Pepe Reina; Martin Kelly, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson; Steven Gerrard, Nuri Sahin/Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen; Fabio Borini, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling
Pepe Reina; Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique; Charlie Adam, Lucas Leiva/Jay Spearing; Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing; Luis Suarez
How They Compare
The back five have basically stayed constant, with the slight difference in the full-back area.
Rodgers seems to prefer Glen Johnson’s defensive work on the left flank and has used Martin Kelly on the right before his injury, though Jose Enrique’s apparent lack of match fitness has also contributed to this.
Considering for a moment that Raheem Sterling and Fabio Borini can be treated as inverted wingers, the constant fulcrum of the attack is Luis Suarez.
It’s in midfield that Rodgers has rung the changes.
While a clear preference for a holding and ball-retaining midfielder persists in the form of Lucas Leiva (and amidst his injury troubles, the departed Jay Spearing and now first-team fixture Joe Allen), the ball-player next to him takes a very different role.
Charlie Adam was the Hollywood long-ball merchant, capable of eye-catching passes but culpable in possession, while Nuri Sahin and Joe Allen (when Lucas is fit) are far more accomplished technically and add to Liverpool’s possession-based game.
Steven Gerrard keeps his versatility intact, and he has been used both centrally and more forward in a support role for the attack by both Rodgers and Dalglish.
And as mentioned, erstwhile first-choice wingers Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing have been replaced by Fabio Borini and Raheem Sterling.