7 Nov 2014

Savage: Brendan Rodgers must scrap 'poor' £56m Liverpool trio. Agree...?

After four defeats in the last six matches, a Premier League game against league leaders Chelsea the last thing Liverpool need right now. The Blues are in imperious form this season, and the chances of the Reds getting a result and arresting the downward spiral seem slim. Rodgers rested seven players for the midweek surrender against Real Madrid, so if nothing else, the squad should (in theory) be fresh, and BBC pundit Robbie Savage believes that the bold changes should continue against Chelsea.

Previewing tomorrow's game for the BBC, Savage - who turned out for Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers during a long Premier League career - dismissed Liverpool's chances of winning the game, and insisted that:

* 'Poor' Lovren, Balotelli, and Henderson should be dropped for Can, Borini, and Toure.
* Rodgers should persist with the much-maligned 4231 formation.

Here is Savage's preferred line-up:

 photo ScreenShot2014-11-07at115236_zpsa56e745c.png

Explaining his line-up, Savage claimed that this this set-up:

* Allows Liverpool to always have five defensive players to guard against Chelsea's counter-attacks.

* Provides a midfield with 'pace, trickery, a creativity.

* Gives the Reds an injection of energy up-front, with Borini capable of 'working hard down the channels to keep Chelsea's defence busy'.

Is this line-up a genuine possibility? Is it really likely that Rodgers will drop Henderson? Is Emre Can reliable enough to anchor the midfield against Chelsea?



  1. I would make another change and drop Johnson for Manquillo.

  2. Liverpool don't have the players to score regularly right now or be much of a danger in attack, and we won't be able to stop Chelsea scoring, so it's pretty obvious how this game will go whatever team Rodgers picks imo. I'd definitely start Can though because he's the only midfielder with a defensive brain. Coutinho only seems to play well coming off the bench and I'd agree with starting Borini over Mario just because Borini puts more effort in. Kolo can't be dropped after playing that well against Madrid either, unless he's tired.

  3. Borini as a lone striker is the same as Balotelli being played as a lone striker = no end product. Pair them and you might just get a positive result.

  4. It's a formation that has potential. Mind you any selection which doesn't include Balotelli is an immediate improvement. Worst signing to wear a LFC shirt for the past 50 yeas

  5. And Johnson needs to be kept far away from the starting eleven too. In my honest opinion pair Toure and Lovren as our CB pair.

    Skrtel not going to be offered a new contract anyway just like Johnson yet Rodgers will persist with them.

  6. Agree, Manquillo for Johnson. Otherwise, I find myself amazed that I almost agreed with Robbie Savage. Hendo is playing too deep this season for me.

  7. 4-1-3-2 may work in my opinion

    Back 4 - Johnson, Skrtel, Toure, Moreno

    CDM - Gerrard

    Mid - Sterling, Allen, Lallan

    Att - Balotelli, Borini

    Allen would play center of the pitch moving forward acting as an attacking pivot (if that term makes any sense).

  8. Only concern I have for Manquillo is he's not threatening enough offensively. And for whatever reason, I feel like Johnson historically plays well against Chelsea

  9. My team vs Chelsea

  10. He will not start all three of those attacking midfielders imo. Think you have to have the energy of Hendo in the above formation with Coutinho being the most likely to miss out. Start two up top if we are going to go for it at start, but I think he will go with two up in second half depending on status of game. This will be different than last season with Chelsea coming at us, they might be a bit complacent coming into this game and I reckon we might surprise them.

  11. I believe that there's no natural leader in Mignolet, Skrtl, Lovren or Sakho. At the moment Kolo is the only one who knows how to lead either by example or shouting out orders. He sometimes has a lapse in concentration but that could be due to playing inconsistently? But Can looked good against Madrid, him and Gerrard could work because Can is more defensive minded than Henderson and still an energetic work horse! I'd swap Lallana for Balo though, play the two up top with sterling at a tip of the diamond behind Borini and Balo. super mario drops deep and drifts wide so Borini and Sterling running past him could wreck havoc! And of course Manquillo for Johnson but who knows how that position will go... He might even decide Johnson LB?! I dunno...

  12. Manquillo over johnson any day of the freaking week.

  13. -5.23 hahaha too good

  14. Rodgers thinks otherwise ha ha!

  15. I reference offense and you provide a stat on defense.

    Comparing premiere league stats on "Attack" (as I originally referenced), Javi is -5.91 and Johnson is 22.98.

  16. Sorry but Johnson is one of our biggest problems defensively along with Skrtel. Chelsea will be licking their lips.

  17. im amazed that gerrard is a shoe in when he has done nothing all year ....no hendo in the team means no pressing means no cigar

  18. he cost less than aquaman and has p0layed more games already

  19. For me it is quite simple.

    1. Do not start with Balotelli up on his own meaning no 4-2-3-1.

    2. drop Skrtel and Johnson for good.

