9 Feb 2015

LFC line-up vs. Spurs: Shock change to solve massive-problem? Surprise start for Sturridge?

Over the last three weeks, Liverpool's resurgence has (arguably) started to stall, and Saturday's 0-0 draw with Everton means that the Reds have won only two of the last six games. It gets tougher tomorrow with in-form Spurs coming to Anfield, and if the Londoners win, it could be curtains for LFC's Champions League chances.

Liverpool's form over the last six games:

* P6 W2 D3 L1 GF: 5 GA: 3
* Three clean sheets in six games.
* 7th in the table.
* Five points off fourth place.

The defence is performing admirably, but with only 5 goals in 6 games, the team is struggling to score goals, which is somewhat ironic considering the much-heralded return of Daniel Sturridge.

Spurs, on the other hand, appear to be more consistent. Over the last six games:

* P6 W4 D1 L1 GF: 11 CA: 6
* Two clean sheets in six games.
* 5th in the table.
* One points off fourth places.

Spurs' defence is not as solid as Liverpool's, but they're scoring more goals, and victory tomorrow will put them seven points ahead of the Reds, which will be tough to overcome.

Clearly, it's a must-win game for Liverpool, and luckily, the Reds have the all-important home advantage.

Team news:

* Brendan Rodgers provided the following injury update this afternoon: "Lucas is one that will probably miss a little bit of time. We're just waiting on the exact results of the scan. All the others should be fine."

* That means Coutinho and Sterling - both of whom picked up 'knocks' against Everton - will be fit to start the Spurs game, which is good news. Rodgers may decide to rest the Brazilian, though, and play Adam Lallana instead.

* Lovren made the bench for the Everton game, but Balotelli was missing once again. Will it be any different for Spurs?

* Jordon Ibe delivered a man-of-the-match performance against Everton, so he deserves to start against Spurs, but knowing Rodgers, he'll probably leave him on the bench, and play Lallana, who's done nothing recently to deserve a starting berth.

Possible team:

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

----- Skrtel ---- Lovren ----- Sakho

--- Ibe --- Hendo ---- Can --- Moreno

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

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

* With Lucas out, some important decisions need to be made, and bringing Lovren into defence is (IMO) less of a risk than playing Gerrard alongside Henderson in midfield.

* The other alternative is to keep Can in defence, and play Allen alongside Hendo, but that isn't a very inspiring midfield set-up. Allen did nothing against Everton, and after almost three years at the club, it's still difficult to see what he actually brings to the team.

* Ideally, Gerrard should sit this game out, which will allow the following line-up:

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

----- Skrtel ---- Lovren ----- Sakho

- Manquillo - Hendo -- Can --- Moreno

------------- Ibe --- Coutinho

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

* Sturridge should remain on the bench, but given the team's struggle to score goals (5 in 6 games), Rodgers may be forced to start him. When asked the question today, he told reporters: "There'll be a time where he will be able to start, whether it's tomorrow or whether it's at the weekend, you'll have to wait and see.".

* Sturridge starting presents a major problem: there's no way to accommodate Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge, and Gerrard in the same team unless Gerrard plays in midfield, which is not a good idea.

* It's a travesty to even contemplate utilising Sterling or Coutinho as wing-backs (!), and in a 343 formation, those two can only fit-in behind the striker. As such, that leaves no room for Gerrard or Ibe, who deserves to start. With that in mind, it's conceivable that Rodgers may go with the following line-up:

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

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

Johnson --- Hendo -- Gerrard --- Moreno

---------- Sterling --- Coutinho

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

* Ibe has no seniority, so he'll probably be the one to miss out, and that's fair enough. That said, Rodgers could throw a curve-ball and play Ibe ahead of Gerrard, which would be a massive shock. With that scenario, the team could be:

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

----- Skrtel --- Lovren ----- Sakho

Ibe ------ Hendo -- Can --- Moreno

-------- Sterling --- Coutinho


This seems like it should be a very tough match for Liverpool, especially with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen in such great form. That said, Many fans thought the same about the West Ham game, and Liverpool were comfortable winners on the day. This has the potential to be a banana-skin game, though...

My prediction: 1-1



  1. Not getting a proven attacker in the window always heralded that we would struggle.

  2. Voice of the locker room6:57 pm, February 09, 2015

    Sterling looks to be leaving , what are the thoughts?
    I think we should sell him. I don't think we need to beg any player to stay , Liverpool let Keegan,Rush,Torres,Suarez,Alonso,Mascherano etc way better players then Sterling go and we are still alive and well.
    Liverpool is a special club unlike say Man utd begging Rooney to stay and Chelsea a plastic club , Players that come here should come here to play for Liverpool Football Club the 5 time champions of Europe not money.
    Plus we have a plethora of replacements waiting in the wings liek Harry Wilson,Jordon ibe, Ryan Wilson,Seyi Ojo .

