23 Sept 2015

Legend insists: Exciting teen duo 'will start' for Liverpool tonight. Rodgers to drop Lucas?

Conventional wisdom suggests that the League Cup is the ideal competition to blood youngsters, and give fringe players much needed game time, but with Liverpool struggling for goals and victories, Brendan Rodgers may decide to go with a full-strength team for today's game with Carlisle. Whatever team he puts it out, it should - according to the Reds legend Phil Thompson - include two of LFC's brightest young talents.

Speaking to Sky Sports this week, Thommo mused:

"I think [Jordan] Rossiter and [Jordon] Ibe will be given a start [against Carlisle], while there's plenty of other talented players in the squad capable of helping the club compete."

Rossiter is nailed on for a start against Carlisle, and he'll probably come in at the expense of Lucas Leiva. In my view, though, Jordon Ibe should not start the game unless he's played in his natural position.

I don't see the point in potentially damaging Ibe's confidence even further by playing him as a wing-back, but if Rodgers sticks with three at the back, that's (arguably) the only viable position available to him.

* The number 10 role will be taken by one of Coutinho, Firmino, or Lallana.

* There are no wingers in a 3412 formation, so wing-back is the only way Ibe can be utilised.

* Rodgers could revert to a 433 ( will allow Ibe to play his natural game), but just like last season, three at the back is a better fit for the available personnel.

To be honest, against League Two opposition, Liverpool could play a 2-2-6 formation and still be expected to win.

When there's such a gulf in quality between two teams, the formation shouldn't really matter, and the quality of the players should sign through, irrespective of position.

If Ibe plays, though, he really needs a goal. Since returning from his loan in January, he's contributed just no goals, and just one assist in 20 games, which equates to no goals in 18 hours of football.

Given the comparatively lower quality of the opposition, Ibe should - in theory - find it easier to score.

If he plays, that is...

Author: Jaimie K


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