Just when the team thought it was getting Daniel Sturridge back from injury, the striker suffered yet another injury, this time in his calf. As the article states, the England international could be out another month. However, this weekend’s match against Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers is still the perfect opportunity for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool to get back on track.
The squad is coming off an international break where many of the players did not play a heavy amount of minutes. Some essential members of the team, most notably Emre Can and Joe Allen, could return from injury. The opponents are at the bottom of the table and have a -11 goal difference. This is the ideal game for the Reds to get some of the attacking flair back into their game ahead of the huge game against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
There was speculation that the team was going to bring in former Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes as competition, but now there are conflicting reports as to whether the Spaniard will actually go through a medical. Until then, Simon Mignolet stays on as the first choice keeper.
After the injury to Jon Flanagan, there was nobody standing in the way of Javier Manquillo cementing his place as the starting right back for the squad. Even though the much maligned Glen Johnson is still a part of the team, he is nothing more than a substitute for the Spaniard.
While the team’s defending has not been great, it is difficult for Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren to repel opponents when they are exposed by their teammates. Both are more than capable defenders, but they are often the only ones who are in front of attackers when the team doesn’t have the ball.
The speedy Alberto Moreno has made the left side of the field all. The Spanish international’s only competition for the position is Jose Enrique, who does not offer the attacking presence of Moreno. One of the main weaknesses of both Moreno and Manquillo is that they often get caught too far up the field and as such, leave space for opposing players to exploit.
The midfield duo of Steven Gerrard and Allen could make a comeback this weekend. This combination is the most balanced for Liverpool, since Allen is willing and able to track back and help Gerrard protect the back line. The Welsh international is a good passer and tough defender despite his small size.
A rested Raheem Sterling should have been freed by the return of Sturridge. In light of the forward’s injury, the team will have to continue to rely on the young star to provide the spark the offense sorely needs. Jordan Henderson will move up the field in this formation. He has been one of the best players in the league so far, he has the most assists on the team so far and his consistent effort has endeared him to fans.
Rodgers has three choices for the other attacking midfield spot in Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic. All of these players are capable in their own right, but maybe Coutinho is the best choice for this match, his passing and dribbling skills stand out from the other two. On the other hand, Rodgers could choose to put Markovic in to rest the other two in preparation for the match against Madrid.
The partnership between Sturridge and Mario Balotelli has not had time to flourish since the England international has been on the sidelines. Nonetheless, Balotelli has yet to score in the Premier League but a weak QPR defense should provide him many chances to take advantage of.