  3. Harry Kane is a demon. Not putting a foot wrong at the moment and Spurs are throttled Arsenal in the second half.

    Going to be goals tomorrow, now doubt.

  4. We were after Ings but not sure how that would he is going to improve us. Looks like we cannot do any better than that.

    If only we went all out to sign Lacazette last summer. Now he is a pipe dream for us.

  5. I prefer the second team you have suggested, Gerrard out. He has had a poor season and isn't showing any signs of improving. But as long as Johnson and Allen stay out of the team we should have enough to win against Spurs at home. My prediction 2-0.

  6. Rodgers shot himself in the foot, not buying a top striker in the summer, instead he blew the money. No surprise no one came in January as he's spent out. Never before have i seen Liverpool without a decent striker.
    You're right to point out we have only two wins in the last six games, quite frankly i'm amazed we got those! I'm fed up with people going on about our unbeaten run, we're just not good enough for top four this year, just goes to show how important Suarez was to Rodgers last term, without his goals he would have been out by now. Beating Spurs is a must for us, can't see it the form they're in at the moment.

  7. Voice of Locker room7:11 pm, February 09, 2015

    Joe Allen might not be great but unlike other players you know who he wants to play for us the biggest club in the world and always gives his all .
    Unlike some other player who got his head in Madrid

  8. Why isn't Gen Johnson in any of these lineups?
    He can play at CB or RWB better than both Manquillo and Lovren and provides more versatility to Rodgers if he wants switch formations.

  9. Its a must win alright. So Sturridge starts. Mignolet Can Skrtel Sakho; Ibe Henderson Gerrard Moreno; Sterling Sturridge Cou

  10. 2 wins in our last 6 which includes both matches against Chelsea and both Bolton matches, yet Liverpool are on of the most inform side if you look at the league form

  11. Don't tell me Stirling

  12. I agree Allen is a likeable player who gives his all, but then so am I, can I play tomorrow?

  13. Yes of course you can but only for Spurs

  14. Sakho is one hell of a liability. If Kane decides to wander in his direction, there could be carnage.

  15. Taffy Joe apologists are incredible. Surely do see a game of football very differently to us mere mortals. I have this stabbing pain in my rear at the thought of him starting against Eriksen. So I have my Morrissey CD's at the ready " Heaven knows I'm miserable................... " U know how it always ends.

  16. You might be the only person in history to ask the question 'why isn't Johnson in any of these lineups?'.

  17. if we has offered what he was worth in the first place we wouldn't be in this position ..you cant offer what was originally a peppercorn contract to your best player

  18. Voice of locker room8:18 pm, February 09, 2015

    He was offered what Coutinho got recently he is not 30k better then Coutinho , this time last year he was labelled "headless chicken" BY MAJORITY OF US FANS

  19. Should leave out stirling. He was poor against Everton.

  20. Why does Rodgers feel the need to tell the world that Sterling has been offered an "incredible deal"? Can he just not shut up when asked such questions?

    We have been hearing him saying that Sterling will sign a new deal for months now and it keeps on dragging on. BR needs to shut his mouth.

  21. Scenario:

    Sterling refuses to sign an extension.

    What would you do?

    (one radio station is reporting Sterling won't sign a new contract but that could be just nonsense talk)

  22. Message to RAHEEM STERLING - SIGN OR GO - Club much bigger than you = wherever you go it will be DOWNHILL FROM NOW ON

  23. Seriously Raheem - You are good - very good BUT you are not GREAT

  24. If we start Sturridge I would have Ibe on the right wingback and Markovic on the left
    (Moreno has played a lot recently) Sterling and Coutinho behind Sturridge. Without Sturridge we should play Lallana. The defence and midfield question is the real big one. Personally I think we would miss Can't composure on the ball too much if he was played in midfield. Allen may not inspire much but moving him in causes less hassle than the Can switch. I suppose Lovren does deserve a go but this could be the worst game to try. I would prefer it in a cup game. Allen has at least played in games when we have tanked Spurs.


  26. What happens to it being about his agents changing?

  27. Alright Ray your over fifth calm down.

  28. Back to misspellings Sterling. Crafty do and so.

  29. Who plays in defence then? Lovren or Johnson? Nit great options.

  30. You know he played against them when we won three nil right?

  31. First absinthe you mean?

  32. Only if you Base it on not actual watching him play and believing commentators who don't know their cubis from their rectum.

  33. Toure should be back.

  34. Straight back in after going all the way in the ACN? Where was he flying from? Did he leave straight after he lifted the trophy? I can't see it personally. So assuming I am right who would you pick?

  35. It wasn't the majority by any means.