18 Feb 2015

LFC lineup vs. Besiktas: £20m star out; change up-front? Surprise start for Ibe?

Earlier today, Brendan Rodgers once again reiterated his desire for Liverpool to win a trophy this season, and with LFC in such imperious form, a morale-boosting FA Up/Europa League double is becoming an increasing possibility. One step at a time, though, and the immediate task is to get past Besiktas, who are currently top of the Turkish Superlig.

Team news:

* Gerrard, Lucas, and Flanagan are out with injury.

* Sterling may feature if he passes a late fitness test.

* Markovic is banned.

Once again, the key question is whether Mario Balotelli will start, or continue his bench duty. With a goal and an (inadvertent) assist in the last two games, the Italian is finally making an impact for Liverpool, and with Markovic and Sterling out, there's a clear chance for Rodgers to hand Balotelli a starting berth.

It's more likely, though, that Glen Johnson will replace Markovic in the starting line-up:

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

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

Johnson ----- Hendo ------ Allen ----- Moreno

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

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

This line-up allows Rodgers to maintain the 343 formation; with Balotelli, he's probably have to change formation and/or leave out one of Lallana or Coutinho, neither of whom deserve to be dropped.

Of course, it's also possible that Rodgers may ignore Johnson and give Jordon Ibe a surprise European debut, which would delight the Liverpool fanbase.

With only one defeat in 19 games, the Reds are on a roll right now, and I can't see Besiktas disrupting that.

My prediction: 2-1

Author:



58 comments:

  1. No Jaimie the rule is you predict a score draw and we win. Don't spoil a good thing!

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  2. A good 3-0 victory will help rest key players for the away trip to Turkey, before the City game.

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  3. Haha! Class. I'd play Ibe I reckon, he could cause them nightmares if he's on it. Still don't trust balo enough to give him the starting berth.

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  4. Dream result, let's do it, gonna be a tough game tho

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  5. Cou and Can should get a rest.

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  6. Johnson & Allen in the starting line up - we've got no chance. I wouldn't let Allen wear a red shirt on the kop let alone on the pitch & Johnson has had it he's too slow at getting back and his mentality has gone

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  7. Yeah I want to see Ibe play too. Don't know about Balo or not. I would lime the game won earlier the better but Coutinho needs a rest and playing Sturridge too long is a risk with Soto coming up. I honestly can't say who i want to start upfront. Rodgers is dammed either way I think.

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  8. Nicolas Chamberlain10:28 pm, February 18, 2015

    Ibe is not cup tied, so we should start with him.
    We need to start strong and overwhelm them.
    This weekend another big game, so I would opt for giving Sterling some rest or use him as a substitute.

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  9. totally agree, would be the chance to give Ibe a more offensive role (or even give balo/sturridge game time together).

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  10. I feel exactly the same mate, can't decide who I want to start. Coutinho looked jaded in the last game

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  11. Nicolas Chamberlain10:33 pm, February 18, 2015

    Really? He was pretty good against Palace.
    Give him a break. He has been unlucky this season with injuries. Don't forget he played his part when we almost took the league last season.

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  12. To be fair a lot of his draw predictions have turned out right...

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  13. Coutinho needs a rest, Lovren in for Can, we shouldn't underestimate them though.

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  14. I'd say start Ibe and Ballo and Borrini (IBB). Rest Danny for Saints and bring him on for 20 mins of impact if needs be. Top 4 should be priority no.1.

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  15. Right you are. The likes of Allen + Hendo are really low tier side players. Good for west ham, palace etc and thats where they should be sent packing. They are def not the guys that will win you a League Title let alone get you into the business end of the Champs League. I do not see any opposition looking at the LFC team sheet that thinking "whooaa Allen and Hendo we're stuffed!!"

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  16. To be honest, I think the surprise would be starting Johnson over Ibe. I think we should go all out at them and effectively try and end the tie in the first half.
    If we start Balotelli and Sturridge I think the 3-4-3 will be tweaked to a 3-5-2, swapping the midfield square, dual no10's we've been using to a midfield triangle with one more traditional 10 and the two strikers up front.
    Another option would be to flip the triangle in midfield, play with a single pivot and continue with the dual 10's and the two strikers but I think that would leave us too vulnerable on the counter.
    I don't think Coutinho should start tomorrow, not because he deserves to be dropped, but he can't play every game and he doesn't have to because we have adequate cover.
    If Sterling's fit I would continue with our current system and play Sterling and Lallana behind Sturridge. If he's not then it might be time to reintroduce Mario to the starting lineup

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  17. He does need a rest and Lallana looked bright. Perhaps start with Balotelli and Sturridge and take Sturridge off as early as possible. Maybe swap Ibe in to the middle for Manquillo. We would need a foal or two early though.