    3. Play high pressing football.

    which will lead to us scoring goals like last season :-)

    Problem to rubbish football solved...

  20. ''Rodgers rested seven players for the midweek surrender against Real Madrid''

    Didn't we lose 3-0 at home with the more experienced players?

  21. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:47 pm, November 07, 2014

    So why are you not a manager of any decent club if you think you are so good? arrogance is not good

    high pressing football is suicide if you do not have a top marksman who can convert your chances early on
    like suarez did last season
    otherwise you tire yourself out by 40mins like we did vs real at anfield and city at the etihad

    you ahve a basic football knowledge but i will teach you free of charge

  22. We still lost to Madrid on both occasions and did not show any intent at winning on both occasions so really makes the point moot.

    Let's just look at it as Madrid jogging their way through both matches.

  23. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:51 pm, November 07, 2014

    You simply fail to understand
    good football we played last season was due to the fact we had the best two strikers in the league

    you ahve to adapt to your situation and rodgers is trying to do that like mourinho had to last season

    but i want Rodgers sacked because he led us to a situation where we have the worst strike force in England
    balotelli ,lambert and markovic were unnecessary signings 40m
    when you can for same proce get martinez,eto and keep ibe

  24. Says the one who has not been a pool supporter for even ha;lf the years I have. Run along.

  25. Manquillo Skertel Toure Moreno

    Can Gerrard Lallana


    Borini Baltlieto

    Subs : Lambert, Markovic,Henderson,Coutinho,Johnson,Lovren,jones

  26. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:55 pm, November 07, 2014

    its about what you learn from the years
    i am like jose mourinho i learn early.

    while you are like roy hodgson have all experience in the world you seem to never adapt and are kinda stuck in your ways

    i say that in nicest possible way
    because your insistence that simply pressing high will solve everything borders on delusion when you do not understand the risk of a high pressing game and the necessities needed for such a game ie a top marksman

  27. They had an easier jog when playing us at home.

  28. We finished 2nd last season with one of the most attacking styles of play on the planet.

    This season we are absolutely sh!te and our defence is even worse than last season.

    I think you are on the same mentality level as Brendan Rodgers = Delusional.

  29. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:59 pm, November 07, 2014

    So you think stats is the be all and end all ?

    have you not learnt from comoli who bought downing based on his stats

    they can be very misleading

  30. Lovren and Toure > Skrtel.

  31. Madrid did not have to really try during the week did they? It is not like we wanted to win the match.

    Laughing stock.

  32. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:02 pm, November 07, 2014

    "we finished second last season with one of the most attacking styles of play on the planet"

    i told you a million times that is because we had the strikers that would score goals
    our brilliant attacking play meant we conceded 3 vs stoke , 3 vs swansea , etc
    but we will if we play like that score less because we have duds up front

    liverpool could put balotelli up front with mellor,borini,lambert,crouch,albonglahor
    liverpool could paly with 17 players andd have 5 strikers

    but balotelli will not score the same amount of gaols as suarez

  33. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:03 pm, November 07, 2014

    Simply put

    its like making a cake without flour

  34. Ha ha ha ha ha

    Balotelli unfortunately will not fire up being played up on his own. Even Mourinho will confirm this. You are as blind as Rodgers.

  35. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:06 pm, November 07, 2014

    Yeah sure Rodgers is deluded
    the man that worked under mourinho that is the manager of liverpool , the man that has managed swansea,reading and watford
    and won lma award

    while you my friend are completely right as you have maanged real amdrid ,barcaloena won teh cl right?

    you ahve no basis to call rodgers delusional

  36. Worse than Poulsen, Konchesky, Piechnik, Stewart, Bjornebye, Kwarme, Babb, DIcks, Leonhardson, Dundee, Carroll, Adam, Downing, Josemi, Dossena, Keane, KIrkland, Westerweld, Song, Palleta, Nunez, Diao, Diouf, Cheyrou, Diomede, Kozma, Morientes
    etc.........etc......... ENGAGE YOUR BRAIN

  37. someones got a new toy :)

  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:10 pm, November 07, 2014

    how do i explain to you in a way you will understand ?

    balotelli the big number 45 who is very slow
    doe snot have same quality as the biter suarez and dancing man sturridge

    okay do you understand now?

    you should sleep now you might not wake up to watch postman pat in the morning

  39. Yea he usually goes two up top when we're chasing the game with 20mins left

  40. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:11 pm, November 07, 2014

    i silenced him
    he dared to challenge me to a debate
    and as usual my superior footballing knowledge won

  41. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:15 pm, November 07, 2014


    i would play luca ahead of stevie but we know that aint gonna happen

    coutinho will struggle in this game as we will be mainly defending

  42. We wont impose our game on Chelsea because we have no game.......SO.....we will most likely go man for man all over the pitch and try and nick a point. If Kolo and Lucas dont play consistently from now on BR will be turning on the pot ready to climb in and slowly cook himself in his own juices.

