Battle plan for Goodison!

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Saturday will see the Reds play the first of two of the most important fixtures of the season: away to Everton at Goodison.

The above game plan is how I would initiate the first battle skirmishes, because battle it shall be! Kenny will most probably go for his favoured 4-4-2 set up but I would like to think we can play some mind-games with the Blues and present ourselves with a set-up that sends the right message to the Evertonians: ‘We’re going for the jugular!’

4-2-3-1 would be my pick, and this would be the starting line up! Please allow me to make some clarifications and considerations. Why 4-2-3-1? Well, this is a very attack-prone set-up which however allows you to revert to 4-5-1, 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 in the blink of an eye (or with a simple gesture from the Manager). Why these players? Well, let’s say that deep down I would have preferred Coates to Skrtel, as for the rest, that would be my starting eleven for the derby. Lucas would be asked to do his usual (front of back four) patrol and interdiction shift, while Gerrard would hover over the halfway line to dictate the tempo and initiate most of our attacking forays with his vision and legendary distribution (something we have been lacking). Bellamy and Downing would scour the flanks giving us width plus depth, and keep their full-backs anchored in their positions, providing rapid movement and providing ammunition for Carroll and Suarez, who have liberty of movement along the full width of the attacking front.

There is no Kuyt or Adam in this line-up because the scope here is to have speed of execution, added scoring options and the possibility to switch Bellamy and Downing from left to right and vice-versa giving their defense no fixed reference points, because both Bellamy and Downing are brilliant and as effective on either flank. Carroll can grasp the attentions of the centre-backs in a brut power struggle leaving openings for Suarez and the occasional stealthy incursion by Gerrard.

It is probable that Kenny & Co will go for a more prudent approach, possible the usual 4-4-2. We have to see if Gerrard will be given a start and if Bellamy will be given faith to inflict damage. We need to be audacious here. We need to show Everton we are going for the win. We need to be tactically more polyvalent and flexible, morphing our strategies according to the run of play. We also need to send a clear message to Man Utd that we are going to give them more than a run for their money, come their turn.


  1. Great setup, n agreed abt the Coates v/s Skrtel thingey. I just don’t understand as to why is KD rigidly playing a 4-4-2 formation in all games, considering last season’s revival was built on fluid, dynamic & interchanging formations!!!

    1. Kenny is brilliant about LFC and knows every inch. You don’t need to understand but trust him. There are no right or wrong about players but as long as he tries the best, he is right.

  2. I think the back row is correct. I don’t think it would help Coates to expose him just yet to the ferocity of a derby.
    I dont think KK will play Stevie. Stevie as we know from past experience does not hold back in a derby, so he will be on the bench in the best interest of his groin.
    so the only change I would make would be to put Adam in Stevie’s place.

    Mid 2nd half bring Stevie and Dirk on if we are chasing a result

    1. I did say it would be my preferred lineup, I did not say that Gerrard will definitely play even though I wish he would be there from the word go.

  3. Leaving out Kuyt is crazy…..he is the best hold up man in the game…Carroll will find it hard to function without him.

    1. Not really that crazy, playing Henderson and leaving our Kuyt perhaps is. Explain to me how Carroll will find it hard to function without Kuyt as I cannot quite wrap myself around it!

  4. Dirk Kuyt HAS to play!!! He always scores against the toffees. Also he has derby experience which can be vital.Wouldn’t rush Gerrard back either, Adam’s doing ok and he scored last week which will boost his confidence.I’d start with Carroll (vital attacking/defending set pieces) and Bellamy up front and keep Stevie and King Luis on the bench in case of emergency….

  5. I hear someone saying keeping Luis on the bench that would be suicidal,not playing Gerrad is a major Gamble because Adam to me can’t handle big games yet he might see red again as he’s too slow and plays too deep having Adam and Lucas in the midfield would cause us too many pressure the toffees might put us under pressure and considering we have slow centre halves in Carragher and Skrtel that would be a chunk of promblem to grind out..we have to play Kuyt he’s energy,hunger,forward runs and lucky charm of scoring in the derbies is too indispensible.I doubt if Caroll can handle the derby heat yet.if we going to play Adam,Kuyt must be included because of his energy joining in the midfield for cover and protection.I don’t wanna see Henderson in the starting line up KK is so funny he might wanna start him ahead of kuyt well I m keeping my fingers crossed

  6. Kuyt should start then bellamy should join in second half to exploit the tired legs. I just dont see how we should lose this fixture. If we lose it it will say a lot about what to expect this season. We will win it

    1. collins,

      in my opinion, i think kuyt will have an impact whether he comes on second half or starts the game.both bellamy and kuyt are industrious on the pitch and i feel kuyt is capable of exposing those tired blue legs in the second half too..

      but either way it will work.

  7. Would like to see Spearing and Lucas in the middle thought they were excellent against Brighton and have Kuyt and Suarez up front although Andy has been playing good the last few games this would be a perfect game for him to get a goal. It’s very refreshing not knowing our line-up week in week out compared to the last few previous season’s.

  8. Looks a solid set up. As much as i want to put Kuyt in there in place of Carroll, i think this formation is just about right. It could also be just the right occasion to unleash Carroll cause he has one or two things to prove to his detractors, me not included.:)

    1. Naturally this is my perspective but am sure Kenny and Co have their plan for the game. I would love to see a more attacking minded Liverpool team because when you go for such a set up you are already ahead in the mind games and then you can adjust accordingly against the run of play.

  9. Let’s not forget Everton have Baines and may possibly start Drenthe on that left side, so STARTING KUYT IS A MUST for any one with football brains. None of the other players is as good as him tracking back and support Kelly. So Kuyt in place of Bellamy.
    Other change would be Adam instead of Captain Fantastic as i think he may not start this derby. However i have a feeling Spearing would do well in this game than Adam.

  10. Tonio…. this sounds like an amazing battle plan to me…. Although Stevie G won’t start…… We can dream :) YNWA!

    1. Hi Kev. Yep wishful thinking from my side perhaps. You never know though, Stevie G might even start to be then be taken off later…who knows. Sometimes I feel we a wee bit too predicable to our opponents. You remember when we ‘surprised’ Chelsea with a 5-3-2 formation at Stamford Bridge? It paid off bigtime! I’d like us to become less predicatable and more pro-active.

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