Brendan Rodgers faces a selection headache for Liverpool’s game against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Lucas is suspended for this game and someone needs to step in for the Brazilian.
It seems Rodgers will stick to the 3-5-2 system that has been used lately, meaning that someone has to partner Gerrard in the middle of the park. Liverpool are very thing right now in terms of central midfield options with Joe Allen currently out injured but expected to make a return soon. The Palace game may be a bit too early though for Allen though. Which means Rodgers may be forced to play Jordan Henderson in the middle which would mean a new right wing back needs to come in, either Wisdom, Kelly or Sterling.
Rodgers did hint at today’s (Thursday) press conference that Henderson’s versatility may mean he gets the nod to partner Gerrard.
Rodgers said, “I’ve been so impressed since I’ve been here: Jordan has become better and better. His level, tactically, is very good. He’s one that wants to improve all the time.
“If I didn’t think he could play the role and function in the role properly, I wouldn’t put him there. So it’s great credit to him.
“At the end of last season, he played as a false winger from the left, coming inside and got goals. He played his first season here wide on the right. He’s played as a wing-back, wide of midfield in a four.
“In all the systems, what you get from him is a work-rate and a mentality, and Jordan has got quality. I don’t see it as a hindrance for him, I see it only as a positive. I know he’s really enjoying playing.
“Wherever he plays, there’s no drop-off – you still get the same. He’s one of those players that you could play him at right-back, which I’ve done sometimes.
“He’s a really good, young footballer whose understanding of the game is improving all the time. That allows him to play in a number of different positions.”
Henderson has not been doing too bad a job for Liverpool on the right in the 3-5-2 formation but he would certainly do much better playing in the middle which seems more natural to him. The dilemma will now be about who plays on the right. Sterling came on towards the end of the Sunderland game and played on the right and he did okay. But I question his defensive abilities as he would have to track back and tackle in that role. Thus Kelly or Wisdom would be better options as they are solid defenders and able to attack when needed.
We have all been surprised by Rodgers before, none more so than fielding four centre backs against Southampton, so could there be another shock come Saturday with maybe Daniel Agger being asked to fill in for Lucas?