Liverpool FC Manager Brenden Rodger's Challenge - XI for Bolton Match?
Jan 20 - Liverpool drew against Chelsea 1-1 in League Cup game
Jan 24 - Liverpool will play Bolton in an FA Cup game
Jan 27 - Liverpool will play Chelsea in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final
Jan 31 - Liverpool will play West Ham in a Premier League game.
Five games in 15 days!
Manager Brendan Rodgers has to decide his starting XI and substitutes for each match. Much like a baseball manger, he will occasionally rest older players or players he thinks need a break. For instance, Sterling, a younger player but plays a position that requires a lot of running, was rested in the two matches prior to Aston Villa. Gerrard, an older player, was not in the Aston Villa contest recovering from an injury and was substituted out in the middle of the second half of the game against Chelsea.
What line-up card will Rodgers fill out for the FA Cup match this Saturday knowing they have a huge battle with Chelsea on Tuesday?
Will Gerrard be a substitute this Saturday coming in during the second half? Or perhaps he will start but be substituted out in the second half?
If Liverpool can get a two-goal lead against Bolton, would Rodgers sub in one of the other strikers (Borini, Lambert or Lallana) and give Sterling a break?
UPDATE: Over at the LFC site, reporting on Rodgers' press conference, he hinted that he will bring in some of the younger players for the FA Cup match this Saturday. Excerpt:
Due to Liverpool's congested fixture schedule, Rodgers explained he will give thought to rotating his line-up slightly, with some of the club's youngsters likely to get an opportunity. "We'll make some changes, but it's a game we want to win and we want to progress into the next round," said the boss. "I'll do what I've done right the way through the season and look at our squad. We've got some very good players and we'll look to make changes, but not too many."UPDATE: Liverpool Echo gets its writers to speculate on the starting XI.
The line-up for the game against Chelsea is probably Rodgers' current favorite:
Defense: Sakho, Can, Skrtel
Midfield: Gerrard, Henderson, Moreno, Lucas
Forward: Coutinho, Sterling, Markovic
Have marked in bold the ones likely to get a break on Saturday. Probably want to have Lallana up front to see what he has got coming back from injury and give Coutinho a rest. Plug in Manquillo for Gerrard and Johnson for Skrtel.
Hopefully, the team can get a good lead in the first half allowing them to sub in some people in the second half to test a younger player (Rossiter), guys back from injury (Allen, Balotelli), and give some of the strikers some more work (Lambert, Borini). But of course, you never know what will happen as Cambridge held Man United 0-0!
My pick for the XI:
Defense: Sakho, Can, Johnson
Midfield: Manquillo, Henderson, Moreno, Lucas
Forward: Lallana, Sterling, Markovic
If things go well, look for subs Lambert for Sterling, Rossiter for Lucas, Balotelli for Markovic.