Liverpool FC: A Starting 11 for Brendan Rodgers Using the Current Squad
Liverpool kick off a vital opening season under Brendan Rodgers away at West Brom, but before any football is played, Rodgers will be thinking about his best 11 and which formation to use them in.
Rodgers' "Tiki Taka" style of play will no doubt make Liverpool a much more entertaining team to watch, and will probably see the Reds move from the 4-4-2 to a more fluid formation like a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3.
Personally, I think that the 4-2-3-1 formation is the way forward for Liverpool Football Club. Therefore, this article will give you my thoughts on Liverpool's best 11 under that formation.
Goalkeeper: Pepe Reina
There's not much to say here. Simply put, Reina has become one of the best keepers in the league and Liverpool's No. 1 by a country mile.
Right-Back: Glen Johnson
Last season, I was one of the many who were calling for Johnson's head and for youngster Martin Kelly to replace him.
However, his performances late in the season and particularly for England at Euro 2012 have changed my opinion. He is now my No. 1 choice at right back.
Centre-Backs: Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger
These two were phenomenal last season and were instrumental in Liverpool's defensive success.
Both Skrtel and Agger have been keeping Reds legend Jamie Carragher out the team and will continue to do so if their form keeps up.
Left-Back: Jose Enrique
Though Enrique endured a poor end to the season, his first year with the team must be considered a success.
Strong, quick and determined, Enrique is the best choice—and the only experienced choice—for the left-back job.
Central Defensive Midfielder: Lucas Leiva
Oh, how Liverpool have missed him.
Lucas Leiva defied all critics from the media and fans alike and has emerged as one of Liverpool's best midfielders.
Coming back from a season-long injury, expect Lucas to be fired up and to start from opening day.
His determination and bulldog attitude will be key in providing cover for the defence and in starting attacks.
Central Defensive Midfielder and Captain: Steven Gerrard
He is Liverpool's second most popular player ever and will go down as a legend in the club's illustrious history.
Steven Gerrard is getting on, but his performances for club and country leave nothing to be desired. He stood out for England and will continue to do so for Liverpool, spraying passes around and making late darts into the area.
Expect Gerrard to be substituted more often, but be prepared for more vintage Gerrard over the next season or two.
Right-Winger: Stewart Downing
I'm sorry—I apologise in advance.
Until Liverpool sign a creative midfielder, I think Downing will continue to occupy this spot. That being said, I think Liverpool will sign a creative midfielder and send Stewart Downing to the bench. Maxi gets on the score sheet, but has looked tired and demotivated of late, and therefore should not start.
Sterling will not start yet, since he is too young and should be given more substitute appearances before breaking into the first team. Hopefully, this will happen this season.
For now, Downing has a stay of execution.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Luis Suarez
Suarez, for all his antics, remains one of Liverpool's best players. He provides flair and unpredictability and should be given the ball more often than not in dangerous areas.
By playing him in the CAM spot, he can link up with everyone and become the hub of the team.
Left-Winger: Craig Bellamy
Bellamy is everything you want from a player.
Dedicated and (sometimes over) passionate, Craig gives everything for the team. He has become a fantastic asset for Liverpool and should continue to be next season.
Striker: Andy Carroll
Carroll endured a similarly slow start to Lucas Leiva, but has really picked his game up for club and country of late.
He has looked hungry for goals, and has been getting them.
Expect him to start, and to continue getting goals in 2012-13. My only worry is how Andy's style of play will fit into the much more fluid "Tiki Taka" style. If Rodgers can sort this problem out, and Big Andy can continue to look a threat, things will look up for Liverpool.
Expect the bench to include Doni, Adam or Henderson for midfield cover, Jamie Carragher for defensive cover and hopefully Sterling or Joe Cole, both of whom I would like to see more of this season.
Aquilani should not be in the team for disrespecting our club.
Any thoughts? Thanks for reading.