3 Feb 2015

LFC line-up vs. Bolton: Massive injury-boost; BR to dump £46m duo? Humiliation again for Lovren?

With most of the top Premier League sides already out of the competition, the FA Cup is arguably Liverpool's best chance of a trophy this season, but the club has to get past Bolton first, and as the team discovered in the first game at Anfield, that's no easy task.

Pre-match news:

* Daniel Sturridge is back, and he needs game time to build up match-fitness. He'll probably start on the bench, but after scoring on his return from injury, he'll almost certainly feature in the game at some point.

* Re injuries: Brendan Rodgers confirmed this week that Steven Gerrard is back in the squad, and Flanagan/Jones aside, the manager has a full-strength squad from which to choose.

* Jordon Ibe is cup-tied.

* Gerrard is expected to start, but it's not a foregone conclusion. On Monday, Rodgers told reporters: "He’s fine. He came into the session today and was outstanding, with no ill effects, which prepares him for the game on Wednesday, if selected"

Without Gerrard, Liverpool put in a superb performance against West Ham at the weekend, so where's the pressing need to change things around? There's an argument for keeping the same team, but it's fair to say that Markovic and Lallana didn't have much of an impact, so if Gerrard comes in to replace one of those two, then so be it. I'd like to see the following team:

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

------------ Can --- Skrtel --- Lovren

---- Manquillo -- Hendo -- Lucas ---- Moreno

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

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

* Lovren has to come back into the reckoning at some stage, but as much I think he deserves a chance, I doubt it'll come tonight. Sakho will probably get the nod, and it's hard to argue with that given his good recent form. Additionally, the more a defensive unit plays together, the better it becomes, so keeping a settled back four is beneficial for the team.

* That said, if Lovren fails to feature against lower opposition again, then it will be the latest in a series of humiliations for the Croatian. The most recent example is Rodgers' decision to bring Glen Johnson on in Lovren's position during the recent defeat to Chelsea.

* With Everton to come on Saturday, Sturridge may be held back, but it's also possible that Lambert will come into the starting line-up to give Sterling a rest. Not that he should need it after recently sunning himself in the Caribbean, but there you go.

* Reds legend John Aldridge insists that Sturridge should start, though. He told the Liverpool Daily Post today: "I’d have Daniel Sturridge in from the start. Having been out for such a long time, Sturridge needs games to build up his fitness and sharpness". That makes sense, but is it wise to play the striker three times in one week?

* Markovic was (IMO) totally ineffective (in an attacking sense) in the last game against Bolton, so I don't see the point in starting him in the return game.

Liverpool are in good form, and on paper, the team is vastly superior to Bolton. However, this is the FA Cup, and it's an away game, so anything can happen, but I still think Liverpool will emerge victorious.

My prediction: 2-1 to LFC.

Author:



61 comments:

  1. Sturridge starting 3 games in a week? He was on the bench at the weekend, give him an hour tonight and start him against the bitters.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think we should rest few players but my line up would be slightly different but a team strong top break down and dangerous in attack.

    The three key defensive players for us which have made side hard to beat and break down will still be in side: Can(20), Lucas(27) and Sakho(24)

    The Three key attacking players who have offered class, creativity and goals in final third will be side also: Coutinho(22), Lallana(26) and Sterling(20)

    My starting Line up would be


    Mignolet
    Manquillo Lovren Sakho Enrique
    Can Lucas
    Lallana Coutinho Markovic
    Sterling

    If that team is put out i predict 0 2 or 0 3 win

    ReplyDelete
  3. Daniel Coutinho 233:27 pm, February 03, 2015

    Sorry man , but that team will get hammered . Team have not played 4321 for ages it hast o be 343. We struggled with our better players Sterling,Coutinho,Lallana,Henderson at Anfield ,no way our reserves will do better at away at Reebok.
    Plus you are undermining Neil Lennons pedigree as a manager he did beat Braclona at Celtic park in the Champions league with a weak Celtic team vs Messi, Iniesta,Xavi .

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think we should go for a fresh line up and experiment few things. Formation of 4-2-3-1....
    manquillo...lovren...sakho....enrique
    can...allen
    borini....lallana...markovic
    balotelli

    ...its a very weak lineup but gives opportunity to fringe players to prove themselves...and should be able to win against a side like bolton...no disrespect

    ReplyDelete
  5. 30 min max if we are leading

    ReplyDelete
  6. is the game tonight or tomorrow ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Definitely need to continue with the 3-4-3 formation without doubt.


    My team would be...


