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Liverpool predicted line-up v Hull City

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Liverpool look to keep pressure on Manchester United for fourth-place in the Premier League when they meet Hull City at the KC Stadium this Tuesday.

The Reds have hit a sour vein of form, winning just one of their last five games against a very poor Newcastle United. Last Saturday, Brendan Rodgers' men were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw away at West Bromwich Albion in what was a distinctly lacklustre performance in the final third of the pitch.

The final Champions League spot looks near-impossible for Liverpool this season, however, a win against Hull would see them move just four points behind Manchester United with four games to play.

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Nonetheless, the Merseyside club face a difficult task against Steve Bruce's men. The Tigers are fighting for survival and will be full of confidence following their 2-0 victory away at Crystal Palace last weekend. 

Who Will Start Upfront?

Unfortunately, it looks as if Daniel Sturridge will not making another appearance for Liverpool this season. 

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The 25-year-old's campaign has been riddled with thigh and hip injuries and, despite spending a significant amount of time in America working with MLS side Boston Red Sox's medical staff to terminate his ongoing detriments, he has got no better and the Reds will carefully plan a summer training plan for him.

The question now, is who will replace Sturridge and lead the Liverpool front-line?

Mario Balotelli's Anfield career has typically summarised his professional services as a footballer. Under-par performances and a lack of goals has been the Italian's narrative at the Reds and it seems Rodgers will be keen to get rid of him in the summer transfer window.

Against West Brom, he made his first start since February and performed exactly how many predicted prior to kick-off. The ex-Inter Milan man's effort mirrored most of his performances this term - he lacked motivation, movement and had one glimpse of magic when his first-half shot just sailed over the bar.

Hull will be resilient and it will be important for the Reds to keep the ball in Yorkshire.

Therefore, Rickie Lambert will making a surprise start. 

Lambert's Anfield career has never got going since his £4 million move from Southampton last summer and he has the sympathy of many-a Kopite. It seems that he will be set to leave come July and will attract a host of Premier League club's.

Nonetheless, he still can do a job for his boyhood club he returned to 17 years later after being released as a schoolboy. Lambert, this time last year, was an England international and was a regular scorer at Southampton. He has an excellent touch, can hold the ball up and also is very aware on the ball. The 32-year-old will look to hold the ball up for his side as Liverpool look to frustrate Hull.

Lallana Back In

Much like his former Southampton team-mate, Adam Lallana's Anfield career has not hit the ground running like he expected.

When it was announced he was signing for the Reds for £25 million, it produced mixed feelings from Kopites. Yes, the boyhood Everton fan has plenty of talent and proven in the Premier League, however, many questioned the hefty price-tag paid for his services and compared it to Cesc Fabregas who signed for Chelsea for just £5 million more.

Lallana will be the first to admit he hasn't fulfilled the fee purchased for him. There have been moments of sorcery throughout the campaign, however, a mixture of injuries and not becoming settled at Anfield both haven't helped.

He returned at the Hawthorns last Saturday and, although he failed to mastermind a breakthrough for his side, the England international's performance was encouraging and should improve.

Philippe Coutinho has been in top-class form this season and rightly was awarded a place in the PFA Team of the Year. He was the only man to really test Boaz Myhill against Tony Pullis' outfit last weekend and will look to menace the Hull back-four. 

Raheem Sterling's recent efforts haven't been his usual self and it appears as if he could be suffering from playing too much in recent weeks so will likely drop to the bench.

Ibe's Importance

Jordan Ibe has been extremely valuable to Rodgers' side since returning from his loan spell at Derby County.

The 19-year-old was the subject of high praise from his manager earlier this week and is key to Liverpool's system.

Ibe has fit into right wing-back like a duck to water and has become a key player in the system. His pace and aggression allows him to run at defenders from a deep position, gathering momentum and causing back-fours plenty of problems.

He almost grabbed his first Liverpool goal against West Brom when his shot crashed against the crossbar, however, one suspects he will soon be celebrating his first goal before the season is complete.

Alberto Moreno missed the game in the Midlands and is set to not travel to Yorkshire. Glen Johnson lined up in his place and didn't fare too badly on the left-hand side and should keep his place.

Gerrard Deep

Steven Gerrard's Anfield career is soon coming to a close before he leaves the club for Los Angeles Galaxy.

The 34-year-old's final season at his boyhood club hasn't been quite what he expected. Gerrard's campaign has been riddled with injury, suspension, being left out of the team and being played in numerous positions.

As a testament of his gratitude to the club, Gerrard would love to help Liverpool qualify for the Champions League one last time. He will likely play in a deeper role in the centre of the park at  the KC whilst Jordan Henderson - who takes the captain's armband off Gerrard next season - will play a more advanced role.

Lovren To Impress

Much like his former St. Mary's team-mates, Dejan Lovren's Liverpool career hasn't been the most straightforward. He was disastrous in the early stages of the season and left out of Rodgers' plans for a long time.

Injury to Mamadou Sakho prompted the Croatia international to be recalled by Rodgers and Lovren hasn't done too badly in recent weeks. In fact, he was Liverpool's man of the match against the Baggies winning a high percentage of headers and tackles and will look to continue that form.

Martin Skrtel and Emre Can have been regulars in Rodgers' back-four this season and should line-up once again ahead of Simon Mignolet, who looks ever closer to sealing the Golden Gloves award.

Predicted Line-Up

Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Lovren; Ibe, Gerrard, Henderson, Johnson; Coutinho, Lallana; Lambert.

Post your score predictions in the comments below!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
Hull City

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