Liverpool take on West Ham on Sunday in the Premier League in what is a must win game for the Reds. Manchester City and Chelsea managed to get three points on Saturday, so the pressure is on for Rodgers and his men to win in London and return to the top of the table.
The trip to West Ham will not be an easy game at all and the Reds have to be at their best from the beginning. Liverpool will be up against a team and manager that like to ‘park the bus’and play very physical football. It will take a lot of creativity from the likes of Coutinho and Suarez to be able to find a way through the West Ham side. Andy Carroll will also be up against the club that decided to let him go because he did not fit into the Liverpool style of football, so he will be extra motivated to do well on Sunday.
With Liverpool set to face a barrage of high balls and physical play in the box, we need to be extra strong in defence and stopping the likes of Andy Carroll. Daniel Agger has been playing relatively well of late but his defending is still suspect and he lacks a great physical presence in the box. Rodgers should rather opt to bring in Mamadou Sakho ahead of Daniel Agger for this game so that we can cope better against the physical nature of West Ham. As good as Agger may be with the ball at his feet, first thing is first, a central defender must be able to defend well and I am affraid Agger’s defending has let us down on occasions this season.
I know there are calls not to make many changes to the Liverpool side right now as we are playing well but to combat the physical nature of this game, I would like to see Skaho come in for Agger.
Rodgers will also have to decide if he starts with both COutinho and Sterling or he brings in Joe Allen for one of them. As mentioned earlier, we will need as much creativity on the park on Sunday to unlock the Hammers thus Coutinho must start for me. Sterling is playing very well and deserves to start but if West Ham set up in a way where there is not much space to get behind their defenders than we may see Sterling start on the bench and Rodgers opting to put in another pressing midfielder in Allen.
But with that said, attacking football is what has gotten us this far this season so I would like to see the following start against West Ham: Mignolet, Flanagan, Skrtel, Sakho, Johnson, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge, Suarez.