16 Sept 2014

LFC vs. Ludogorets: Bad news as £20m Liverpool star is suspended for the game. Loss?

After a 5-year hiatus, Liverpool return to the Champions League this evening, and after the weekend defeat to Aston Villa, a win against Ludogrets will be the perfect pick-up ahead of the West Ham game this weekend.

Injury news: Skrtel, Allen, Flanagan, Johnson, Sturridge and Can are all missing for the game.

In another blow, Lazar Markovic is suspended for the game as a result of receiving a red card in last season's Europa League.

In his press Monday press conference, Brendan Rodgers insisted that he'll treat the game as if Liverpool are 'playing Real Madrid', which is a good thing, as the underestimating any team in the Champions League - even comparative minnows - is a recipe for disaster.

With all the injuries/suspensions, the team basically picks itself. I expect to see the following line-up:

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

Manquillo --- Lovren -- Sakho -------- Moreno

----------------- Gerrard

--------- Lucas -------- Henderson

---------------- Lallana

----------- Sterling -- Balotelli

* Rodgers may spring a surprise and play Lucas, but as one of the only players in the squad with decent Champions League experience, so it makes sense to play him. Plus, with Gerrard will probably need the extra protection.

* Additionally, with LFC's defence continuing to be shaky, Lucas is an extra insurance policy.

* Coutinho is off the boil at the moment, so it won't be a surprise to see him back on the bench, though the slower-paced Champions league may be just the arena he needs to get his mojo back.

* Sakho will probably perform well on the European stage, too, as the games are less frenetic than the Champions League.

* It's also possible Rodgers might throw a curve ball and play the more experienced Jose Enrique.

It'll be interesting to what formation Rodgers chooses. The 4231 experiment didn't work at Aston Villa, but it may be more suited to in a European tie, against opposition that - according to Rodgers - will 'play attacking football'.

My predictio: 3-1 to LFC



  1. gerrard needs to start from the bench even though he might do well and paper over his cracks but a few hollywood passes doesnt do it anymore bring him on as a super sub like giggs

  2. too bad. Markovic instead of Lucas would have been perfect. And i do hope Coutinho is on the bench tonight. He needs to think.

  3. Ryan Babel is Dutch3:42 pm, September 16, 2014

    liverpool should play this team:

    balotelli,coutinho and lovren dont deserve to start they were horrendous vs villa, markovic was also awful luckily he is suspended

    a shame manquillo is our only option at right back because no way is he good enough from what i ahve seen vs villa no first touch at all cant attack and not great defending the new glen johnson

  4. I think it's safe to predict that this lineup will never see the light of day in the Champions League (!)

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  5. ryan babel is dutch3:48 pm, September 16, 2014

    gerrard is the clubs biggest legend no way can you drop him .
    and is still one of our most important players how did he get nominated for pfa player award if he is as useless as you say
    truth is he is still one of our best players

    funny how you choose spurs but forgot the 5-1 win vs arsenal, 3-0 vs man utd , 3-2 vs city

  6. ryan babel is dutch3:49 pm, September 16, 2014

    mines is almost similar to your line up

    plus rodgers rewards form and right now ablotelli,coutinho,lovren ,markovic and manquillo have none

  7. ryan babel is dutch3:51 pm, September 16, 2014

    plus you said lovren is awful at right center back
    right now sakho is better so he gets the nod at lcb

    we bring in a rcb specialist in toure

  8. ryan babel is dutch3:53 pm, September 16, 2014


    champion league are only played in the night
    so no team ever will see the light of day in cl

    i am so clever : )

  9. It will be interesting to see what team plays tonight, as we do look paper thin again! Is there space for Suso or other fringe players on the bench perhaps? A lot of comments suggesting Coutinho had a horror show on satday, but so did the rest of the front 4... I think he should start... Also JK, I'd recommend reading over your work before posting..!

  10. No, I did not say Love is 'awful' at RCB,  so once again, please stop inaccurately paraphrasing me. I stated that he's more comfortable at LCB.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  11. i said best perfomance was against spurs!!! i'm not saying he's useless but he slows everything down and can't press like the others

  12. Ryan babel is dutch4:06 pm, September 16, 2014

    sorry !
    you said he is better suited at lcb
    so toure at rcb makes sence

  13. ryan babel is dutch4:08 pm, September 16, 2014

    what about alonso he never presses
    or even pirlo
    if hendo and lallana are running their lungs out stevie can relax

    our best performance was not vs spurs they were not very good and lost 6-0 to city and 3-0 to west ham
    it was vs everton at home or southampton away

  14. Well let's hope we can put Villa behind us and win this game! It's going to take a while for all players to settle to be honest.

  15. You speak like the game against Villa is the only LFC game you've ever watched

  16. If we want to see pressing and relentless attacking football like we have been used to then do away with the idea of two holding midfielders. It is that simple.

