Phil Thompson wants a Sturridge start to get Benteke firing

Should Liverpool risk the striker's fitness to get their summer signing firing? The Sky Sports pundit certainly thinks so...

Former Liverpool defender and assistant manager Phil Thompson wants Brendan Rodgers to show some bravery and start Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho either side of Christian Benteke against Norwich City in the Premier League next weekend, according to Sky Sports.

Indeed, Thompson told Sky: "When Sturridge played with Suarez, Suarez would sometimes play down the middle and Sturridge would start to the left of him, not wide.

"You're not getting the best out of your players. I think you have to play your players in their best positions to get the best out of them. If Benteke is going to be playing against Norwich on Sunday, play Sturridge - if he does start - alongside him and Coutinho the other side to get the best out of the players."

A big risk

The issue, of course, with any Sturridge involvement is the risk involved - and, sadly, his huge fitness issues suggest participation of any kind make it a big risk.

Thompson's idea makes sense from a tactical standpoint but he is emphasising the importance of Sturridge's role in getting Benteke firing.

That means pressure, plenty of time on the ball - and plenty of opportunities to get tackled. Is it too early to be putting such a strain on the 26-year-old after so many months of limited game time?

It may be a risk Rodgers needs to take, however, as it may well be a case of putting Sturridge's fitness on the line - or losing his job. But, such is the incompetence shown by the Northern Irishman during the last few months and his time at Anfield as a whole, even Sturridge might not be enough to keep him in the role this time around.

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