How Liverpool Will Line Up Against Manchester United
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Liverpool host archrivals Manchester United in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday afternoon in one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes of this, or any season, and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will need to get his starting lineup spot on if he wishes to continue his side’s impressive 100 percent start to the new campaign.
The Northern Irishman will again be without suspended striker Luis Suarez against the Red Devils as the Uruguay international continues to serve his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, while he also has a number of injury problems to contend with.
As a result, it will be intriguing to see just which 11 he sends out to take on the reigning Premier League champions, and in what formation too, as Rodgers goes in search of a first victory over United as Liverpool manager.
However, this is how we think the Reds will set up against United on Sunday in a 4-4-2 formation …
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
The Belgium international has made an outstanding start to his career at Anfield so far, having yet to concede a goal in his first two Premier League contests. The 25-year-old even saved a late Jonathan Walters spot-kick to preserve Liverpool’s slender 1-0 lead against Stoke City on the opening day of the new campaign.
Right-Back: Glen Johnson
The marauding right-back will have a key role to play at home against the champions, both in defence as well as in attack, as the England international looks to keep United left-back Patrice Evra occupied with his raids down the right flank.
Centre-Back: Daniel Agger
The Reds’ recently appointed vice-captain is now the longest-serving member of the Liverpool back five, and as such he will be needed to show both calmness under pressure and authority at the back if the home side are to keep the visitors at bay on Sunday.
Centre-Back: Martin Skrtel
Left-Back: Jose Enrique
Despite the recent arrival of fellow left-back Aly Cissokho from Valencia, the Spaniard has kept his starting place in the team, and he will do so again against United at Anfield.
Holding Midfielder: Lucas Leiva
Lucas will be one of the home team’s most important players on Sunday as the occasional Brazil international looks to put out fires at the base of midfield before initiating counterattacks by getting the ball at pace to Liverpool’s more forward players.
Central/Attacking Midfield: Steven Gerrard (C)
Can the skipper reprise his emotional opening goal against United at Anfield from last season on Sunday?
Well, with Rodgers opting to move his influential skipper into a more advanced starting position so as to be able to hurt the Red Devils higher up the pitch, you would not bet against it.
Right Midfield: Jordan Henderson
The Englishman was surprisingly selected to start the Reds’ season opener against Stoke at Anfield and has been one of Rodgers’ most impressive performers in the club’s first two wins of the new campaign so far.
However, the 23-year-old will be handed a different role on Sunday on the right-hand side of midfield, with Rodgers wanting to utilise his impressive stamina and work-rate to prevent the attacking side of United left-back Patrice Evra from flourishing.
Left Midfield: Philippe Coutinho
If Liverpool are to overcome the Red Devils this weekend, their impish Brazilian creator will need to carry on the eye-catching form he has been displaying ever since first arriving at the club at the turn of the year.
Faced with the challenge of getting the better of United right-back Phil Jones, you would back the 21-year-old to come out on top in that particular individual head-to-head battle.
Striker: Daniel Sturridge
The England international’s brilliant winner at Aston Villa last Saturday was the front man’s eighth strike in his past seven Premier League games for the Reds, and so the 23-year-old goes into Sunday’s showdown as the form attacker on both sides.
Forward: Iago Aspas
The diminutive Spanish attacker will be asked to operate in the "hole"—playing just off central striker Sturridge—against United as Rodgers hopes the duo can continue the already impressive understanding up front that they have displayed in the Reds' two league wins in their opening matches of the season.
GK: Brad Jones
RB/CB: Andre Wisdom
RB/CB: Martin Kelly
RB: John Flanagan
LM: Luis Alberto
RM: Raheem Sterling
ST: Fabio Borini