How Liverpool Will Line Up Against Everton

Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentJanuary 27, 2014

How Liverpool Will Line Up Against Everton

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    Brendan Rodgers' hand may be forced in selecting Liverpool's starting line-up against Everton in the Premier League on Tuesday night, due to the Reds' mounting injury problems.

    Rodgers has bemoaned his lack of options twice in the last week, telling press before Saturday's FA Cup victory at Bournemouth that he only had 15 players training during the build-up to the tie, as per the London Evening Standard; on Monday, he was quoted by the Belfast Telegraph as saying:

    There is still going to be quality players and the football ideas of both teams will come out but it is unfortunate a number of players are out of the game - and a lot of them starting players - it would've made it a different game.

    It is unfortunate both teams are coming into the game with not the strongest squads because both have picked up injuries.

    Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho, Jose Enrique, Glen Johnson and Lucas Leiva all miss the Merseyside derby, and there are doubts over Joe Allen's availability, as per Neil Jones of the Liverpool Echo.

    Based on a rather thin squad, Rodgers must make the best of a bad situation for potentially the most exciting league derby in decades.


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    Simon Mignolet will come back into goal after being rested for the weekend cup win on the south coast.

    Mignolet has been under the spotlight recently after a string of errors that have cost Liverpool goals but retains the support of Rodgers, who was quoted by last week as saying:

    Confidence-wise it is important for me to lift all the players.

    And for Simon, it is something I will reinforce with him.

    He is still an outstanding goalkeeper but when you make those mistakes they get highlighted more as a keeper.

    But he has come here because he's an outstanding goalkeeper and, I repeat, you don't lose your talent.

    With Agger and Sakho both out injured, Rodgers has little choice but to continue the central defensive partnership of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure.

    Jon Flanagan looks set to return from the hamstring injury that has kept him out since before Christmas, as per Liam Prenderville of Mirror Football.

    The 21-year-old may replace Martin Kelly, who is still some way from full match sharpness, at right-back, with Aly Cissokho retaining his place on the left.


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    Rodgers' midfield selection will probably the most interesting decision he makes when the Toffees visit Anfield.

    Having essentially started with four attackers in their last Premier League outing—the 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa—that left only Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in midfield for the Reds.

    Villa spent the entire first half waltzing through the pretty much non-existent Liverpool midfield and found themselves 2-0 up after just 34 minutes.

    Liverpool were simply outnumbered in midfield and Rodgers would do well not to repeat the same mistake against another canny attacking team in Roberto Martinez's men come Tuesday night.

    Rodgers will be hoping Allen is passed fit to play alongside Gerrard and Henderson to make up a strong enough and very able midfield three.

    Calling upon Luis Alberto, in a central role, pushing Gerrard back into a holding midfield role may be Rodgers' emergency plan should Allen not make the game.


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    With Liverpool safe in numbers with three in midfield, it gives Raheem Sterling the chance to go forward in the increasingly impressive and mature way he has been doing this season to support Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front.

    Sturridge and Suarez will most likely work as a constant switch between the responsibility of the furthest man forward, allowing Sterling to run at the Everton defence from the right wing.

    Philippe Coutinho is the man to make way for Sterling, who was rested from the start against Bournemouth.

    Coutinho has only completed two of Liverpool's last seven league games and some time out to re-energise and reconsider his season would do the Brazilian good.

    Victor Moses' much-improved performance at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday may see him involved in some second-half action.