29 Dec 2014

Confirmed Line-Up vs. SFC: £36m duo out. BR gambles with £10m surprise-starter. Unfair?

As expected, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has freshened up the team for tonight's Premier League clash with Swansea City, and club-captain Steven Gerrard is one of the players making way for fresh legs.

Overall, Rodgers makes four changes from the team that delivered a pitiful performance against Burnley:

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Manquillo, Moreno, Lucas, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Sterling

SUBS: Ward, Toure, Gerrard, Markovic, Balotelli, Lambert, Borini

SWANSEA: Fabianski, Richards, Fernandez, Williams (C), Taylor, Britton, Shelvey, Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony.

* Resting Gerrard is the right decision. Liverpool are in the midst of four games in ten days, and there's no sense in playing the captain in every game.

* I may be in the minority here, but I just don't see why Emre Can is preferred to Kolo Toure. Can did nothing of note in the last game, but some fans are hyping his performance beyond all recognition. Can is not a central defender; he can play there, but it's not his natural position, so why put a square peg in a round hole and ignore a dedicated centre-half who is playing extremely well?

* In my view, dumping Toure for Can is unfair, and it's a gamble that may come back to haunt Liverpool this evening. Of course, it may also prove to be wildly successful, and if that's the case, then great.

* There's also another possibility: Can may be playing in midfield alongside Lucas:

Probable formation:

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

-- Manquillo -- Skrtel -- Sakho

-- Hendo -- Lucas - Can -- Moreno

-------- Lallana -- Coutinho

------------- Sterling

I doubt it, though, and I fully expect to see the following formation:

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

-- Skrtel ------ Can -- Sakho

-- Manquillo -- Lucas - Hendo -- Moreno

-------- Lallana -- Coutinho

------------- Sterling

Overall, Rodgers has named a team that is more than good enough to get a result. That said, with Shelvey, Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge, and Bony in the starting line-up, Swansea's team is full of attacking purpose, and Liverpool will need to defend well* to win the game.

My prediction: 2-2

* An oxymoron, I know.

Author:



73 comments:

  1. no moreno in your team edit please........this team looks much better i'm glad

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  2. IMO this is the best way to set our team up (at least the best in a 343 formation)
    well done BR!

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  3. Interesting team selection. I wonder will he ever figure out his first 11 this season.

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  4. for the first time this season Rodgers looks like hes got a team selection right ...playing can means this team can shift from 433 to a 343 or even a 442 without changing personnel giving us for the first time some viable options if things don't work ....hope it doesn't come back to haunt me but we should win comfortable with this team

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  5. Or 4-2-3-1??

    Manquillo-Skrtel-sakho-Moreno
    Can-Lucas
    Henderson-couthino-lallana
    Sterling

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  6. 5 defenders. I'm not convinced

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  7. I agreed with everything apart from winning comfortably. That feels like something that doesn't happen anymore. I think we can win I just imagine I will get uncomfortable.

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  8. Clearly, not all playing down the right hand side though

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  9. We'll simply have to if we want to have any chance of finishing fourth.

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  10. but there at least some players in the set up who can tackle ..a lot will depend on how he sets up lallana and tino

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  11. maybe 4
    Probably most versatile lfc lien up i have ever seen

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  12. moreno has played winger and can and manq both like to get forward given the right tactics its quite an attacking line up

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  13. he has to rest and rotate

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  14. I get that but I just prefer full backs to attack on top of attackers. Not in stead of. They can provide width, speed and crosses into the box but who will finish them? 5ft5 Sterling? An attacker can do that too and give more options than just width.

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  15. His first 11 has Sturridge in tahts the problem

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  16. I agree, I like the team that was named. However, it very well could be a 4-3-3. I know we've been using 3 CB formation recently, but 2 natural CBs have been named with 2 FBs/WBs. Where Can plays will determine our formation.

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  17. right, we could change formation during the game when needed. I'm really a huge fan of Can, he's so versatile

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  18. to be fair, he hasn't done anything you would describe as rest and rotate all season. his setups where random, players got dropped for no reason, while the tired ones where playing every game. but to me, this line up looks really good

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  19. what the system gives us though is the ability to defend high and press, like us swansea are susceptible to ball watching at the back and in midfield and the addition of two bona fide fullbacks means we can close them down the flanks

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  20. I know but only when we start to will my nerves settle.

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  21. also like ive said a lot will depend on tino and lallana instead of walking the ball into the net they need to pull the trigger

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  22. Crosses can be low and across the floor the the one with acceleration wins.

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  23. Tino pulling the trigger usually means a miss. Hope he starts hitting the target more often. Lallana probably doesn't shoot as much as he should.

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  24. i don't worry about goals as i think if a team is set up right and the players are comfortable in there roles they will come ....its when a team is just threw together without any clear formation and players are in unfamiliar roles that i worry

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  25. Serious lack of noise ...... What's the matter with our lot ?

