Before the start of the season, almost every Liverpool fan was expecting to see Mamadou Sakho's name regularly on the team-sheet.
But Brendan Rodgers has persisted in pairing Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren together, hoping that they miraculously form a formidable partnership. Despite three consecutive clean sheets to start the season, some cracks are starting to appear in both of their games.
It is highly likely that the Reds will ring the changes in the Europa League this year as they, again, attempt to navigate their way through Europe's secondary competition. That means that Thursday's encounter with Bordeaux in France provides the perfect opportunity for Sakho to remind Rodgers who the best centre-back at the club is.
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The Frenchman is yet to play for the Merseyside club this season, but it would be incredible if the recent performances of Lovren and Skrtel haven't made Rodgers think twice about his defensive selections.
But the relationship between the robust defender and his manager hasn't been too good since his £18 million move to the club from PSG two years ago.
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A year later though, the rocky relationship between player and manager began when Rodgers left Sakho out of the squad for the Merseyside derby, causing the defender to leave the stadium instead of staying to support his team.
Last season, Sakho played an important role when Liverpool reverted to a wing-back formation. He slotted in on the left of the three and looked composed with his excellent passing ability.
There was much talk of Rodgers returning to a four-man defence for this campaign and many Liverpool fans felt it was a case of Sakho and one other. He was considered as the strongest centre-back at the club and must have been a very disappointed to see both Lovren and Skrtel start ahead of him.
Sakho wasn't even named on the bench for the opening two matches against Stoke and Bournemouth, although many reports suggesting that may have been due to the birth of his child.
After two clean sheets in those matches, it was maybe understandable why Sakho didn't start Liverpool's third Premier League match against Arsenal after being declared available again. Another shut-out at the Emirates confirmed Lovren's and Skrtel's places for the following match at home to West Ham.
This is where it all started going wrong for the pair, with Lovren especially having an absolute shocker in the 3-0 loss. In spite of the Croatian's nightmare show, he kept his place against Manchester United only for both he and Skrtel to be run ragged by an average Red Devils side.
So, surely it's time for Sakho. A positive performance on Thursday has to see him keep his place for the home match against Norwich on Sunday.
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