18 Oct 2014

Possible XI vs. QPR: After major £45m boost, €20m star warns BR to stop playing him out of position

After today's Premier League results, Liverpool have slipped down to tenth place in the table, which makes Sunday's trip to QPR yet another must-win game.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to suggest that every league game is a must-win for Liverpool right now.

After all, the main goal for this season is to finish in the top four, and even at this early stage of thew season, every point counts, and the pressure is well and truly on.

Thankfully, there's good news on the injury front.

In his pre-QPR press conference on Friday, Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Allen, Johnson, Can, and Lovren (i.e. £45m worth of LFC talent) will all be available for the game, which is a massive boost for the Reds.

Daniel Sturridge is not expected to feature, though, which puts the pressure on Mario Balotelli to step up the plate and do the business.

Balotelli has struggled to score since arriving at Anfield, but earlier this week, the Italian indirectly blamed Rodgers for his paucity in front of goal. He told reporters:

"I have never been a real, out-and-out striker. I have always been someone who goes around the pitch. If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It's the way I like to play, but Brendan asked me to play as the first striker".

This is a very clear message from Balotelli that he is not comfortable playing as a lone central striker, and if Liverpool are to get the best out of him, then Rodgers should heed Balotelli's words, and try and play to his strengths. With that in mind, I'd like to see the following team for QPR:

------------------ Mignolet

Manquillo --- Skrtel -- Lovren ------ Moreno

------------------- Allen

------------ Hendo ------ Gerrard

------------------ Lallana

------------ Sterling - Balotelli

I can't see Rodgers playing Balotelli in the number 10 role, especially with the likes of Coutinho, and Lallana in the squad, so he'll probably have to make do with playing as part of a front two.

The problem there, though, is that Sterling is not a central striker, either. He likes to drop deep, link the play, and run at players from a deeper position on the pitch, so Liverpool will lose something if that part of his game is jettisoned just to accommodate Balotelli.

In any event, given the hassle over Sterling's 'tiredness' this week, it's possible that Rodgers will rest him for the QPR game, which may give Markovic and/or Lambert an opportunity to start. QPR is exactly the type of game in which Lambert should excel, so if Rodgers goes that way, the following line-up is a possibility:

------------------ Mignolet

Manquillo --- Skrtel -- Lovren ------ Moreno

------------------- Allen

------------ Hendo ------ Gerrard

------------------ Lallana

------------ Lambert - Balotelli

I really hope the Gerrard at DM experiment is over, but I suspect Rodgers will persist with it, even though it's obvious that the best thing for the team is to have the captain playing further forward.

Predicting a 2-0 win for Liverpool, Reds legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"I do not see Harry Redknapp's side causing Liverpool many problems. At the moment they look short in every area, particularly at the back where they have a soft centre and up front, where there seems to be too much onus on Charlie Austin"

My prediction: 2-1 to Liverpool.

Author:



53 comments:

  1. Even without sterling and Sturridge that team looks too strong for QPR. I think Super Mario will score too. 0-3 :-)

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  2. Is it true that Daniel Sturridge picked up another injury and will be out for another month?

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  3. What a hat trick for Mario?

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  4. Lawro's comments could easily apply to us- our defence is soft and we expect Balo to score- I'm not confident we can beat anybody at the minute-please guys prove me wrong - and then Madrid

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  5. So you expect us to concede again Jaimie?

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  6. After spending over £100 we are nowhere near the top teams. Southampton are playing soo much better than us even though they lost their best players. And I really hope madird don't embarrass us on Wednesday.

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  7. Not sure Rodgers will start with Can or Allen due to them just coming back from injury which will see us start with one upfront and two holding midfielders :-o


    All QPR need to do then is park the bus and hit us on the counter attack. Balotelli or Lambert up on their own will give QPR a panic free match.

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  8. We are in 10th, but a win tomorrow will put us up to 4th... 4 points behind city in 2nd... no need to panic... Aresnal who played today will be behind us along with Spurs...

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  9. This is my team:
    ..............................................balotelli
    lallana..........................coutinho............henderson...............markovic
    ...................................................lucas
    moreno........................lovren...............skrtel.......................johnson
    ..................................................mignolet


    Gerrard being 34 should play in the cl vs rela while sterling should be rested because he is tired better off vs rela as well


    manquillo has been the weak player vs west ham and west brom so johnson should start more experience to face ronaldo so game time matters


    lucas as holding mid , maybe allen if ready , can i imagine is not fully fit

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  10. Remeber how Hendo flourished when Gerrard was missing against Spuds last season....

