Before Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool face Stoke City on opening day, the pre-season comes to an end with a match against Swindon Town, a League One side. The match comes at an odd time, given that the team will have just played HJK Helsinki the day before.
Because of this, Rodgers will likely start a completely different starting 11 than the one who faced the Finnish team. Even though 16 players made the journey to Helsinki, the manager should still be able to field a strong team on Sunday.
Adam Bogdan may be the ‘keeper picked to finish the pre-season. With an opponent who aren’t exactly top quality, the summer addition will be able to get through an easy 90 minutes with little anxiety. The match should be a nice confidence booster for some one who will only see the field a few times the entire season.
Since there is no player who could unseat Nathaniel Clyne from his position, he may be the only player to pull double duty over the weekend. If not, academy player Connor Randall may be called-up to take over the position for one match.
Both Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho are not included in the Finland trip so they are the logical choice to deal with the Swindon Town attack. Toure’s experience and strength are great complements to the smoother style that Sakho defends with. A clean sheet should be easy to maintain unless both make a terrible mistake.
More and more it looks like Alberto Moreno is losing his spot in the starting lineup to Joe Gomez. He may be able to shoot himself back in front with a strong display on Sunday. Since the Reds can expect to have most of the possession, Moreno should be able to get forward to stretch the field.
All three of Emre Can, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen will be available to start and they would be a sensible choice for Rodgers. Can will be able to work out the kinks in his game after taking a few weeks off after participating in the under-21 European Championship. Both Lucas and Allen should control the game in the middle of the pitch and make sure that the players in front of them get a lot of the ball.
Lazar Markovic has not been able to get a lot of minutes this summer but he may get one last opportunity to impress Rodgers. While he is not the most creative player, the young Serb’s hard work and willingness to contribute on defense is always useful. Hopefully, he and the players alongside him will be able to score more than a few goals.
With Christian Benteke not making the journey to Helsinki, it looks like he will be donning the Reds jersey for the first time against the League One side. With his impressive strength, he will be able to overpower any defender that Swindon Town throws at him. If he performs well, he will almost be a certain opening day starter.
Roberto Firmino may also make his debut against Swindon Town on Sunday. The tricky Brazilian will be able to showcase his full capabilities against a lower league defense. While he may not start against Stoke City on opening day, Firmino is still be a fantastic player who may become the team’s next star.
Via – Lineup Builder