Fabio Aurelio returns from injury to Liverpool’s starting line-up to solve the left-back problem, whilst new £35million striker Andy Carroll is on the bench for this afternoon’s Premier League clash at home to Manchester United.
With Martin Kelly out injured, Glen Johnson returns to his favoured right-back position, with Aurelio taking over at left-back once again. Daniel Agger didn’t recover from his leg injury in time, so Jamie Carragher partners Martin Skrtel in central defence.
Maxi Rodriguez also returns to Liverpool’s midfield after missing last Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham, whilst Luis Suarez starts again up front with Dirk Kuyt for the Reds.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Kuyt, Suarez. Subs: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Poulsen, Spearing, Cole, Ngog, Carroll.
Kick-off is at 1.30pm and it’s live on Sky Sports in the UK.
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And to give This is Anfield readers a head start, Picklive are once again offering some sage advice to beginners and seasoned pros a like:
Top Liverpool Pick
Released from the shackles placed on him by Hodgson, Johnson has looked like a different player over the last month. He is clearly relishing his more advanced role under Dalglish and it has shown in his returns on Picklive. The England international was the Reds’ highest scoring player in defeat at West Ham last week, making 43 passes and 23 interceptions in the process.
Top United Pick
Despite it being the 20th anniversary of his debut appearance on Tuesday night, Giggs had to be content with a substitute appearance – making me think that he is in line for a start this afternoon. Should that prove to be the case – and partisan allegiances are overcome – then he is an essential pick. An old head on even older shoulders, his game is free form the stupid errors than can be so costly on Picklive.
One to Avoid
Having experimented in the ineffectual Javier Hernandez against Chelsea on Tuesday, Ferguson will most likely return to the tried and tested Bulgarian. Berbatov – magnificent at Old Trafford against daunted opposition – struggles in a more intense and competitive match environment. Those problems don’t lend themselves to an Anfield showdown with a Liverpool side transformed from the one that he banged three past in September.