It was a tense affair in the midweek match against Bolton in the FA Cup but Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool were able to pull it out after goals from Raheem Starling and Philippe Coutinho. They now meet a struggling Everton side in the Merseyside Derby this Saturday.
The Reds will be looking to keep up a three game winning streak in the Premier League that epitomizes the massive turnaround the team as a whole has had compared to the struggles they had earlier in the season
One of Rodgers’ biggest concerns is whether Steven Gerrard should play or not, with this match being likely his last against Everton. He played the entire match during the week so Rodgers could decide to rest the captain, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he does not make at least a substitute appearance for a match as big as this one.
Against Bolton, Simon Mignolet was not able to save the penalty but was untested the rest of the match. This weekend, he will be facing a much more fearsome attack that has scored only two less goals (33 for Liverpool, 31 for Everton) than the Reds.
He will have to be on his toes for the entire match since the Toffees do take a lot of shots from outside the penalty box that could surprise Mignolet.
Emre Can proved his quality with a perfectly weighted pass for Raheem Sterling’s goal and he truly looks like a Liverpool players for years to come. Martin Skrtel unfortunately gave away the penalty that gave Bolton the lead but was solid during the rest of the match.
As usual, Mamadou Sakho did his job efficiently and effectively and he looks like a completely different player from the one who left the team facilities after being left out of the squad for the last Derby. All three center backs will have to work together to deal with the tough duo of Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith.
Lazar Markovic was not involved against Bolton since most of the Liverpool attack was through the middle but he will have a tough job on his hands this week.
He will have to help Can cover Everton’s assist leader in Leighton Baines. Covering Baines should be Markovic’s priority but he should still look for opportunities to attack the Toffees’ defense.
Jordan Henderson’s energy instantly made the team better when he came on in the second half. He and Lucas Leiva will have to work together since they are likely to be outnumbered in the midfield where Everton starts five players.
Alberto Moreno was the more involved winger against Bolton but wasn’t able to influence the match in a big way. This weekend, he will also have to keep in mind his defensive responsibilities since Seamus Coleman also likes to attack.
This could be the first weekend where Rodgers is able to debut his most dangerous front line where Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho all start. Sterling showed his finishing ability with a cool, low shot to tie up the game.
Sturridge came on in the second half but was not able to replicate the magic like he did against West Ham. Last but by far not the least, Coutinho won the match for the Reds with a tremendous shot in the 91′ minute which was the highlight in a performance where he was the squad’s best player. Against Everton, they should be able to break down a defense that has conceded 34 goals this season.
Via – Lineup Builder
For sentimental reasons, lets have another lineup where Gerrard starts.
Via – Lineup Builder