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3/16/2013 12:00:00 pm

LFC predicted line-up vs. Southampton: Coutinho to miss out? Allen back in...?

Liverpool face Southampton this afternoon in another crucial Premier League game, and with confidence flowing after a great run of results, Reds fans will be hoping for another good performance, and hopefully, three more points on the board.

Squad-wise, this is what we know so far:

* Pepe Reina is still a doubt. Rodgers confirmed in his Thursday press conference that the Spaniard would be assessed on Friday.

* Daniel Sturridge is fit and will be in the squad.

* No new injury worries over the last week.

I can't see any reason why Brendan Rodgers won't name the same team that started at Spurs:

---------------- Reina

Johnson --- Agger ---- Carragher ---- Enrique

--------------- Lucas

-------- Gerrard -- Coutinho

Downing ----------------- Suarez

-------------- Sturridge

Downing scored in the last game so he'll almost definitely start, and SAS is a no-brainer if both are fit. The only possible change I can see is Joe Allen or Jordan Henderson coming in for Coutinho, who still isn't 100% match-fit.

Allen came on for the Brazilian during the Spurs game, and the Reds went on to win the game, though whether Allen had anything to do with that is debatable.

With almost seven days rest, Coutinho should surely be okay to start this afternoon's game, and it would be disappointing for LFC fans if Allen took his place. Additionally, the Welshman is suffering with a shoulder injury, whereas Coutinho has no fitness worries.

You have to feel for Jordan Henderson a little though. He's played extremely well this year, but despite his improved form, he's been rewarded with regular bench duty over the last month.

Perhaps it's time to give Lucas a day off? He didn't have his best game against Spurs, and with only 78% passing accuracy (amongst his worst of the season), Lucas seemed to give the ball away more than any other LFC player. I can't see Rodgers putting him on the bench though, but if he does, Henderson would be a good shout.

Steven Gerrard will play his 30th Premier League game of the season today. The Skipper is everpresent in the league this season, and I'm sure he has his eye on beating his best ever league appearance record, which is 36 games in the 2006-7 season.

It's no coincidence that Gerrard's lowest league turnout - 24 and 28 games respectively between 2010 and 2012 - coincided with the Reds worst league performance in years, and Reds legend Tommy Smith believes Liverpool's captain is the club's best performer this season, even ahead of Luis Suarez. He told the Liverpool Echo:

"Suarez has scored a lot of goals but in terms of overall performances, Steven Gerrard has got the edge. He has played every minute of every league game which is amazing considering the injury problems he’d had over the previous two seasons. The captain has been crucial to Liverpool’s upturn in form"

The table doesn't lie: With Gerrard everpresent, the Reds are currently sixth in the league.

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HazeyMatt said...

i think henderson may get a go today. try muscle the midfield a little. hopefully we deal out a big win!

david fattal said...

Jaimie, what does SAS mean?

Niall O'Reilly said...

Really...? Sturridge and Suarez m8

Niall O'Reilly said...

Its the thing thats always worried me about Gerrard,we have too much of a reliance on him,its a testament of how good he still is but what will we do when he retires?

Jaimie K said...

Yes, agreed. Massive over-reliance on Gerrard, and even though he's nearing the end of his career, there's no obvious candidate to replace him.

voiceofreason said...

I think it was without doubt that bringing allen on enabled us to compete in midfield when spurs were dominating prior to it. Having said that i would start with coutinho today. I agree about gerrard and wander how kenny would have benefitted from a fully fit gerrard to pic? Every week. No carra today.

Niall O'Reilly said...

Exactly I cant really see anyone in the youth ranks who looks to be able to fill his boots,Christian Eriksen could be one but hes still got a long way to go to be as good as Gerrard

Steve Tregunno said...

Fingers crossed another well played game by liverpool and a nice easy 4 nil win come on liverpoolfc

Boat Spirit said...

I dont think accessing a player here is important we've a winning team and we hve to stick to it.....changing players one after the other at dis tym of the game is not necessary

Gano1 said...

Attack attack attack.................let them worry about us!!!

Jaimie K said...

Agree. Sorry I haven't responded to your email yet, mate. Agree with you re Iturra though - would be a great signing.

teelon said...

Jaimie are you on Android? I mean can find liverpool-kop on google play or Android market? pls do let me know

teelon said...

Jaimie K, is there a liverpool-kop app on Android google play ? Pls do let me know

gilstrap said...

id like hendo to start today instead of Lucas just to give him a rest and to see how hendo plays there.

The Dark Lord said...

I agree 100% on hendo... He was on a very good run... I would love to see him start today... Against 'lesser' teams, i would put hendo ahead of lucas...

But lucas-stevie-hendo is a strong midfield and would allow us to dominate the opposition... Its a tough choice, if downing was not doing so well, i would have replaced him with hendo...

Funkdoc said...

I wouldn't mind continuing Coutinho for Henderson or Allen, just to build Coutinho's fitness & to state our attacking intent. Who has noted a blossoming understanding b/w Coutinho, Saurez & Enrique? That can't be ignored.

OriginalChan said...

Just a bit of background info: Shearer and Sutton were the first I think to get that nickname for their partnership. That partnership started under Kenny at B'Burn and it was a league winning partnership. Afterwards, Shearer and Sheringham also got the same nickname when playing for England.

OriginalChan said...

Its a bit of weird one really, in relation to the future of the central midfield under this system of Rodgers (assuming he is around for that long, of course). Gerrard has adapted really well and performed well this season but Rodgers' may. Obviously when the going gets tough and we need the throw the kitchen sink at sides, that

Jaimie K said...

HI teelon. There isn't one at the moment, unfortunately, but I'm working on it.

stey said...

The spineless chokers and serial letdown merchants are back today, yet again capitulating to Premiership Dross and making them look World class in the process.

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