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  11. win tomorrow and we'll be back in the top 4... why panick... We still don't have our best players available, so it can only get better.

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  12. also congrats on jordon ibe for scoring
    ibe,trexira,coady,robinson,spearing all getting game time at good championship sides while kelly is doing well at crystal palace and wisdom at west brom


    sterling and flanagn have made it here and suso will join 7 time cl champions ac milan while rossiter and williams made their debuts


    this shows liverpools academy is improving even if players do not make it here they are playing for proper clubs


    only adam morgans career disappoints me and how liverpool dealt with him

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  13. i always wanted rafa to sign augero,silva and modric
    this was my dream team in 2009
    ...................................torres
    silva.............................gerrard.............augero
    .........................modric.........alonso
    clichy................ramos...........skrtel.........arbeloa
    ......................................reina

    sadly we never got any of them

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  14. Wish we went for the jugular & played two up front!

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  15. I'm still struggling to process the fact Sturridge is injured again

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  16. I would like to remind you b.r.might have spent 120mill but dont forget origi was part of that and as for fsg they can't complain about the 120mill because of sales we have enough money from last january as we bought no one in and we still have a fortune left for this window without fsg and j.w.h.putting there hands in their pocket if b.r.thinks he needs to bring origi in early then he should not one person knew about suarez and look how good he was at least we know something about this kid hes quick and knows were the goal net is in brendon I trust YNWA

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  17. Mentioned a while ago that Southampton would be the dark horse this season and they are playing some really neat football. Take note Rodgers, they are not playing with one upfront and two holding midfielders. They are lining up 4-3-3.


    Sorry, I know I am coming across as a broken record but if I see the 4-2-3-1 formation today then the only conclusion I will draw is that Rodgers is ignorant and that we will continue to see the tripe that has been served up so far this season.

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  18. Yeah, walking injury. I really the club should give him a much longer recovery period. Maybe we are trying to bring Sturridge back to soon hence the reason why the same injuries keep on happening.

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  19. Only in a video game.....

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  20. Sturridge is talented but a bit fragile...maybe he needs to bite someone and taste human blood so he could be as durable as Suarez.........

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  21. Anything above 4-0 will take us up to fourth place whereas a win takes us to sixth. In spite of our shocking season and transfer dealings, we're still not that far away from our goal. If we cannot beat the team at the bottom of the table with the worst goal difference, we can forget about this season and Rodgers all together, as far as I'm concerned. I'd say play Lambert up front again and bench Balotteli. His comments show nothing other than his poor attitude and how limited a player he is. When Strurridge was out last season Suarez was played out of position as well as the main striker. He didn't moan though, he just became the league's top scorer.

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  22. Way we playin right now be lucky to get a 0-0 our defence is shocking

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  23. Yes let's play one upfront again when it CLEARLY is not working.

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  24. But it is no secret that our defence is shocking. It is common knowledge. We conceded 50 goals last season at an average of 1.32 goals per game.


    At the same time last season after 7 matches we conceded 5. This season we are conceding at 1.43 goals per so it is getting worse yet Sakho is always the victim.


    If we are not going to start scoring more goals then we ain't going to finish top 4 with our inept defence.

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  25. Mr. Point Of View9:29 am, October 19, 2014

    HAHAHAA in my fifa 15 Balo oso struggle in goals compare to Stur

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  26. Mr. Point Of View9:32 am, October 19, 2014

    Balo and borini will make it....Balo got str and Borini got spd so make them a perfect pair this moment

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  27. Mate I agree with you IMO BR is not tactically astute- he must've had some idea that we wouldn't have Sturridge fit all season and yet bought Lambert before Balo- am expecting a barrage for this but BR not good enough for LFC- not sure of amount of money he's been given since his arrival but must be close to 200m if not more and what do we have to show for it? Majority of his signings have been disappointing - forget about top 4 and Madrid on fire so CL is gone

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  28. Borini is the guy who likes to play off the shoulder of the defenders and make runs in behind. If Balotelli really fancies himself more as being the one running towards the defenders then that's fine, but with Sturridge out there are limited options. If Borini has any future in the team then now would be the ideal time for him to be played. However I've said that before, a few times now.


