As the season draws near, the focus will very much be on what personnel and formation Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will pick for the majority of matches this season. Here’s my prediction for his first XI and formation below:
Pepe Reina – GK – One of the best goalkeepers in the world and will surely start most matches this season
Glen Johnson – RB – Will just edge ahead of Martin Kelly in regards to experience and his ability going forward. Any poor form though could lead to Kelly being picked ahead of him.
Jamie Carragher – CB – Although many Reds fans now want Carra to be a bit part player this season, I think Kenny still feels he has what it takes to play another full season in the first team
Daniel Agger – CB -Will be picked ahead of Skrtel and Soto when fit as King Kenny clearly rates the Dane for both his defensive qualities and his talent on the ball.
Jose Enrique – LB – Spent £6million on the pacey full back and will probably be chosen ahead of Aurelio due to the Brazilian’s poor fitness record. Dalglish will look for a good understanding between him and Downing.
Lucas – CM – Praised by Dalglish for his performances last season and he should be one the first players on the team sheet.
Charlie Adam – CM – Will play in a holding midfield role. Aquilani and Meireles will be played further forward while Henderson will not play every game. The Scot was bought to give the midfield an accurate midfield passer as well as more balance with his left foot.
Luis Suarez – RW – With a proliferation of central midfield players, a five man midfield looks likely and with Andy Carroll likely to start, it may mean Suarez playing in a wider role. Has played in the role for Ajax and Uruguay and shouldn’t cause many problems for him if Kenny opts for 4-5-1/4-2-3-1.
Steven Gerrard – AM – When fit I am sure the Reds captain will return to his attacking midfield role, which has served him so well in recent years.
Stewart Downing – LW – He may play wide on the right sometimes but I am sure King Kenny is looking to Downing to supply the width we have been missing in recent years. His pace, crossing ability and interplay with Enrique will be crucial for Liverpool to have a successful season.
Andy Carroll – ST – If big Andy gets the supply, he will be a handful for any defence. If he is left isolated he will be ineffective and it is important that the likes of Suarez, Gerrard, Adam and Downing ensure they develop a very good understanding with the 22 year old.
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