Graphic: Why Brendan Rodgers should select this Liverpool XI versus Sion

Paisley Gateway

Liverpool host Swiss outfit Sion in the Europa League on Thursday.

Liverpool’s first Europa League clash at Anfield sees them take on Swiss side Sion.

The Reds head into the encounter coming off the back of a 3-2 win over Aston Villa – a game which saw Daniel Sturridge return to goal scoring form with a bang.

Brendan Rodgers may be tempted to rest a number of key players with a derby date against Everton next on the Premier League schedule, yet he must also be keen to further develop key first-team partnerships.

Sion aren’t likely to pose too much of a test, therefore it’s also a good opportunity to build confidence.

Back five:

Liverpool’s back five have struggled in recent weeks, and the absence of Dejan Lovren poses Rodgers a bit of a problem as to who he ought to select alongside Martin Skrtel.

Against Villa, the Reds opted for a back three, with wing-backs Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne heavily involved, but for the visit of Sion, the Merseysiders may revert to a back four.

Joe Gomez ought to come back in at left-back and get some valuable game time, while Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel need to develop a solid centre-back understanding in the absence of Lovren.

Midfield three:

With Jordan Henderson missing, Liverpool’s midfield looks a little light on runners and James Milner’s inclusion through the middle looks all the more imperative now.

The Reds should adopt an attacking line-up, while key players such as Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho can be afforded a rest with Adam Lallana coming in and Emre Can moving further forward.

Attack:

Following Sturridge’s double at the weekend, Rodgers must be tempted to play the England international again, especially when considering that Christian Benteke is ruled out through injury.

However, the Reds have a Merseyside derby to contend with this weekend and they have to be careful not to risk any potential injuries. On the balance of it, Sturridge must be rested.

Divock Origi has the ability to lead the line on his own, while Danny Ings and Jordon Ibe either side of him give Liverpool enough potency to get the job done.

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