Although Dejan Lovren seems like the obvious choice to replace Martin Skrtel for the match against Arsenal, we take a look at two alternatives Brendan Rodgers could also opt for.
After Skrtel was handed a three-match ban, following an apparent stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, the microscope shifted firmly on to the Liverpool boss as he now looks to pick a replacement for the Slovakian in the heart of the defence.
Lovren, who has had to withdraw from the Croatia squad due to abdominal strain as reported by talkSPORT, seems like the obvious choice but may not even be fit and could represent an even bigger selection headache for the former Swansea boss given his formation.
Here are two ways Rodgers could rectify the Slovakian’s loss in defence and still put out a side with a fighting chance against Arsenal in what will now be considered the biggest game of the season.
The former Arsenal defender could slip straight into the back three but wouldn’t make it into the side without hearing the groans of some Liverpool supporters.
He is an experienced defender, who will be looking to prove a point against his former club, so he could offer the aggression and intensity desired for the role – especially in the absence of the influential Skrtel.
However, it needs to be considered that Toure could get wrapped up in the moment and let his heart rule his head at key times in the match that could ultimately cost the team.
If there is going to be no system change then he could well be the answer.
Play with two centre backs instead of the three
If Toure and Lovren are to not make the cut then the obvious choice would be a system change. However, questions would be asked over the partnership of Emre Can and Mamadou Sakho.
The Northern Irish manager could throw a spanner into the works as he looks to get around Skrtel’s suspension and ultimately set up a system with potentially the next three games in mind.
Glen Johnson could come into a back four, while Lucas Leiva could slot into midfield to offer a defensive mind in the middle of the park.
Although the 3-4-3 system has worked wonders for the Merseyside club this year, it does seem like a good time to change it up in order minimise the impact made by the 30-year-old’s loss.