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  18. My confirmation bias doesn't allow me to see it when Jaimie is right.

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  19. Man I think we are sharing a brain. I replied to you near enough the same thing as you were writing that.

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  20. Haha great minds my friend...

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  21. So what makes Sakho disatrerous having much better stats than Kolo I'm every single way? Thay kind of disatrerous?

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  22. It should surely be BIB in Mario's honour...

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  23. No then he would not be able to work it out.

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  24. They're not really his predictions though. It's a program that he uses. He told me when we used to be friends...

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  25. Really like a random score generator or do you have to put other results in? Or are you messing with me?

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  26. You're just bitter cos we sold you to Swansea...

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  27. No I don't think it's random like a poker machine, I think it accounts for such factors as form and etc...

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  28. Nicolas Chamberlain11:54 pm, February 18, 2015

    Sakho is a class defender. At times he looks clumsy but that is just an optical illusion.

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  29. Form and etc? Whoa hold on with the technobable Nick your losing me.

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  30. Ibe will get the nod. He's played very well and showing tons of energy. I'd reckon Mario has a 40% chance of starting. At this stage the formation is not quite so important as how the team play together. Rodgers has shown the two basic options the team has with either 4 midfielders as per JKs team above or 3 midfielders supporting 2 strikers. It will depend somewhat on the opposition and I haven't got the first clue what Besiktas will be doing.

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  31. You've nailed it, nice work.

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  32. Cyclone about to hit the north Queensland coast ... that's disastrous. Sakho is not a cyclone. Cyclones don't time their tackles nearly as well.

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  33. Yeah, ask JK, you fri.............

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  34. 3-1 to the Redmen. Play Ibe, not Glen.

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  35. Agreed , Jaimie , You must stick with your predicted draw 1-1

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  36. Zev love Henderson has the highest number of assists this season in the pl and he should be playing for west ham haha still can't believe people pick on hendo even though he's slowing proving himself

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  37. I don's see surprise if Ibe starts...

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  38. What are you talking about, Can don't need resting!

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  39. Disastrous Sakho(25)? Are you watching our games, he is easily our best defender at the club by country mile. He may not look the best on the ball and has a few flaws to his games like every player in world football has flaws but he is easily the best defender we have at the club.

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  40. He made a few mistakes after JK stop writing about Lovren being better long term solution...

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  41. I hope B Rodgers picks this team tonight:

    So sunday we can take a very strong up to St Marys and hopefully turn them over:



    Tonights starting line up hoping for:
    Mignolet
    Lovren Toure Sakho
    Ibe Allen Henderson Moreno


    Lallana Sterling
    Sturridge




    Line Up for Sunday hoping for:


    Mignolet
    Lovren Skrtel Sakho
    Ibe Can Henderson Moreno
    Coutinho Sterling
    Sturridge

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  42. Makes sense. But BR is too scared to try something like that. though Liverpool manager can't afford to be affraid to play his own signings in a home match vs Besiktas- with all due respect to them...

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  43. I admire your loyalty to Johnson but I also think it will be Ibe who will be playing on the right.

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  44. Definitely like the idea of mounting a player or 2 on horseback early on in the game. That could give us the pace and dynamism we need in the midfield ;)

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  45. Mate I doubt poker machines are random either. Considering tmhow much money they make I think it's bistro steer clear.

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  46. Poker machines make money because gambling addicts always pour money into them and lose, and some have their little conspiracies about some machines which give you a better chance of winning than other machines...but that's another story

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  47. No we can't afford to horse around.

    Agree about Balo and Sturridge, though. Coutinho looks rest-needy, as you say.

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  48. Emre is the only stallion our team has room for

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  49. My conspiracy theory runs the other way.

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  50. Can is a real beast of a player. WOuld like to see him given an attacking role today then a defensive one in the second leg if we dont get a commanding score today. Would like to see him with Ibe teeing up Balo and Borini/Lambert. I dont think we should risk Studge, but we def must rest Couts

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  51. Not going to be an easy game especially playing in their backyard.

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  52. My bad, first leg at Anfield...

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