Back at the end of August last year when Daniel Sturridge featured in Liverpool’s defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad, no one would have thought that this would be his last appearance for the Reds in 2014. Going for the National team duty and coming back injured to Liverpool, Daniel Sturridge suffered an injury which kept on haunting the former Chelsea man till January this year.
However, with his timely return and Liverpool sitting within touching distance of a top 4 spot, here are 3 formations Liverpool can utilize to get the best out of the striker whom they missed the most in his 5 month absence: –
Even though this formation has failed to pay dividends at their fierce rivals Manchester United, Brendan Rodgers has the right men to acquire this formation
For a team that wins almost every match by outscoring its opponent, 3-5-2 can be tailor made for Liverpool. With a back 3 of Lovren, Skrtel and Sakho, and filling in Toure when the Ivorian returns from the African Cup of Nations, Brendan Rodgers can use Alberto Moreno and Xavi Manquillo in the wing back role to get the best out of them.
Even though this formation will gift them goals, Liverpool’s already porous defense can be outnumbered on a regular occasion under this formation and thus, looking at the form of their keeper along with that of Dejan Lovren, this formation can expose them against attacking teams like Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Looking at their form last season and looking at the analogy of SAS which became famous last term out, Liverpool can replicate that form more easily by playing a front three of Balotelli, Sturridge and Sterling. Even though Balotelli is currently on the sidelines, the return of Daniel Sturridge might provide him a breathing space in the Premier League
Looking at their current form which they have adopted after that 3-0 defeat at Manchester United, the current back 4 of Liverpool exudes confidence that has been missing from the Merseyside outfit for quite a while now.
And with Steven Gerrard entering the climax of his Liverpool career with Emre Can looking to take his position, the young German or maybe Lucas as well can play as a cover for the defense with the former English Captain adopting a similar role that he acquired against Sunderland.
Unlike last season where the front three was scoring goals for fun, it would be the choice of 3rd striker that might become a headache for the Liverpool manager now. While Mario Balotelli is out of form with both Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini suffering from the Post-Suarez syndrome, this might be a backward step for the Northern Irishman.
And with Philippe Coutinho playing really well under the current formation, change of formation might be a daunting factor for the Brazilian.
Even though Liverpool are currently playing with a 1 striker role, the return of Daniel Sturridge will automatically shift them to playing a 2 man strike force. Thus, this is the formation that Brendan Rodgers is most likely to adapt when Daniel Sturridge returns.
While it will be Daniel Sturridge that would be the focal point of any formation that Brendan Rodgers will adopt, Philippe Coutinho would be the man benefitting the most out of this formation. And looking at his current form in which he has been the main man for Liverpool in their attacking midfield role, an in-form Philippe Coutinho is a nightmare to deal with defenders any day.
One more thing this formation will automatically generate, is the competition for places that is healthy for any big team. By acquiring this midfield and employing Gerrard and Lucas in the midfield role, only 1 position in the Liverpool midfield will be for the taking i.e. the right winger.
And looking at the number of players that will be competing for this role, Liverpool can see the hunger in their ranks which has been missing since the departure of Luis Suarez.
Even though nothing is perfect in this world, this formation has the least of de-merits amongst the 3 formations that are mentioned here.
Photo by ShakeFrog