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  26. Not a bad display so far. We just need a creative cf in January, and please not bony. He is useless of the ball.

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  27. Great team effort, have to say I'm pleasantly surprised!

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  28. Yes Moreno- bit of noise now

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  29. Good move with men getting up Now we sing !

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  30. Great from our young talent, now just two more to finish then off

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  31. Mignolet is redundant ...... thank goodness

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  32. Well for now the scoreline, goal scorer and stats are definitely proving me wrong :-)

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  33. Coutinho shooting seems to have improved!

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  34. is it me or has coutinho shooting improved??........ some might say he needs to score more but his power has increased

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  35. dito!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  36. This may be an unpopular statement here, but over the last few games, Sakho on the ball no longer fills me with dread. I think he could turn out to be an excellent player for us.

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  37. He still looks like he's uncomfortable with the ball at his feet. Almost better described as looking like a lack of coordination.

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  38. man of the first half

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  39. In my opinion, he's been our most consistent player for the better part of 2 months. He's dribbling well, shooting better, and passing is sublime at times.

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  40. good first half for me against an inform swansea ...we look solid and looklike a team

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  41. Henderson anotehr assits for all his critics

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  42. anyone who says hendo shouldnt play in this liverpool team knows nothing about football

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  43. Nothing is settled yet. We need that second goal. Till now, the performance has been great. Now you see the benefits of proper full backs rather than lacklustre or unorthodox ones. We break with so much more pace now.

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  44. When he's asked to move forward OR defend, he's better because of a clearly defined role. When he's asked to do a little bit of everything, it seems to me that he gets lost.

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  45. Emre Can looks composed as does Sakho no way he can take them out now

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  46. Hendo is not a RB but has showed how good he is in the position he thrives in which is in the middle of the park.

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  47. plus all of a sudden the defence looks better with lucas and can added to the team

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  48. In general Sakho looks much more comfortable in a back 3 (at Liverpool at least), it was the same last season.

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  49. And it took Rodgers how many games to figure this out?

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  50. That cross was pretty. Almost led to a nice scoring chance.

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  51. I used to think that, and maybe it's just some kind of purple patch for him; but in the last couple of games, since he came on for Lovren he looks comfortable to me. Not as stressed, not looking to get rid of the ball asap, but choosing a pass. And not just sideways or backwards. He seems, to me at least, to have improved to the point where I'm happy he's starting.

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  52. When there were several people on this board who figured this out months ago.


    Kind of scary.

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  53. he is integral to this team. its just that he does not belong in a world class team...

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  54. it aint over yet but we look so much better without gerrard .

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  55. World class team?
    I can think of only three world class teams
    real Madrid,Bayern Munich and Chelsea
    where all players down 11 are world class
    Possibly include Baracloena and city but thats it

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  56. In my opinion, if a team has a pacey player up top that harasses defenders on the ball, that's when Sakho will struggle.


    If he's given all day back there to make a decision he'll be fine.


    I don't understand why opposing managers don't stick a striker on him all the time and just have them pressure him whenever he gets the ball. At some point or another, he's bound to make a mistake.

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  57. Maybe PSG
    as well

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  58. yes im saying he would not belong in any of those teams

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  59. In fairness, he should be played in a more advanced role as opposed to this holding role, especially with the way we play the wing backs, he becomes the middle of the back 3, as opposed to a definitive holding midfield.


    He's not big enough or quick enough to be a central defender, and for him to play as one is a disservice to his talents as well as the team overall.

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  60. To be fair he's been playing Lucas for weeks now. And I don't recall anyone calling for Can to play CB over here, that's a Rodgers invention and it looks like a good one.

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  61. Agree with you both. It seems to me that he struggled at the start of the season, but has improved and adapted better than Lallana. He looks like he did when he first joined us, and I can't wait for Sturridge to come back because they really work well together.

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  62. And look at the stats. We have kept more clean sheets and conceded less goals since he came. The only games where we conceded a lot were Utd and Arsenal because Gerrard and Lucas were playing together.

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  63. plenty of people have been calling for can i have all season ...its semantics regarding the position because in a 433 system the deepest midfielder plays like a quasi sweeper

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  64. The point is not specifically geared towards the specific players... it's geared towards the overall philosophy and playing a system that suits the players' strengths of whom he is utilizing.

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  65. He never really has for me. His gangly style just makes people receive false impressions.

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  66. his time has gone m8 we all get old who do you drop for him lallana,tino.sterling

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  67. I'd probably not drop any of them. But I'd adjust my formation.


    In an ideal world my formation would be a 4-3-3 and the attack would be:


    Sturridge, Balotelli, Sterling/Lallana


    Sterling/Coutinho, Gerrard/Henderson/Coutinho, and Lallana/Henderson

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  68. But playing Can in that position in a 4-3-3 would mean no more Lucas, and we all know we need Lucas in the team.

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  69. Did the goalies forget to change ends at half time?

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