20 Sep 2015

Confirmed Liverpool Lineup: £56m-duo ridiculously ignored; man-management catastrophe; shock start for injury prone Sturridge

In what is undoubtedly a massive gamble, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has thrown caution to the wind and named Daniel Sturridge in his starting line-up for today's Premier League clash with Norwich.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Milner, Coutinho, Benteke, Sturridge

SUBS: Bogdan, Lovren, Firmino, Gomez, Lallana, Ings, Ibe

NORWICH: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Bassong, Brady; Redmond, Dorrans, Tettey, Jarvis; Howson; Jerome.

* After five months on the sidelines injured, Sturridge only returned to full training ten days ago, and now he's starting a competitive match? This is a massive mistake, and shows (IMO) that Rodgers's desperation is clouding his judgement.

* Sturridge is not match-fit, and he's basically being rushed back, which will surely increase his chances of an injury reoccurrence. With such a horrific injury history, Rodgers should be easing Sturridge in back slowly, and if he gets injured again today, it should be a sackable offence.

* Additionally, starting Sturridge when he's not match-fit is a gigantic slap in the face for Ings and Origi. Rodgers is basically sending the message that he doesn't trust them agains *Norwich*. If it was Arsenal, Chelsea, or Man City, I could understand a little more, but Norwich? What kind of man-management is that?

* On the subject of poor man-management, why is Lallana on the bench after scoring midweek? He's only one of THREE Liverpool goalscorers this season, and Rodgers should be encouraging any source of goals, not demotivating players by dumping them after scoring. I'm no fan of Lallana, but it's a mistake to drop attacking players who score. Ridiculous decision.

* Why is there a need to play three central midfielders *at home*? Lallana could've taken Can's place in the team. The same applies to Firmino. £29m spent, and he's on the bench for a vital game. That's two games in a row he's missed now; how is that conducive to getting him up to speed as a productive LFC player? What is the point in spending the money if the Brazilian isn't going to be used? This is Markovic all over again.

* Good to see Sakho in the team at the expense of Lovren. Skrtel-Sakho should remain the first-choice partership for the foreseeable future (unless, of course, one of those two makes regular goal-creating mistakes).

* Rodgers' team selection really does beggar belief sometimes. This team has absolutely zero width, bar Sturridge, who is not match fit. If BR goes for a diamond, the team will so ridiculously narrow that Norwich will inevitably exploit that.

Probable formation:

------------------ Mignolet
Clyne ------- Skrtel -- Sakho -------- Moreno
------------------ Lucas
------------- Can ------ Milner
---------------- Coutinho
---------- Sturridge - Benteke

It'll be great if Sturridge scores, but at what cost? If he gets injured again (or relapses), it'll be a pyrrhic victory.


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