Who will start for LFC against Stoke?

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Ibe and Gomez are in line for a start on Sunday

Ibe and Gomez are in line for a start on Sunday

Liverpool kick off the season with a bunch of new faces this Sunday, but with so many familiar ones putting in lacklustre displays last year, it’s difficult to know who will actually start the new campaign for us. However, now that we’ve seen the Reds go through pre-season, we can make some fairly sound guesses.

In goal, it’s fairly obvious that Mignolet’s going to be behind the sticks. A lot of fans are still split on the Belgian, so it’s going to be up to him to display the consistency that’s required to be the Liverpool no. 1. It should be noted that one of our new recruits this summer was Bogdan, but that signing was made with the intent of replacing Brad Jones as back up to Mignolet. That said, Bogdan’s a lot better than Jones ever was, so Mignolet will have to stay on his toes to make sure he stays no. 1.

Moreno is pretty much our only recognised left back now that Enrique’s been frozen out of the team, and with a full season under his belt I would expect him to kick on and improve this year. However, we’ve seen new signing Joe Gomez play well in a few games during pre-season, and rumour has it Rodgers has been so impressed with the 18 year old that he’s going to give him his debut this Sunday.

It looks like Clyne will be starting at right back, and I think I speak for everyone when I say thank heavens for that. From what we’ve seen in pre-season and last year at Southampton, Clyne will be a vast upgrade on Glen Johnson and even Jon Flanagan. Skrtel is pretty much confirmed to start as a right-sided centre back, but what’s really worrying is that Rodgers seems to rate Lovren higher than Sakho as a partner for the Slovakian.

It has always been mystifying that Rodgers doesn’t seem to rate Sakho despite the fact he is clear the club’s best defender and the Croatian has had a less than impressive preseason; while I can see why he might want to put some faith back in Lovren (it was his decision to spend £20m on him after all), to select him over Sakho just screams TERRIBLE IDEA to anyone with a working pair of eyes. Yet it might just happen at the Britannia.

Little Phil will be expected to star for Liverpool this season, starting tomorrow

Little Phil will be expected to star for Liverpool this season, starting tomorrow

In midfield, Henderson’s new responsibility as captain means he’s guaranteed to start while new signing James Milner is also all-but-confirmed to hold down a spot in the centre of midfield. It’s been well-documented that Milner only signed for us because he was guaranteed more playing time and he’d be selected in the middle of the park where he can influence play more than he could at Man City. Plus, he’s earning £150,000 a week so it would be slightly ridiculous if he was benched for our first game.

Behind him, it seems Emre Can and Lucas will be competing for starting slots this season. Can played well as a right-sided centre back in a back 3 last season, but after a conversation with Rodgers he’s confirmed that he’ll be playing in midfield again this campaign. Which is fine, considering that’s what we bought him for and it’s where he plays for the German U-21s. Unfortunately, when he did play there last season he wasn’t great, so it could be that Rodgers might want to try Lucas as a safe pair of hands until Can proves otherwise. He may have lost some pace but the Brazilian is still the best defensive midfielder we have, and Milner’s work ethic in the midfield is bound to make his job that little bit easier now.

It seems reasonable to believe that whatever formation we use, we will have an attacking midfielder supporting the forwards. Coutinho would be the obvious pick, but it’s unclear if he might be lacking a bit of fitness after returning late from the Copa America this summer. It’s a similar situation with the exciting new signing Firmino, who I expect will be introduced from the bench. So in their absence, the role falls to Adam Lallana. Some supporters won’t be happy as they are yet to be convinced of Lallana’s quality after his underwhelming debut season, but it can’t be denied that the Englishman is far fitter than his Brazilian colleagues. He had a decent break and has been present for the entire preseason, and looked good as well. Rodgers will keep faith in him for the same reason he’s willing to play Lovren (though it’s a tad unfair to compare those two).

According to reports Benteke will start for the Reds on Sunday

According to reports Benteke will start for the Reds on Sunday

Up front, Benteke is guaranteed to start despite only joining up right at the end of preseason. He could be a bit rusty but in the continued absence of Daniel Sturridge (who started training again this week, coincidentally), it falls to him to lead the line. Ings has talent but he’s still young so unless we go with 2 up front, I think he’ll be on the bench. Origi has even rawer than Ings, so if he makes the squad at all then it will be the bench.

Jordon Ibe could also start if we go with a 4-3-3 as a right-sided forward, but if that’s not our formation it’s hard to see where he fits in right now. However, Rodgers supposedly expects big things from Ibe this year; word is, he never would have let Sterling go if he didn’t think Ibe could step up and take his place. So it would seem Ibe will be accommodated in some way.

I’m not going to guess the formation because to be honest, after last season I’m not really sure what Brendan thinks is our best formation this time. However, it seems likely it will be one of either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 now that Rodgers has effectively ditched the 4-4-2 diamond.

But whoever plays at the Britannia this Sunday, it looks like we’ll have plenty of options.

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Drummer, gamer and football fanatic. I love to write about Liverpool and spend most of my time thinking about the mighty Reds. That or Game of Thrones.


  • chidi.precious says:

    it will be cool if we use d 4-4-2 where we wil see ings nd beneke in d front dat wil be great

  • brandon says:

    I see Liverpool playing this at stoke
    Clyne Sakho skertal Gomez
    Hendo Milner
    Markovic Benteke ibe
    As both ibe and Markovic have pace and can put in decent crosses the Brazilians aren’t fit enough lallana mabye in place of Markovic. Lucas as stoke are very offensive and we need an experienced cdm to cover the back four.

  • Binni says:

    LFC starting line up versus Stoke:


    Clyne Skrtel Sakho Gomez

    Henderson Milner

    Ibe Coutinho Lallana


    • Avy says:

      Stoke are good going forward so I would take out lallana our coutinho and but lucas at cdm so
      Clyne Skrtel Sakho Gomez
      Hendo Milner
      Ibe Benteke Lallana/Coutinho

  • colin says:

    Rodgers pick this team bring the points home. Mignolet,clyne,Moreno,skrtel,lovren,Milner,Henderson,can,firmino,coutihno,benteke.it’s simple.

  • Ofonime says:

    If Brendan shows gross inability to choose a gud team dis season, I expect him to b shown d door before December.
    How in dis world is lovren better than Sakho?

    I go for:

    Clyne Skrtel. Sakho. Moreno


    Henderson Milner

    Ibe. Benteke Coutinho

  • colin says:

    Team ,mignolet,clyne,Moreno,skrtel,lovren,Milner,Henderson,can,firmino,coutihno,and benteke.that team will bring the points home.

  • grego says:

    My team,mignolet,clyne,Moreno,
    Be brave Brendan.

  • David says:

    My team would be

    Clyne. Skertl Sakho Moreno

    Henderson. Milner

    Firminho. Benteke. Coutinho

    Ps I would have bought begovic instead Mr. Calamity

    • peter says:

      David, let’s give what is in our reach, begovic is a chelsea player by now in anfield we have mignolet and bogdan only

  • Jeff suarez says:

    Lets go for

  • peter says:

    let’s be realistic,my team would be mignolet, clyne, sktel, sakho, Gomez, can, milner, hendo, ibe, coutinho/lalana, benteke

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