Despite domestic honors such as the Carling Cup, Liverpool have been woefully poor in the Premier League. They provide stiff competition to perennial heavyweights such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, yet stumble miserably whilst facing the likes of mid- and bottom-table teams.
Because of their inconsistent performances, Liverpool now sit in the seventh position, only a handful of points above a myriad of teams ranging from Sunderland (currently eight) to Stoke City (currently 12).
On Sunday, April 1, Liverpool travel to Newcastle.
Against Newcastle, they will have to get their team selection down right if they wish to avoid another humiliation.
Here's the starting XI to ensure Liverpool walk away with all three points.
Jose Pepe Reina represents the only plausible goal keeping selection for Kenny Dalglish. However, he will have to perform better than he did against QPR and Wigan to keep Liverpool's hopes alive for the game.
Left-Back: Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique has been King Kenny's most astute signings for the season. Aside from a few off games, Enrique is integral to the side and will definitely feature against Newcastle.
Center-Back: Martin Skrtel
Had Martin Skrtel not only been penalized for a penalty but been sent off for the reckless challenge against Wigan, Liverpool's defensive problems would be a lot more worse.
However, he is a poised, natural defender. Against Wigan, Liverpool's goal started with him, and he also blocked two shots. He will be expected to deliver an above-average performance.
Center-Back: Sebastian Coates
Jamie Carragher is a liability in defense. He fared miserably against Wigan, making not a single tackle. Sadly, Daniel Agger is out with a rib injury, so Sebastian Coates represents the only feasible option.
Right-Back: Martin Kelly
I have been quite impressed by Martin Kelly this season. He wins tackles, defends astutely and is a potent threat going forward. I hope he is picked over John Flanagan.
Defensive Midfielder: Jay Spearing
Lucas Leiva is still injured, but Jay Spearing, despite being disappointing at times, has held his own.
Attacking Midfielder Center: Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard had a good game against Wigan, picking up the lone assist for the team. He is back from injury and hopefully he can deliver as great a performance against Newcastle as he did against Everton.
Attacking Midfielders Right and Left: Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing
These two signings by Kenny Dalglish at the beginning of the season have failed miserably. Beside a few magical moments, these two offer next to nothing.
However, Liverpool's options remain limited, and both will be played.
Hopefully, they will be able to make some great runs and provide incisive crosses towards the center.
Strikers: Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez
I think the lone-striker philosophy employed by Dalglish should be scraped in favor of two men leading the front.
Carroll establishes himself as a target for the wingers and is effective in winning aerial balls. He should start.
Luis Suarez represents one of the few world-class players that Liverpool have at their disposal. Most times, it is only he who looks to break the dead lock.
The following substitutes will be utilized:
What do you think of the line up? Please leave your opinions.
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