sterling out of his starting line-up against Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend.
The Northern Irishman wanted to protect the young winger from burnout and probably thought that he had enough quality in his team to pick up all three points against the Villans at home.
However, that plan backfired as Paul Lambert’s Villa stunned Liverpool and won the contest 1-0. Sterling did come off the bench, but he failed to make much impact.
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp recently stated that Rodgers should have started Sterling against Villa, and believes that the 19-year-old will feature from the start against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground today.
‘I don’t think Rodgers will make that mistake again this weekend and I’m sure we’ll see Sterling come back into the starting XI’, he wrote on the Sky Sports website.
Another former Liverpool star, Michael Owen, also backs Sterling to start against the Hammers today, and says that he was ‘surprised’ that he was left out last week.
The ex-Manchester United and Newcastle United striker goes as far as to suggest that the teenager will be key to getting maximum points on the road for the Merseyside outfit.
‘I was surprised Raheem Sterling was left out of the starting XI against Villa last weekend and with Daniel Sturridge out injured much rests on the shoulders of the young English international’, Owen wrote on Betvictor.com.
‘West Ham played very well against Hull on Monday but Liverpool are very quick on the break and Sterling might be the key’.
Sterling started Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad at Anfield on Tuesday and played the entire 90 minutes.