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Liverpool: Potential XI without Suarez

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Liverpool began their new campaign with a win in their game against Stoke at Anfield on Saturday.

With owner John W Henry expecting Rodgers to lead the back into the Champions League places, where they haven’t featured since the 2008/09 season, a lot is expected of the Merseyside club.

The arrival of players such as Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, have brought further expectations for success from both the fans and also the owners.

And the new debutants will be expected to help Liverpool start strong and deliver a top four finish if possible.

GK – Simon Mignolet

With Pepe Reina gone out on loan to Italian side Napoli, Mignolet will play between the sticks for Liverpool this season.

The Belgian keeper certainly proved himself at Sunderland last season, facing a mighty 524 shots, only letting in 54 goals.

Mignolet will have to be a high performer this season if Liverpool are to push for the top four. Pepe Reina faced some torrid times last season and mistakes cost the Reds dearly. 100 per cent effort and focus will be needed throughout the full 90 minutes.

RB – Glen Johnson

Johnson was a regular for Liverpool last season with the right-back playing 42 times in all competitions. When fit, the defender can be rock-solid.

With Rodgers’ full backs expected to push forward in attacking moves, Johnson made four assists last season and created many opportunities. As long as he sticks with his defensive duties he will remain on the Liverpool team sheet.

CB – Daniel Agger

Agger currently looks set to stay at Liverpool, after snubbing a move to giants Barcelona.

Whilst injury-free, fans can expect good service from their number five.

With Jamie Carragher retired Agger is all set to be paired with Kolo Toure in the middle of defence, with the two will expected to make a rock solid defence and top last season’s stats where they let in 43 goals.

CB – Kolo Toure

32-year-old Toure is set to bring experience to the Liverpool line-up and was brought in for the retiring Jamie Carragher.

The Ivorian has impressed in pre-season and definitely proved his place in the starting eleven with a good display against Stoke.

A stable defence is key for the Reds and Toure should be a perfect pairing with fellow centre back Daniel Agger.

LB – Jose Enrique

Enrique started 25 games in the Premier League last season and played reasonably well. It is clear that Rodgers wants to sign cover for his full back, although Enrique is expected to hold down his place.

He offers speed and strength, with abilities to attack and defend when he is at his best. Although at times he can be poor and if a new left back comes in, he will have to be on top of his game to hold his place in the team.

That competition may have arrived in the shape of Aly Cissokho from Valencia.

CM – Lucas Leiva

With Lucas the only holding midfielder Rodgers does not have much of a choice of who to put on the teamsheet.

Last season Lucas was a bit off form and suffered from injury. But now he seems over it and a lot more consistency can be expected from the Brazilian. He seems to have a great ability and can easily hold down his place in the squad.

CM – Steven Gerrard

An obvious choice for manager Brendan Rodgers, Gerrard definitely proves his worth.

Last season Gerrard started 36 games in the Premier League, scoring nine goals and providing nine assists. At the age of 33 he clearly still possesses the legs of a Premier League giant.

Gerrard can sit in a more withdrawn role this season, since the attacking line has been bolstered this summer. Although the Liverpool talisman still has the ability to pick out a long ball and will be very effective this season.

CM – Jordan Henderson

Henderson has not proved himself as much as he can since joining the Reds from Sunderland, all we have seen so far is flourishes of what the young midfielder can do.

Last season he proved that he can score goals, yet can also defend at the same time. Sometimes though, he can be sloppy and give cheap balls away. Rodgers will hope that Henderson can prove himself and his place in the team.

RW – Iago Aspas

Liverpool’s Spanish recruit is expected to be a hit with fans. After scoring four goals in pre-season he certainly has proved his place in the team.

There are other choices to play in this position, although Aspas should grasp the opportunity and reward his manager with goals and attacking threat. He was impressive against Stoke before Rodgers replaced him with Raheem Sterling.

LW – Phillipe Coutinho

Coutinho has been a relevation since joining in January, with the ace scoring three goals and assisting with five goals last season.

More is expected from the Brazilian this season as he proves his ability and chance to play in shirt number 10.

The Liverpool attack is benefited by Coutinho’s play and more trickery, dribbling and goals are expected from the ace.

ST – Daniel Sturridge

With Luis Suarez suspended for the first six matches of the season Sturridge is expected to keep his place in the team, and he his chances no harm with the winning goal on Saturday. 

He scored an astonishing 11 goals in 16 games last season and his form will be expected to be replicated this season. Liverpool need goals if they are to push for a top four finish, and Sturridge will have to chip in. 

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