The year might not have started for Liverpool the way Rodgers had contemplated. After that shocking 2-2 draw against Nigel Pearson’s Leicester City, the Reds managed to bounce back against AFC Wimbledon this week. The 12th minute shot on goal by Steven Gerrard provided Liverpool that much needed edge against Wimbledon. Although, AFC Wimbledon came back well with a beautiful goal, however, the Reds managed to conquer Kingsmeadow in the end with a 2-1 win.
Meanwhile, Gus Poyet’s Sunderland have managed to secure four points in the Christmas and New Year fixtures. After a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Man City at the onset of the New Year, followed by a subsequent triumph against Leeds United last weekend, the Black Cats now stand in the 14th slot of the League table. Interestingly, Sunderland has won just one of it’s last 10 Premier League games against Liverpool. Keeping this in mind, Rodgers would be keen on bagging another victory versus the Black Cats. As a high voltage face off, awaits this weekend here is our take on the supposed Reds line up which will take on the Black Cats:
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
The Belgian has had a rather ill-fated run so far. However, with Brad Jones missing out on an injury, Mignolet remains to be Rodgers numero uno pick for managing the posts. Nonetheless, the goalkeeper is yet to find some much needed momentum and assurance between the bars.
Defence: Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel, Sakho/Can
As Glenn Johnson remains uncertain owing to his groin injury, the big Ivorian Kolo Toure continues to be the boss’ top drawer at the right. On the other hand, Martin Skrtel is expected to make his way into the squad against Sunderland after serving a one match ban against Leicester City FC. The Slovak has been rather impressive in the last couple of games and shall be keen on shoring up the defence while, forging ahead with the momentum which he has picked up lately.
Dejan Lovren still continues in the dug out as an injury keeps him away from the playing eleven. Meanwhile, Rodgers may bet his bottom dollar on either of Sakho or Emre Can to fill in the final slot of the three man defence.
Midfield: Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can/Markovic, Alberto Moreno
The skipper is all set to go aboard LA Galaxy this July. ‘Stevie G’ had the last season full of ups and downs. Nonetheless, he has commenced the new season in full throttle and after remarkable performances in successive games, the skipper would be looking forward to render his impact at the middle of the park against the Black Cats too.
If the versatile German midfielder Can is deployed at centre back, it should be Henderson playing alongside Gerrard, while youngster Lazar Marković will be asked to continue down the right hand side as an advanced full back, where he has been performing consistently.
On the other hand, Alberton Moreno should complete the midfield five as the left full back linking his three man defence with the attack.
Attack: Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana
Rodgers has been apathetic, off late now, while deploying strikers of the likes of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini. That said, Raheem Sterling accompanied with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana is likely to lead the attack for the Reds once again. The trio has performed exceptionally well in the preceding face-offs and would be looking forward to carry on their successful run against Sunderland this weekend.