    If Gerrard deserves another £140,000 per week contract to keep out more able players than himself then BR deserves his lot. Sounds like not only the 'foreigners' (not my word at all) like a nice final pay day.

  43. The only thing you can resort to is belittlement.

    Rodgers has been playing balotelli up on his own all season long yet you continue to argue with me.


  44. I only did it because Jaimie introduced it in the article ;-)

  45. Dared to challenge you to debate.

    Oh for heavens sake get a hold of yourself.

  46. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:19 pm, November 07, 2014

    slow down

    i thought my central argument was getting borini playing up front by himself

    something he proved adequate in doing when he scored the goal vs city in league cup final

    so how is rodgers playing balotelli relevant to the point i made?

    you do realize borini and balotelli are not same people

  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:20 pm, November 07, 2014

    i will be the bigger man mainly because i am

    and not engage in this childish war of words that you started
    good day

  48. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:23 pm, November 07, 2014

    we should play same why they played last season here

    ten men behind the ball and time wasting

  49. Your central argument is getting Borini to play as a loan striker/

    More Rodgers *I have no clue* mentality.

  50. Your first line is spot on- who exactly are LFC this season? If as I expect 25 pts by X-mas he deserves to go. Our game reminds me of a badly made horror movie with regular hairs in the gate

  51. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:25 pm, November 07, 2014

    I hope the anfield crowd get rid of him
    apparently there is a banner that will fly over anfield asking for rodgers dismissal and i really hope its not a bluff

    we need conte

  52. I was just about to read the article when I realised it was commenting on something Robbie Savage said. Enough said.

  53. your full post is spot on ....we are a team without identity.....

  54. Am warming to Conte he's a winner unlike BR was super midfielder but how could he be persuaded to come to us- secret photos or something would be needed

  55. i think you and logan are both getting the wrong end of the stick ...we all know balo isnt as good as suarez but to give balo or even borini a fighting chance try them as a pair because the reality is that neither of them have the true game to play upfront alone,Playing up front for a lesser team is not like playing up front for liverpool and being burdened with the main responsibility to score as a pair may be just maybe with a little less burden there natural game may gain confidence

  56. swap lucas for gerrad and that team may well frustrate chelsea

  57. This, only Lucas in the DM role with Gerrard replacing etheir Can or Henderson, Chelski will destroy Gerrard in that DM role. Same happened against many other teams, they just target Gerrard using pace - and if anyone will exploit it, Jose will.

  58. Personally I'd like to see how the Toure/Lovren combo works . Also I'd have Manquillo over Johnson every day of the week. Other than that looks good to me

  59. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:08 pm, November 07, 2014

    kolo toure is the funniest man in the earth
    i love that time he took out phill dowd
    he has to play

  60. Enemyofeverydisbeliever9:11 pm, November 07, 2014

    Any team out wont be enough to beat chelsea Im afraid. It will be a boring game of chelski defending like hell, then score two three out of nothing and thats it. Deep down I think everyones got this feeling about the game, so if the players want to change this they need to put in a fantastic performance. Probably will get lot of stick but I think this will end 0-3! Sorry but just cant feel confident this season, since the spurs game my confidence is ruined big time, and wont change unless we complete a big turn around to the season.

  61. Wait... there's no flour in cake?

  62. I just think we need more of a threat up front against their imperious defence than Borini...

  63. But they are defenders. That kind of thinking is why we are so poor defensively

  64. The same Downing who is now one of the biggest chance creators per game

  65. B Rodgers should of spent the £40M he spent on Balotelli(24), Lambert(32) and Markovic(20) on: P Aubamayeng(25) for £12-£18M
    Y Konoplyanka(25) for £8-12M and L Remy(27) for £10M

  66. The team B Rodgers should play to beat Chelsea Today:

    Should be : Mignolet

    Manquillo Skrtel Lovren Moreno

    Henderson Can Allen


    Sterling Balotelli or Lambert

    The back 4 picks itself, Toure(33) was awesome against Real Madrid. But Skrtel(29) will be a better battle VS Costa(25).

    Henderson Can and Allen are all ( 21-24) so they will all offer mobility, good passing, bit of pace and some protection to back 4. They just lack the creative class and quality in attacking 3rd and goals to their game.

    But B Rodgers should start those three in the centre of park to stiffle and get amongst Fabregas(27), Matic(26) and Oscar(23).

    In attack A Lallana(26) should be given the free role to cause problems.

    Sterling(19) should play up top as the furthest player as his mobility, pace and speed will be key to getting in behind Chelsea.

    Balotelli(24) is quicker and faster than Lambert(32), but struggles as lone striker but if Sterling(19) is willing runner. Balotelli(24) will play in the hole behind him