    I think your second line-up is the most likely and agreed, it's the perfect chance for Lambert to earn his pay check. Sterling can come off the bench to change things up if things don't work out. Gerrard should be preferred in that advanced role, even if it means Henderson sitting back with Allen. I'd like to see Gerrard and Lallana in the attacking midfield positions, alternating sides of the pitch or coming centrally. Those two together will rip QPR apart and for all that we want to see Henderson score goals and get assists I think Gerrard is still a better option there. Perhaps play Gerrard in the 10 role today and sub him off for Sterling if a change needs to be made. However if Sterling doesn't start then Liverpool must start high tempo with a pressing game. That actually means Allen needs to be in the advanced role, leading the press. What we might see then is a switch a bait style where Gerrard will initially sit deep with Henderson but occasionally burst forward into attacking moves. Otherwise Allen would press from the front. Lots of options, and they'll all work against QPR.


    I don't agree that Rodgers should simply cave to player preferences and do what the striker asks. There is a reason why Rodgers is the manager, not Balotelli, and if Rodgers thinks he can get Balotelli to work as a lone striker then he will persist with it. I really do think it's silly that a single quote from a player suddenly means the manager has gotten it wrong and should start changing his strategy. Balotelli is still young enough to learn new tricks and new responsibilities and if he just listens to the manager he might improve himself as a player. To conclude that the only option is for the manager to do what Mario suggests is a premature conclusion in my view. The player is not automatically right whenever a claim like this is made. I would instead guess that this is Mario starting to make excuses for his struggling form. He simply needs to knuckle down and keep working. It will come good, and maybe even today.

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  29. Yeah, the professional manager of a top flight football club is ignorant while you are the source of true wisdom. Do you ever entertain the idea that maybe you're the one who is wrong?

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  30. I disagree, Rodgers showed last season that he is very tactically adept. We dominated almost every team last season. He is making things to complicated for himself this season by trying to experiment with a system has not worked properly once this season and has no indication that it will work.


    Today will demonstrate if his ignorance has been realised...

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  31. Anyone on this site knows that I am a massive Rodgers fan but if it is a fact that playing one upfront is an accident waiting to happen unless you want to convince me otherwise.

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  32. We dominated teams last season cos of 1 player he didn't buy - his first signing I think was Mignolet- enough said

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  33. And why is Mignolet solely to blame? Our defenders have no clue how to deal with set pieces.

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  34. just saying he was his first signing and not a very good one

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  35. Please provide the name of another goalkeeper who will be comfortable behind our defence.


    Good luck.

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  36. I see wot u mean funny how players look pretty good then come to LFC and look awful- sometimes BR looks more like a mate than a manager to the players

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  37. There have been many player over many year under all our recent managers who looked good before they came to the club.


    I do not think we can generalise here.

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  38. Unfortunately, you are correct, but it could be as short as 2 weeks.

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  39. Eanyol keeper could be worth a shot and Can in front of our back 4 to give some sort of protection- if we lose today do u think BR position is under threat?

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  40. Spearing and Kelly have been sold my friend.

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  41. I didn't know ignorance leads you to 2nd place and 2 points short of winning the title. I suggest you apply for the manager's job.

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  42. Team to play QPR: Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Enrique, Gerrard, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Balotelli

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  43. Subs: Jones, Toure, Manquillo, Allen, Markovic, Coutinho, Lambert.

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  44. Subs v QPR: Jones, Toure, Manquillo, Allen, Markovic, Coutinho, Lambert.

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  45. /////can, gerrara
    Lallana, Hendo, Sterling
    ////////////Ballotelli
    ?

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  46. Yeah play Gerrad so that he will be fresh for Madrid

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  47. played gerrard again and will play him against madrid and against hull city too maybe..genius rodgers

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  48. Liverpool 4-2 go lads!

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  49. So far we are playing utter garbage- par for the course

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  50. For the money LFC spent for him he is great signing. Find me the player with his price doing that good and with his age. He is only 19 and will develop. Sterling was something similar at 19 and look him now.


    Of course, he is in France now. We can not know what he will be like in the UK. But he is a big prospect. and that is what LFC buys.


    Clearly you can not call him a rubbish when he still didn't even play for LFC.

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  51. Origi is just 19. And for this age he is doing very good. With time he will become better. And for the money LFC spent for him he was bargain.

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