Liverpool predicted starting XI v Ludogorets

Published Add your comment

Football News

Liverpool meet Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League on Wednesday night, a must win game for both side's if they are to have any hope of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the competition.

Both teams sit on three points in Group B - three behind FC Basel in second place - however, they face a difficult task against table leaders, Real Madrid, and a win for either side in Sofia and a loss for the Swiss champions would see the two level on points.

The Reds travel to the Bulgarian capital on the back of four straight defeats. Losses to Newcastle United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and most recently Crystal Palace has given the Merseyside club their worse losing streak since 2011.

The home side, however, sit second in the Bulgarian first division and have won their last four fixtures.

Defeat for Liverpool would all but knock them out of the competition they've won five times, bringing more misery for Brendan Rodgers' men and bring further pressure to the Northern Irishman's already under-pressure job.

Goalkeeper - Simon Mignolet

The Belgian was once again at fault on Saturday against Palace, when his dreadful clearance from a free-kick went in to touch and lead to the South London's second goal.

That sort of behaviour will not please his manager, especially after he's already made a number of high-error mistakes this season.

Mignolet is a superb shot-stopper, one of the best in the game, but he is not up to scratch when commanding his box, and looks tentative when collecting a cross. Neil Warnock's side recognised this on Sunday afternoon and closely targeted the former Sunderland man from set-pieces.

He will need to be in a faultless performance if Liverpool are to come away from the game with three points, and if he is at error, it could see the 26-year-old's role as number one goalkeeper replaced by a new recruit in January.

Right-back - Glen Johnson

With three points an absolute must for the Reds, it is likely that the England international will play from the first whistle.

Despite having a poor season so far, Johnson still possesses excellent attacking ability. He is blessed with pace and has ability to cause defenders trouble when going forward and that's exactly the approach Liverpool need on Wednesday night.

Centre-back - Martin Skrtel

The Slovakian has had an inconsistent season thus far, and will have to be at his best if Liverpool are to arrive back at John Lennon airport with three points

He needlessly fouled Dwight Gayle for a free-kick on Sunday which wrapped the three points up for Palace, something that he is far too keen on doing.

However, Skrtel played well against Real Madrid last time out in the competition and must use his European Cup experience to aid his side to victory.

Centre-back - Kolo Toure

Enough has to be enough with Dejan Lovren starting in the heart of the defence.

Since his £20 million to Anfield, he's yet to impress and again in South London at the weekend he put in another dismal display.

Toure has made just four appearances for the Merseyside club all season, with his latest and by far most impressive coming in the Spanish capital. 

The Ivorian used his Champions League experience to perfection against Cristiano Ronaldo an co. reading the play well and putting in a number of tackles and blocks.

He clearly had a good relationship with Skrtel in the centre-of-defence and they could form a solid partnership if given a run of games playing together.

Left-back - Alberto Moreno

It was unusual that he lost his place on Sunday, but should be back in the Liverpool side for the game in Sofia.

Moreno has admitted he must improve his defensive duties, being on the end of two similar mistakes against Manchester City and Newcastle United that lead to goals, however, the Reds have to attack in this game.

The Spaniard is powerful going forward, bombing down the left-wing keeping width for his side, and is difficult to dispossess when on the ball. He'll look to ask questions of the Ludogorets defence, as well as linking with his team-mates to get crosses whipped in.

Defensive-midfield - Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool captain was non-existent against Palace - he didn't do much to help his side out defensively and his contribution going forward was poor.

Yet, these are the type of games Gerrard thrives in and could well inspire his side to victory.

He's scored so many important goals in big games for his boyhood club; from Olympiakos in 2004 to his header against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final, the 34-year-old always performances when he is needed.

Liverpool are a side who badly need a leader, and will look to their skipper to get the out of trouble if in need.

Centre-midfield - Emre Can

It came as a surprise that the German did not start on Sunday, given his last two performances.

Can was superb in Liverpool's two previous games against Real Madrid and Chelsea and despite only being 20-years-old, he proved he can mix with the best.

It disappointed many fans when it was announced he was not playing on Sunday, as he is quickly become a favourite amongst Kopites. The former Bayern Munich man is blessed with every attribute you would want in a midfielders; pace, power, good in the tackle, shooting ability.

Liverpool need a midfielder who can boss the centre of the park, and he is just the man to do so.

Centre-midfield - Jordan Henderson

The Liverpool vice-captain missed the clash against Palace through injury, however, is expected to come back for this clash.

Henderson has been out of form so far this season, but his constant energy in the centre-of-midfield will be a huge assist for the Reds, especially playing away from home in Europe.

He too has improved going forwards, with his passing noticeable becoming much better, having two assists to his name this campaign.

Left-wing - Adam Lallana

Since his £25 million summer transfer, the England international has not been given as many opportunities as he expected at Anfield.

He set up Liverpool's only going during their 3-1 defeat to Palace, expertly finding Rickie Lambert to give the Reds the lead within two minutes of play.

Lallana showed his class throughout the game, completing 100% of his passes in the first-half and putting in a lively shift.

A run of games is exactly what the former Southampton man needs to find top form, and he has the ability to once again create goals for his team.

Right-wing - Raheem Sterling

Sterling was quite on Sunday, however he is allowed an off-day.

Too often this season, Liverpool have relied on the youngster to get them out of trouble, being a bright spark in a side that has struggled for form.

The England international's role was hard to spot against Palace, floating around and not having much purpose to his game.

It's likely he will play further wide on Wednesday, causing problems with his pace for the Ludogorets full-backs and will switch side's constantly with Lallana to cause confusion.

Striker - Rickie Lambert

The boyhood Liverpool fan finally got his first goal for the club against Palace.

It was a smart finish from Lambert, superbly losing his marker and controlled Lallana's pass with perfection before slotting his finish home.

With Balotelli out injured once again, it's difficult to see why the former Southampton man won't lead the front-line for the Reds.

He putting in a decent shift on Sunday, missing several other chances that should have really been converted, however, he is lacking a bit of match practise and with more games under his belt, they will go in down the line.

Liverpool predicted starting XI v Ludogorets

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

UEFA Champions League
Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again