Another injury blow for The Reds as the skipper, Steven Gerrard, injured his hamstring and asked to be substituted on ’56 minutes. Without the talisman, our central midfielder will be shorted to three, with Lucas, Allen, and Henderson left. Just when we think we’ll be okay, there’s another victim. Henderson is doubtfully to play on our visit to Tottenham Hotspurs. Not sure what injury he has got but that makes the matter worse, where our CM will be shorten to two. Lucas-Allen would likely to be the double pivot on our visit to Tottenham
Before those problem appeared, Sturridge and Enrique were forced to be absent until at least February. What makes me worried is that in our next 5 fixtures, we will have hard away games against Spurs, Chelsea and Man. City. However, the other top 6 teams also have to clash each other like Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Spurs, and Everton also have to clash each other
Versatility is the key here. When Sturridge is injured, Suarez has done very well being lone striker, scoring 5 goals in a row within two home games. Flanagan can pay the boss’ trust while replacing Enrique on the left back despite being right-footed and rarely played on the left (but he done that on LFC reserve games). Now move to CM position. When only Lucas and Allen left as natural CM / DM, what will the boss do to rotate the the squad while those two players being tired and still we have to visit Chelsea and Man. City?
Here are my solution, opinion based:
1. Back to 3 Center Back formation
Playing Toure/Agger with Skrtel and Sakho is my 1st choice. If you have 3 CB on the back, your pivot don’t have to duel that much and can minimize the ‘dirty tackle’ when lost possesion because within 3 CB, 1 CB will be wait inside the penalty box (like Srtel always does) and can do important clearance when needed. And the build up play from the back can be managed comfortably because 2 ball playing CB in Agger and Sakho
2. Agger or Sakho as CM with Lucas, Allen on AMF
I hope that Agger will be fit against Spurs, or if not, Sakho can be pushed a bit forward. Why Sakho? Because he is faster than Kolo and Skrtel and he can pas the ball well (92.1 % accuracy answered that), his 1.6 tackle per game and 2.6 interceptions per game can be very helpful. His physical duel can ease Lucas or Allen who has slender body.
3. Alberto to starts as AM
Now it’s time for our playmaker to play in his favorite position, Attacking MF. His through ball and game reading ability can help our forwards, he can switch position with Coutinho (2 playmaker is better than one, isn’t it?), so Allen and Lucas can be focused as pivot and contribute to defense in our 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation.
With Gerrard, Enrique, and Sturridge to comeback at least on February, while Henderson is expected to return on Chelsea and City games, I hope that we also can get maximum points against Cardiff and Hull. I also hope a good signing will come on early January. Up The Reds ! YNWA