Liverpool will be vying to recover from their rocky to start to the season when they take on newly-promoted QPR this Sunday, having failed to hit the lofty heights of last term.
Brendan Rodgers’ side sit in ninth place on ten points from their opening seven games, whereas the opposition are rooted to the foot of the table, having only won one game.
Starting at the back it goes without saying that Simon Mignolet will retain his place between the sticks, as there’s no viable alternative so to speak. A deal for Victor Valdes may yet to come to fruition in the January transfer window but for now Mignolet remains the only recognisable ‘keeper on the books, and so his presence is assured.
The defensive zone
New signing Alberto Moreno should start at left-back, following the confirmation that he wasn’t left out of Spain’s U21 squad for the recent fixture against Serbia due to injury, whilst the centre-back pairing of Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel will start so long as the former is fully fit. It’s said he’s carrying an abdominal injury so don’t be surprised to see Mamadou Sakho ushered in instead.
The right-back berth is likely to be filled by the on-loan Javier Manquillo, who has started both of Liverpool’s last two Premier League fixtures, whilst the protective blanket of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in front of the back four won’t see any changes unless Rodgers is feeling particularly unpredictable.
Higher up the pitch Reds fans can expect an attacking midfield trio of Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Raheem Sterling, though the latter is at the centre of a storm of controversy following questions marks over his fitness during the international break.
If he is rested, which he may well be, then Philippe Coutinho could come in, having impressed for Brazil against Japan in a recent friendly.
When it comes to filling the striking slot Rodgers has three options. Mario Balotelli has lead the line in recent matches due to the injury sustained by Daniel Sturridge, but the England international is now rumoured to be fit and ready to go; whether or not he’ll start remains to be seen.
Rickie Lambert provides another, more physical, alternative, but it’s unlikely he’ll be trusted to lead the line on his own, and one of the other two will probably be preferred.
Predicted line-up: Mignolet; Moreno, Skrtel, Lovren, Manquillo; Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Markovic; Sturridge
Score prediction: 2-0 Liverpool
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