Picking a Liverpool starting XI for Opening Day of 2014/15 Season
With Liverpool spending big this summer to bring in a wealth of fresh talent to accommodate the Reds return to the Champions League, alot of questions are being asked about who will be part of the starting XI come the opening day of the season when Southampton travel to Anfield.
Melmood has been a busy place already this summer with four new signings through the door and more expected to follow.
Emre Can, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana & Lazar Markovic have all joined Brendan Rodgers' ever-improving squad and with more names set to join the Liverpool ranks selecting a starting XI for Liverpool’s opening game could be a difficult task for Brendan Rodgers.
There’s a few names you'd expect to be on the team sheet before even thinking about it.
GK: Simon Mignolet would be obvious choice for the GK position unless the reds snap up another world class keeper to keep migs out of the team.
RB: Unfortunately Glen Johnson fills this role currently and although he's had a disastrous past few months on his day is still one of the best RB in the Premier League.
RCB: Martin Skrtel was arguably the Reds' most consistent defender during the 2013/14 season, a season during which Liverpool were heavily criticised for their ability to defend. The Slovakian centre-back even chipped in with seven goals although he was guilty of alot of shirt pulling that could have cost the reds alot penalties during the season.
LCB: Mamadou Sakho would be my choice to fill this spot after an impressive World Cup 2014 campaign with France. He was criticized last season as some fans thought he wasn’t comfortable on the ball, after recording an average 91% pass accuracy that worry was dispelled in my view.
LB: Jon Flanagan has to be the name to take this spot unless the Reds do manage to snap up Alberto Moreno from Sevilla, Ben Davies from Swansea is also another name linked with the LB position.
CM: Steven Gerrard, The captain obviously picks himself. It was a bold decision to switch Gerrard from his usual advanced role into a more withdrawn position at the turn of the year.
Despite struggling when initially deployed in a deeper role, Gerrard soon found his form and went on to enjoy one of the most productive seasons of a distinguished Reds career.
CM: Jordan Henderson During the 2013/14 season, Jordan Henderson was the most improved player and thus justified that he has what it takes to succeed at a club the size of Liverpool, his late sending off in the season could have been the reason the reds finished behind Man City as the Reds midfield missed his driving runs and unmatched work rate.
RW: New signing Lazar Markovic should find himself on the teamsheet for the opening day as his impressive form last season at Benfica earned praise from team mates and admirers across Europe, craft and guile to the Liverpool ranks as well as the ability to beat a man. The tricky youngster will also provide versatility to the Reds squad as he is capable of playing from either wing.
LW: Adam Lallana's long drawn out summer move to the reds should show how much Liverpool wanted him so I’d expect his name to be on the teamsheet. The reds will be looking to benefit from the creativity and versatility that Lallana has shown both for Southampton and England.
AM: Raheem Sterling should be on the team sheet on the back of an outstanding 2013/14 season. He progressed along with the team and built an insightful understanding with Suarez and Sturridge. His reward was a place on the plane to Brazil and that will have only have helped his experience surely this season Liverpool will see Sterling at his best.
ST: With Suarez having departed, Daniel Sturridge becomes Liverpool's leading man for goals and if his 24 in 2013-14 are anything to go by, he's the perfect man to be finishing for the Reds up front.
Although this is my starting line-up for the Southampton game there is alot of Preseason to get through first and names like Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho, Rickie Lambert, will all have time to impress the manager and sway his decision.
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