  17. Personally I would play Hendo on the right side of the diamond and Coutinho on the left. I think Coutinho is better when he plays slightly deeper

  18. Nevergonnacrackthecode is that you?

  19. Almost similar means it isn't the same though

  20. Re Lucas, he does not have the legs or movement to play further up the field, let alone the energy and stamina to press. If Lucas does play then it has to be as the single pivot meaning Stevie has to be on the bench.

    Stevie and Lucas in the same starting eleven is a recipe for disaster i.e. the opening match vs Southampton. Not sure why a player like Rossiter has not been introduced who like Joe Allen will tire out the opposition.

  21. pirlo and alonso pass and move they are made for that role plus gerrard doesn't have their tactical knowledge or discipline that they have and did u actually watch the game? i suppose we differ on opinions

  22. Too risky for a CL game but maybe for the Cup game. This is where everyone was calling for a DM and we are now paying the consequences. We should have gone for Song.

  23. Agree. His best performances ( Everton and Arsenal) came from that position and he should play there and that is what will happen.

  24. any midfield with Lucas ad Gerrard will struggle ...both way to slow coupled with a lack of real energy will see the opposition midfield start strong and put us under pressure

  25. I was just going to say that...

  26. ryan babel is dutch5:31 pm, September 16, 2014

    look gerrard is king of liverpool
    we should respect him

  27. Gerrard is one of the best tactical player in the world! His "quarterback" passes are an example of how well he reads the game. Besdies, you can't just drop your captain (exception - Rooney for England - should have never been captain in the first place)

  28. ryan babel is dutch5:33 pm, September 16, 2014

    look we have an easy solution
    just put hendo near stevie wonder and convert lallana into a cm

  29. We signed Can. If we signed Song we would have had four player fighting for one place. If we had sold or loaned out Lucas then sure get another DM. It did not work out that way.

    Rossiter and Hendo ahead of Gerrard would be nowhere near as risky as having a holding midfield of Lucas and Gerrard or a midfield 2 of Lucas and Hendo ahead of Gerrard.

  30. Your sentence structure and questionable message content is reminiscent of another regular poster

  31. We had Hendo and Stevie as a holding midfield pair vs Villa and our midfield was useless. No, no, no. Henderson is wasted as a holding midfielder and should not be played there again.

  32. ryan babel is dutch5:40 pm, September 16, 2014

    we only need one holding mid



    allen plays nice with stevie

  33. When have Allen and Gerrard ever featured as a holding midfield pair?

  34. I think Coutinho will play the position alongside Hendo in a diamond in this formation


  35. ryan babel si dutch5:44 pm, September 16, 2014

    br plays with 0 holding midfielders fact

    even at swansea he had leon brittton and joe allen

    being next to someone more defensive does not mean holding mid

  36. We started 4-2-3-1 vs Villa so not sure what you are on about.

  37. This is the formation i suggested vs Villa and in the second half Hendo and Coutinho lined up next to each other with but we went 4-3-3. The diamond formation is best suited to us. We flattened Spurs so not sure why Rodgers decided to change things.

  38. Villa was a mistake by Brendan. It happens and the best thing to do is move on and we have the opportunity to do that. It is quite similar to the Saints game last season where he played 4 CB's. He makes these crazy decisions some times.

  39. In all honesty from what I've seen at Markovic we not gonna miss him.
    Also if Lallana starts ahead of Coutinho baring in mind Lallana has no European experience and Coutinho does,it will send out a message that if your English you'll get first dips before others.

    Start with Coutinho and swap him with Lallana at 60 mins or so.

  40. Na he's supporting MU now ......

  41. Next season thats what you'll see Gerrard from the bench if Rogers has the **** to do it.

  42. I think we are going to see Stevie managed this season and matches where he will not be doing the full 90 mins . Not sure whether BR will start him from bench but can see him being subbed as necessary.... sure he had this in mind when making Jordan vice captain

  43. Mingolet


    ---------------Henderson------ Gerrard-------Lucas-----------------------------


    Bench :Jones,Toure,Enrique,Flanagan,Lambert,Lallana,Suso

  44. Coutinho should NEVER be allowed to shoot for goal - CLUELESS - wasted everybodys time against Villa - its stupid that such a talent cant hit a massive target ??

  45. Coutinho does nothing for us out wide.

  46. Mignolet, Manquillo, Moreno, Lovren, Sakho, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Lallana, Balotelli.

    - Comfirmed

  47. Now go with the diamond formation and we are sorted.

  48. To be honest lucas with champs lge exp is still a liability so does not really matter and hence BR seems to also have that thought. Just confirmed line up on skysports markovic out and sterling in. Jamie I'm a bit surprised u would think lucas would be in the line up, after all the chances he has had. Squad player at best for mickey mouse cups or if we have huge injury crises.