The summer has been a busy one for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool. The team sold Raheem Sterling to Manchester City last week but they also added a bunch of talented players highlighted by James Milner and Christian Benteke. With all the new talent on the team, Rodgers will have to find the best formation that highlights the skills of every player.
While Rodgers may decide to use a 4-3-3 formation to stretch opposing defenses, a 4-3-1-2 formation may actually be the best choice. It takes advantage of the talent that the midfield now has and it should fix the scoring issues the Reds had last season.
Even with Adam Bogdan in the squad, Simon Mignolet should remain the first choice goalkeeper for the team. He struggled at times last year but there was a brief period in the middle of the season where he racked up more than a few clean sheets.
From December to February, the defense was the strongest part of the team. With a more settled back line in front of him this season, Mignolet may finally prove himself worthy of being Liverpool’s long-term ‘keeper.
With both Glen Johnson and Javier Manquillo gone from the club, Nathaniel Clyne will be the undisputed right-back of the squad this year. While he hasn’t shined during the pre-season, it is obvious that he is slowly but surely getting used to playing with a bigger club.
Martin Skrtel will remain as the leader of the defense and he will start as many games as possible. As great a defender as he is, Skrtel also provides an aerial threat from corners than no one else on the team offers.
As the pre-season continues, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren will have to prove to Rodgers who among them will be the best partner for Skrtel. There is still a good chance that Rodgers will still primarily use Sakho for the most important matches. He is a better passer than Lovren and he has a little more pace, something that will complement the rather slow Skrtel well.
Alberto Moreno will still likely be the first choice left-back even though he wasn’t at his best for much of the 2014-15 season. His speed and crossing ability will be showcased now that he will have forwards who excel at winning aerial duels. However, if he struggles, Moreno may be replaced by the more experienced Jose Enrique or the young but extremely talented Joe Gomez.
The center of the pitch will almost definitely be the strongest part of the team next year. Emre Can, Milner and new captain, Jordan Henderson form a strong, hard-working and smart midfield who will be able to press the opponents relentlessly. All three are capable passers as well, giving the team great balance in all facets of the game.
In front of the three, Philippe Coutinho should relish the freedom he will have in the number 10 role. Coutinho was arguably Liverpool’s best player last year and he should be able to shine even more with better players such as Roberto Firmino behind and in front of him this coming season. The team will finally have some reliable strikers who will be able to finish the chances Coutinho will create.
With Daniel Sturridge unlikely to be ready for the first month or so of the season, Danny Ings and Benteke will be the main pairing Rodgers will turn to. Both have proven that they can score in the Premier League without much service but with a creative midfield behind them, they should be able to bag a lot go goals. Even though Benteke is used to playing without a partner, he is talented enough to find a way to work with another forward.
Via – Lineup Builder