20 Sept 2014

Possible LFC XI vs. W. Ham: 3 crucial decisions for BR; £20m star to be dropped?

After two defeats in four games, Liverpool are already in danger of falling behind in the race for Champions League places, and it's no exaggeration to suggest that today's Premier League clash with West Ham is now a must-win game.

If the unthinkable happens, and Liverpool lose today, the club could - depending on other results - slide down to 14th place in the league (!)

Indeed, if West Ham win, the London club will actually overtake LFC in the table, which in and of itself, is pretty embarrassing.

The recent away victory against Spurs is a major plus-point though, and if the Reds can deliver a similar performance, then West Ham should be dispatched with ease.

Rodgers has two important decisions to make today:

* Coutinho vs. Markovic

Earlier this week, Rodgers gave £20m Coutinho an emphatic vote of confidence, but that doesn't change the fact that the Brazilian is struggling to effect games at the moment. Markovic is well-rested after sitting out the midweek game with Ludogorets, so it makes sense (IMO) to hand him a start against West Ham.

* Skrtel vs. Sakho

Rodgers confirmed this week that Martin Skrtel is fit again, and back in contention for a first team place. For me, this is a no-brainer, though: Skrtel should be restored to the starting line-up ASAP, as it will allow £20m summer signing Dejan Lovren to play in his preferred LCD position.

* Two up top?

In my view, playing Balotelli as a lone striker should be a non-starter. Unlike Suarez (and Sturridge), he is not suited to the role, and a player like Sterling with panic defenders, and create extra space for Balotelli to operate. As such, I hope to see the following team:

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

Manquillo ---- Skrel -- Sakho ----- Moreno

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

---------- Henderson -- Lallana

----------------- Markovic

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

Ideally, Lallana should play in the number 10 role, but Lucas is the only other credible option to play alongside Henderson, and Lucas/Gerrard in the same team is (arguably) not a great idea.

Predicting a 2-0 victory for Liverpool, Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"I think they [Liverpool] are a better side on the road at the moment, because teams seem to have worked out how to stop them at Anfield".

My prediction: 2-2



  1. I find it interesting that Lovren is apparently more suited to the left. Why is this? Thoughts Jamie?

  2. I'm not feeling very confident over this one, the performance vs ludogorets was poor.

    What we have to remember is that we have loads of injuries and quite a lot of new players. Still unsure about Balo, need to him a lot more form him at moment, think he and sturridge together would be good.


    3-1 West Ham

    PS BR do not play Lucas and SG together.

  3. It's his natural position the side that he has always played

  4. I think ballo needs a striker partner as he often drifts out wide and we end up with no one on box but I'd have on the other strikers starting not fussed which one I think lambert would be suited for the battle at west ham but borini will be chomping at the bit for a chance to start

  5. Every game is a must win. Especially at home. Rodgers and his experiments are Backfiring. Skrtle anytime over one dimensional Sakho. Why we did not sign a new goale is beyond me.

  6. This is the players Rodgers picked Bought . Rodgers signed FSG Gave him Good money Defence midfield and upfront .
    If its not working he has to make it work he had better players out there to buy he got what he wanted its time he stops talking and pushing it on the players if there not that good. Jose Pulis Lambert touched him up two years now .
    Rodgers has to make it work talk less Coutinho is not a starter but at this stage not much of his signings Going flash . He the manager must put best combination the right results . what impact has borini had in his sub so far kicked ball out from throw in and got pushed of ball second game . celebrated goal with Balotelli . Time to pick right squad he bought simple

  7. Lovren is a right footed left centre half just like hyypia was and john terry is.

  8. I am a West Ham fan here. Not here to troll or wind people up. Do any of you think the LFC squad can cope with rotation needed after CL games. You are one of our bogey teams and tiredness after a CL game is my only glimmer of hope for a positive WHU result.

  9. I can see us picking up most of our points away this season.When teams turn up at Anfield they'll just park the bus, concede the lions share of possession and show zero ambition to move forward hoping to get something on the break against our weak defence.
    Away teams will open up giving us space for our quick runners to exploit.The negative is any club attacking our backline is likely to score.My prediction: A Liverpool win.

  10. You've actually put Sakho in your starting line-up Jaimie

  11. Bloody hell why are we panicking about being 14th after only the 4th game of the season!?

  12. We are already conceding less goals per game than last season. Lovren and Sakho is not the issue.

    Play the right formation and we will be ok.

    4-2-3-1 = disaster waiting to happen. Rodgers should bin this formation for the rest of his days. It does not fit in with our playing style in any shape or form.

    4-3-3 = If we had Suarez or if Sturridge was fit then it can work.

    Skrtel and sakho do not compliment each other either.

    We are already conceding less goals per game than last season so stick with Manquillo-Lovren-Sakho and Moreno and play the diamond formation.

  13. Amen to your last line.

  14. So neither Hypia or Terry can play right sided? Any right footed CB should be able to play there. If not it is a touch worrying. But let's not beat around the bush Lovren made mistakes on the left side too.

  15. I am feeling a bit less confident than usual Liverpool 2 1 again lets pray the defense clicks.

  16. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:38 pm, September 20, 2014

    i hope to see see this team:

  17. People are really putting too much emphasis on the footed-ness of a player determining his favored side. Any footed player, (right, left, or both) can be played on either side. It all comes down to how the player developed through his childhood as a footballer. Just because Lovren is right/both footed doesn't mean he would be good on the right. He probably played on the left his whole upbringing and most of his pro career, thus left became his favored position.

  18. yeah.. our defence is so much better without sakho..

    2 - 0 nil down within 10 minutes..

  19. They've got too many tough athletes we look like the spice boys wearing matching white suits!

  20. how true was your prediction :(