Liverpool vs. Valencia: Last Preseason Game Is the Final Chance to Get It Right

Jake RoddCorrespondent IIIAugust 6, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - JULY 16: Andy Carroll of Liverpool during the pre-season friendly match between Malaysia and Liverpool at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on July 16, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Liverpool's new midfield signings—Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing—are in contention to make their Anfield debuts today. Valencia will prove a difficult challenge, but it is a complete necessity if Liverpool are to get back to the top.

After a consistently poor defensive run of preseason outings, Kenny Dalglish will look to finalise his back four in order to be ready for Sunderland.

While Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez will not take any part in the Reds' opening fixture, Lucas, Raul Meireles, Henderson, Adam, Downing, Dirk Kuyt and Andy Carroll will be looking to add some fire to the Reds' attack. A good display from any of these players today may warrant a starting place in the opening Premier League fixture. Plenty of incentive, then.

Another key incentive, and perhaps a driving force this evening, will be the presence of the crowd. A player always needs time to perform well, but a good home start is always key.

Should Liverpool adopt what is, in my opinion, their best option at the moment—a 4-3-3—fans need not worry of a mediocre match.

A starting lineup today may well reflect that of the opener on the 13th of August and here's the strongest 11 in my opinion:

Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Kuyt, Carroll, Downing.

A 4-3-3 would suit all of the above players, as Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio will be given the attacking all clear, while Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger would be expected to sit back. Henderson and Adam, who like to venture forward, should be given the license to do so, with Lucas Leiva providing cover from the back.

Kuyt and Downing will look to play to Andy Carroll's strengths, placing crosses in dangerous areas for the powerhouse to attack.

Liverpool target Juan Mata will also feature, and it is imperative for the Reds to close the pacy Spaniard down, because he has the key to unlock any defence—especially one that has been looking vulnerable.

However, I think Liverpool will get things right today, and a scoreline of 3-0 is my view. Thanks for reading. What do you think?