Liverpool FC are in desperate need of getting their season back on track. The Reds currently lie in the ninth place in Premier League table, and are out of the Champions League in a hugely disappointing fashion. The game against Manchester United comes in at a bad time for the Reds, as confidence is definitely at a low in the Anfield camp. However, a positive performance against United, who are currently on a five match winning run, could be the beginning of a good run of games, and might turn out to be the thing so desperately required at the Merseyside club.
Brendan Rodgers surprised everyone with his selection against Basel, in a must win game. Former players, pundits and fans were baffled with the Northern Irishman’s picks. Here are three players who must come in against the Red Devils and could be key to getting three difficult points out of Old Trafford.
The £12m summer signing from Sevilla was thought to have come in to be Liverpool’s first choice left back. But recently, Moreno has been left out from a chunk of games and one of Glen Johnson or Jose Enrique has been started in place of the Spaniard. Enrique’s performance against Basel was far from convincing and Rodgers substituted the former Newcastle man at half-time and brought in Moreno. Against United, Moreno has to start. The 22 year old is an attack minded full-back, and while his attacking temperament does make him weak defensively, and often prone to errors too, his pace and tendency to run high up on the flank and link up with attackers makes him a huge asset in the offensive. So often, we’ve seen Moreno link up beautifully with Coutinho, Sterling and Lallana. The Spaniard has also scored a delightful goal against Spurs, which demonstrated just how good he is in the offense. Moreno definitely does need to contribute more defensively, and support the centre-backs, who anyway haven’t been very good themselves this season. Rodgers needs to get the summer signing in the starting 11 against arch-rivals as Moreno could be that extra man Liverpool need in the attack.
The Brazilian is the epitome of erratic. Coutinho is a vastly talented player, with a lot of flair, but he becomes so inconsistent, that Rodgers’ leaving him on the bench doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. Against Basel, Liverpool did need more attack than they had on the pitch, and Coutinho’s exclusion came as a surprise as Adam Lallana was also left on the bench. Rodgers’ has to start the 22 year old against United, especially if Lallana is left out of the game with the broken ribs he is nursing. Coutinho can pick clever passes, link up play with midfielders and attackers, and can bully defenders with his ability on the ball. Rodgers and the Liverpool fans would hope it is an ‘on’ night for Coutinho, who can put on a performance that can get the Reds the three points they so desperately need.
Sakho was brought in for a hefty sum last season, but the former PSG player hasn’t made a mark at Anfield so far. In fact, after being excluded from the squad against Everton, he stormed out of Anfield in anger. Immediately after, he suffered from an injury, and has been on the sidelines for a couple of months. The Frenchman made his return against Basel and featured on the bench. With summer signing Dejan Lovren not doing well, Rodgers has been forced to pick right sided central defender Kolo Toure to start alongside another right sided defender, Martin Skrtel. While Toure has done a fantastic job in place of the Croat, now that Sakho is back, he would expect to feature in his natural left sided position. Sakho is very talented and was trusted by Blanc at PSG, and is also favoured by Deschamps for the French National Team. Sakho is solid at the back, and has the physicality to be a threat to the attackers. He is a little sloppy in his movement, but those things can be fixed with regular game time. He definitely has all the attributes to be playing every week for the Reds, and the game against United should be the one from where regular game time for the Frenchman starts.