We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

About the blog

Welcome to We Go Again - Liverpool Reds, a blog about Liverpool Football Club with a Swedish perspective written in English. My name is Leif Larsson and I am a Swede living in Sweden. I have been a Liverpool supporter for over 40 years. I will write about all kinds of things that concerns Liverpool FC. Sometimes I will hand out praise, other times it will be the opposite. I will continuously add different categories to the blog.

Write to me on this e-mail address: wegoagain.reds@gmail.com

Mine and Brendans starting eleven

Tactics & analysisPosted by Leif Larsson Mon, August 11, 2014 14:09:32

Preseason is finally over and the seroius business can take over. One thing that directly springs to mind is which team Liverpool will field against Southampton and in the following matches. I´ll give you my starting eleven and predicts the one manager Brendan Rodgers will pick.

First of all the system has to be chosen. I think 3-5-2 is the best system in football, providing you got the right players for it. It is a system that make it possible to attack and defend with a lot of people because it´s easy to quickly change playing pattern from having and not having the ball. I will adress this in another entry.

Today I don´t think Liverpool has got the players for 3-5-2 so the best system right now is 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 4-5-1.

In the transfer window Liverpool has brought in a lot of new players. This means the Reds has more to chose from than last year and have better possibilities to can change line-up pending the opposition. I advocate two different line-ups, one that should be used in home games and against opponents that should be dominated. And another one when Liverpool faces tough opposition on their travels, and even sometimes at home versus good teams.

The first mentioned is the one that should be used the most. This because Liverpool must strive to be the dominating team as often as possible. And with a attacking approach.

This is my suggestion for such a starting eleven, and the one I hope starts againtst Southampton in the première. It´s a 4-4-2-diamond-formation.

GK: Simon Mignolet.

RB: Javier Manquillo (Jon Flanagan when he is fit).

CD: Martin Skrtel.

CD: Dejan Lovren.

LB: José Enrique. (if we have signed Alberto Moreno, then he should play).

DM: Steven Gerrard.

RM: Jordan Henderson.

LM: Philippe Coutinho.

AM: Raheem Sterling.

F: Daniel Sturridge.

F: Jordon Ibe.

This is a line-up set up for non-stop-attack. Maybe a little unbalanced defensively but I want Liverpool tell the opposition already with the starting eleven that we are going to swamp you. Show that we know we are better than you, we are going to own the ball, we will score goals and you won´t stand a chance. In other words strike fear, or at least give the opposition something to be wary of before the first whistle. Perhaps this is naive thinking on my part, but if you don´t dare you won´t win anything.

In this line-up both Adam Lallana, when he is injury-free, and Lazar Markovic, are good alternatives and will compete hard for attacking positions.

When Liverpool is for instance playing Manchester City away a more cautious line-up is needed. Of course we shouldn´t be afraid but in the same time realize that Man City is a good team, especially when they are attacking. So this is the team I think that should start these type of games. It is a 4-5-1-formation from the outset but one that easily switches to 4-3-3 when it´s time to attack.

GK: Simon Mignolet.

RB: Jon Flanagan.

CD: Martin Skrtel.

CD: Dejan Lovren.

LB: José Enrique. (if we have signed Alberto Moreno, then he should play).

DM: Steven Gerrard.

DM Emre Can.

RM: Jordan Henderson.

LM: Philippe Coutinho.

AM: Raheem Sterling.

F: Daniel Sturridge.

As you see there is only one change compared to the attacking team. Emre Can comes in instead of Jordon Ibe. The fewer the changes the better the rhythm of the team.

Pending what type of players the opposition has some of the Liverpool players missing in these line-ups can be better suited to play. For instance if the central defenders are weak in the air then Rickie Lambert is a viable option. If we need to keep the ball a lot, to frustrate deep-lying opponents so they lose patience and makes defensive mistakes, then Joe Allen can be our man. Mamadou Sakho can come in if one of the other centrebacks lose confidence. And so on.

This is my ideas of how The Reds should play. If another attacking player comes in before the transfer window shuts then it can be alterations in my line-up.

Over to how I think Brendan Rodgers will fill up the eleven starting places in the Southampton clash. He prefers 4-3-3 but is really flexible and has tested 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, 4-5-1 and a few other combinations during his time at Anfield. Lately it seems that he more and more leans towards 4-3-3 as a permanent structure. Especially as this system rapidly can be 4-5-1 when the ball is lost.

I think he will go for 4-5-1 against Southampton, a slightly more cautious approach than me. He knows how important it is to take the three points since both Man City and Tottenham awaits in away games afterwards. The manager don´t want the team to commit itself by letting all offensive schackles lose and let the Saints counter-attack. His idea is to shut up shop in the middle of the park and dominate the ball.

This is how I think he will form the team:

GK: Simon Mignolet.

RB: Javier Manquillo.

CD: Martin Skrtel.

CD: Dejan Lovren.

LB: Glen Johnson.

DM: Steven Gerrard.

DM: Emre Can.

RM: Jordan Henderson.

LM: Philippe Coutinho.

AM: Raheem Sterling.

F: Daniel Sturridge.

In other words, the same eleven as against Dortmund.

Now we have to wait and see if the formation is crazy attack-minded or a little more cagey. It doesn´t matter how it will be, beacuse:

We Go Again.