Jan Molby comments on system change and defensive selection headache

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Jan Molby has commented on Liverpool setting up with a back three against Bordeaux, and where Mamadou Sakho should fit into the first XI.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby has aired his concern in the Liverpool Echo at seeing manager Brendan Rodgers switch from a back four to a back three for Thursday night's Europa League opener against Bordeaux.

The Reds made eight changes to the side which lost in the Premier League against Manchester United last weekend, with several younger players involved, along with the fringe members of the squad, for the 1-1 draw in France.

Molby said he could understand it if it was a case of getting the best of the squad that travelled for the game, but he wants to see Rodgers play and work on a settled system.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column: "I don't like to see him chopping and changing. Even last season, when we went three at the back and there was a massive improvement, you never felt it was a long-term solution.

"I'd rather he continue to work on something that we are going to stick with going forward.

"A draw in Bordeaux was a decent result. We are still at the stage where we are looking to kickstart the season for some players."

This seems to be a continuing theme for Rodgers, as in every season he has had at Anfield he has had a tendency to switch formations from time to time. Last night's display certainly got the more creative players going through the middle and allowed for natural width - which has rarely been seen so far this season - so maybe this is a system he should stick with for now.

There is, of course, the chance that he will revert back to the formation that he has been operating with so far this season - which will be a bit of a disappointment considering it seemed to work pretty well for the second string in France. 

Even if he did, there would still have to be a huge decision to make at the heart of the defence, after Mamadou Sakho impressed when captaining the side.

Molby added: "In terms of who he might replace – if Rodgers returns to a flat back four – Dejan Lovren is under slightly more pressure for his place but I'd like to see Lovren alongside Sakho for a couple of games.

"Maybe it's time for Martin Skrtel to have a rest. I don't know if he has been affected by the change in formation and defensive team-mates, but he's definitely off form."

It would certainly be a big call from Rodgers if he were to follow the advice from Molby, but Skrtel's performances have been under par for quite some time, and the erratic displays of Lovren alongside him seem to have acted as a shield for Slovakian. The Sakho/Lovren pairing isn't something that we've seen a lot of, so it would be an interesting experiment, but given there's a lot of pressure on the Reds to beat Norwich City, you would have to question the timing.

If the Reds were to play a back three, it would make things a little easier and put the emphasis on any selection headache back into the central midfield role. 

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