    Mignolet
    Lovren...Skrtel...Sakho
    Markovic...Lucas...Henderson...Moreno
    Sterling...Coutinho
    Sturridge


    I wouldn't make too many changes to the team that has done so well over the last few weeks but I agree Lovren should be given the chance to stake a claim again now and rather than drop Sakho (who has probably been our best defender in recent games) I would drop Can as although he has generally played well I'm not convinced he is really a CB. I would also start Sturridge (needs fitness) and then maybe bring him off after 60 mins. I don't see the point in starting Manquillo either, he has been poor whenever played recently and would stick with Markovic over him

    ReplyDelete
  8. God help us if we start that team. We had a much stronger team in the home game and couldn't win so why would this team win away? Also switching back to a 4-2-3-1 would be absolutely suicidal!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think we need to keep the defensive continuity. Considering how far we've come as a defense, if you haven’t proved yourself at this point in the season I don't think you deserve to start any games (Johnson & Lovren). Lucas is a must for me as he's part of that unit but otherwise I wouldn’t mind a little change. I would personally want to see Ibe, Borini, and Lallana get a run from the first whistle (I want to see Lallana have that creative role as he really hasnt been allowed to take that on yet for us). I would also bring on Lambert if things are going well in the second half to hold up play more and maybe catalyze some attacks with clever knockdowns.
    It's a tricky game so I think putting in attacking players who have something to prove might be advantageous for us tomorrow

    ReplyDelete
  10. This formation was a disaster for us from the start of the season and Balotelli is useless up on his own. No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bolton will be ready for this one. This is the cup of upsets after all.


    I would go


    ---------------Mignolet-------------------
    ---------Can Skrtel Sakho-------------
    --Markovic Lucas Hendo Moreno--
    --------------Coutinho-------------------
    ---------Borini--------Sterling-----------


    Expecting Johnson to start though. Good news is that he still has not signed a new contract :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I expect Johnson Enrique and Allen in a spaghetti formation

    ReplyDelete
  13. Enrique will take selfies on the pitch as usual but yeah if both Johnson and Enrique start then we are utterly fooked. Here is hoping FSG have realised extending Johnson's contract would be a catastrophe. They did not make any money available in the Jan window either even.


    Fine by me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bogdan is injured apparently so maybe this time we can get a goal

    ReplyDelete
  15. Formation wasn't a disaster...not playing a proper DM was a disaster. I still think 4321 or 4221 is our long term solution. BR will get it late though...as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't care about other results. I can also come up with several number of times big clubs defeated small clubs with their fringe players. Thing is, this team i mentioned is still 10x (150mn+) more expensive and talented than Bolton's team. Nothing is simple in football but I think these players should be able to do the job or they have no right to be in Liverpool.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Game is tomorrow isn't it?!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We were playing 4-2-3-1 for the first half of the season with Lambert and Balotelli up top. Rodgers had to change from his delusional style of play in order to try and have a very small chance of trying to save his job. Foot in mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lucas and Gerrard played there once or twice. I think Lucas and Henderson could make a go of it though.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Could play it with Sterling up top though. I don't think it is worth discounting completely but rather just player different players.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We do not have the midfield to play 4-2-3-1. Why do you think Rodgers went from his patient boring pass til you are blue in the face football switching to quick pressing and attacking football?


    His ego shines through. If he had stuck with the pressing game from last season we would not be struggling mid table. And disagree if you want. Just shows how low the bar has been set since the start of the season. Pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  22. We do not have the midfield to play 4-2-3-1. Why do you think Rodgers went from his patient boring pass til you are blue in the face football switching to quick pressing and attacking football?

    His ego shines through. If he had stuck with the pressing game from last season we would not be struggling mid table. And disagree if you want. Just shows how low the bar has been set since the start of the season.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Twice my comment has gone for moderation

    ReplyDelete
  24. We do not have the midfield to play 4-2-3-1. Why do you think Rodgers went from his patient delusional pass til you are blue in the face football switching to quick pressing and attacking football?

    His ego shines through. If he had stuck with the pressing game from last season we would not be struggling mid table. And disagree if you want. Just shows how low the bar has been set since the start of the season. Pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I reckon Bolton will park the bus and take it to penalties. They have nothing to lose and if they do park we will struggle to break them down.

    ReplyDelete
  26. We do not have the midfield to play 4-2-3-1 hence Rodgers putting his ego (too late though) aside and changing formation.

    ReplyDelete
  27. That means reverting back to a back four and our CB's splitting with Lucas becoming a 3rd CB. Rodgers is his own worst enemy. You will not see him playing 4-2-3-1 again this season but it is likely he will go back to his delusional style of football if he stays on beyond this season.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Just a couple of changes for me:-

    Mignolet
    Lovren Skrtel Sakho
    Johnson Henderson Lucas Moreno
    Lallana Coutinho
    Sterling

    I really think Johnson gets a bad rap from fans.
    He is a good reliable experienced defender, which I know I'll be hammered for.
    Also this wing-back role is probably best suited to him and Moreno more than any other players in the squad.

    With confidence returning to our overall defence I think Lovren coming in may be worth trying and hopefully help to restore his own confidence. Obviously a bad performance by Lovren could ruin some of the good work lately but we can't just abandon him.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lucas and Henderson or Lucas and Can in the two. Gerrard in the middle of the three with Coutinho and Lallana flanking. Or Coutinho in the Center with Markovic and Henderson flanking (Can in two). There are variations of this that could work as long as Gerrard is never played in the two and we have a mobile forward. Sturrdige also gives options. I think we easily have the personnel just that Rodgers didn't use the right options.





