Liverpool have a great track record at stock piling cash, only to burn it all on mediocrity. There has been plenty of changes to Liverpool’s squad over the summer, let’s see what it does to their starting XI!
Liverpool could go with either of the above options. I like the XI on the right, it all depends on how Rodgers wants to set up in midfield. Defensive mid or no defensive mid!
Mignolet finally cemented his place as Liverpool’s first choice keeper midway through last season. After their upturn in defensive returns I can’t see him being replaced, he looks to have ironed out the deficiencies in his game. Great value at 5.0.
Rodgers often employed a 3 at the back system last season, but that was mainly due to his lack of reliable full backs. The purchase of Clyne suggests that they will play a back 4, at this stage pre-season has backed that assessment up.
Skrtel and Clyne are your safest bets in Liverpool’s defence. It would be nice if Moreno could nail down a starting spot, but Rodger’s constant formation changes and the emergence of left back Joe Gomez makes it hard to pick. Neither can be selected with confidence. Lovren partnered Skrtel towards the back end of last season, however Sakho should be a first team starter when fit (Which he is). Toure is servicable back-up, whilst Can shouldn’t be required as long as they don’t play 3 at the back.
For those interested by Wisdom’s points scored and minutes played, he was on loan at West Brom and sits behind Clyne in the pecking order.
There is plenty of competition for spots in Liverpool’s midfield, leaving Rodgers with some handy issues at the selection table. I’m currently unsure whether Rodgers will run with a defensive mid or not, meaning Can’s job security is shaky (Not that he’s relevant). It will have the biggest effect on who plays on the wing, and how attacking their central mids are. One thing that is for certain is they will partner Henderson and Milner in central midfield. Rodgers has already stated that they will player Milner through the middle, but he can also be shifted onto the right flank if need be.
With Coutinho and Firmino only just returning to action following the Copa America, they have to be doubts for GW1. However in the long term I see them both as starters, which is hard to fit in! They have a great relationship and I can see them forming a formidable partnership in midfield. Both can play through the middle or out wide which gives Liverpool great flexibility. This leaves Ibe, Markovic, Lallana and Can to fight it out for the remaining spot depending on how Rodger’s sets up.
Considering Liverpool have European fixtures to deal with, all these players will be getting starts at some point this season. Whether any of them can be picked regularly enough to warrant a spot in fpl is hard to tell. Henderson and Milner have great engines so should be immune.
With Sturridge still out injured, Benteke should be a starter in GW1. Can he hold that spot? If he’s in form, yes. However the competition for spots is ridiculous, stupid even. Liverpool have taken the quantity over quality approach with their strikers in recent times leaving them with 7… Yes, SEVEN strikers in their first team squad. Borini and Lambert should be on the way out, while Balotelli will get paid a lot to do not much. Ings has been brought in as cover I guess? I really have no idea why they got him, he may be a useful impact sub. It’s like they had completely forgotten they’d purchased Origi last season, he is another that will contend for a role up front. I can see him being used for Europa league fixtures. Perhaps he could be shifted out right? It’s tough to tell.
Sturridge is obviously a starter once fit, Rodgers may opt for a 2 striker system when that’s finally the case. I can see no other explanation for why he has bought so many frontmen. European football and the necessary squad depth is one thing, this is completely another.
Conclusion… I’m steering clear.
50/50: Good luck trying to split Henderson and Milner. I can see one of them being a good selection, but there’s a big chance they will steal points of each other. Sitting in slightly deeper roles, they won’t replicate the performances of guys like Firminho, however they will be solid. I’m 50/50 on both. Leaning towards Henderson if he has penalty duties, but Milner has what it takes.
Lock: None! Rotation could wreak havoc with your Liverpool players, I’d be very cautious.
Avoid: Lallana is a quality footballer and I love watching him play, but he won’t get the consistent game time (Nor the returns) required to make him fpl relevant.
Breakout: I like the look of Firmino a lot. Check out Baysie’s Fresh Blood for more info, but he looks like a quality player. It’s not really a ‘breakout’ season of sorts as he has done it in the Bundesliga, but replicating those returns in the Premier League is another matter. I think he can go close though, which would make him extremely relevant. I wanted to include Origi here, but I can’t see him getting enough game time in the PL.
There you go! Sorry for the delay, weekends hey… I’m going to have to double up a few times to get these line-ups done before deadline, boy it comes quickly! Man United up next, see you then…