    I prefer the three at the back though as I think it gets the best out of Skrtel. He does what he is good at and nothing else essentially.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Johnson reliable? Are you having a laugh?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Glen Johnson and Joe Allen should play some part

    ReplyDelete
  32. Same goes for Migs in the new formation

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sure he is.
    He can be relied on to: Not block any crosses all match
    Lose his man at every set piece
    Fail to track back after losing the ball coming inside AGAIN
    Waste several promising opportunities and
    Sky a shooting chance horribly
    Turn his back on any incoming shots

    ReplyDelete
  34. I don't know which is my favorite here:


    The "fail to track back after losing the ball coming inside AGAIN"


    or


    the "sky a shooting chance horribly"


    Admittedly, it's too hard to choose because they are all so spot on.

    ReplyDelete
  35. please, get rid of streling from striker position, place borini, lambert or even balo there, it's good that lovren start for i have a faith in him..........YNWA

    ReplyDelete
  36. If Johnson and Allen start we might as well forfeit the game.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Johnson and Allen should be nowhere near the squad, period.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Did you notice that we almost always concede from setpieces when Johnson is in the team, and that most times it's his fault?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Sorry but I don't agree, I think a lot of fans criticise him but are just jumping on the bandwagon, for me Johnson is still a good squad member. It was similar with Mignolet, he was getting criticised but not playing that poorly at the time. Admittedly after weeks of this Mignolet's confidence did drop and so did his performances

    ReplyDelete
  40. There's also :


    Running up blind alleys before turning and playing the ball back to the keeper/ CB


    Recovering at half pace after a turnover


    And:


    Marking his man from at least 3-5 yards away when facing a one on one.


    If people think I'm exaggerating, watch any live match with him in it and you'll see what I mean

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hey, that's your right- but there's no way in my view that Johnson has been anything but a liability for an awful long time now. He had a brief upturn in form when he was posted at left back, but all the faults I mentioned have been prevalent throughout his career, and most have become far more pronounced over the past two seasons.

    I watched the Crystal Palace match from the end of last season recently and was astounded at how culpable he was personally for two of their three goals,( turned his back on a speculative shot, token wave of the foot- deflecting the ball in, and failing totally to deal with a one on one in their half, before standing a good 5 yards away from the winger he was trying to stop crossing) and I would have expected a veteran defender to have spotted the danger for their third goal and at least TRY to get round to cover.


    This is not bandwagon jumping, Iv'e been saying it for at least two seasons. Johnson is just poor.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yes, with Gerrard as no. 10

    ReplyDelete
  43. Don't rotate, strongest team, win the game early and then sub players for rest. Don't want to be seeing SG, RS, DS coming on at 70 mins to save the game. FA cup is vital for the teams development, it is a very young side and a cup would go a long way for the future.

    ReplyDelete
  44. good selection, and totally agree with your comment about a defensive unit playing together the better it gets (one of our problem since Rodgers has come in is a lack of defensive continuity), I would however like to see Gerrard, Coutinho and Sterling start on the bench and give Lallana Markovic and Borini or Balo a chance to find some form. This would also give Stevie Coutinho and Sterling some rest for a big game at the weekend, big game because it is Everton and with the north London derby this weekend we also have a real chance to tighten the gap above us.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think three at the back limits our attacking threat. Welcome back Stuart.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Yes I think Markovic is performing well in the wing back role considering the alternatives and there is always the possibility he will do something in attack.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I prefer the back three which needs to be kept settled.

    ReplyDelete
  48. It's today now! ;-) Yes I'm back - despite popular demand

    ReplyDelete
  49. Where have you been?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Cheers the dog house is bloody cold this time of the year ;-)


    With Balotelli upfront our attacking threat might be better but not our scoring threat .But I see what you mean.


    Hopefully, we can retain the back three for the EPL because even if reduces our attacking threat a bit our scoring threat is increased significantly with Sturridge back

    ReplyDelete
  51. ............Mignolet
    ........Can.....Skertel......Sakho
    ...Manquillo...Hendo...Lucas...Moreno
    ......Lallana....Sterling.....Coutinho

    Subs: Sturridge,Marko,Gerrard,Ibe,Ward,Allen,Lovren

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dog house for three days ;-/

    ReplyDelete
  53. Haha I stand corrected, you're right he's very reliable

    ReplyDelete
  54. Three days in the dog house ;-/

    ReplyDelete
  55. Welcome back amigo

    ReplyDelete
  56. I wish we would have just paid someone to take him off our hands for the last few months of the season.


    Addition by subtraction

    ReplyDelete
  57. For near nothing as usual I expect.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I disagree, I think with the current attacking players we have, it maximises our attacking threat

    ReplyDelete