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3 Liverpool Players to Start and 3 to Rest against Bolton

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Liverpool host Bolton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, and we look at who should start the game and who should be given the afternoon off by Brendan Rodgers.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 17, 2015: Liverpool's Rickie Lambert celebrates scoring the second goal against Aston Villa with the travelling supporters during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds are in the middle of an important run of cup games, and Rodgers has to be extremely careful how he rotates his squad.

Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea in the League Cup semi-final saw the Northern Irishman select his strongest starting eleven, and he will likely want to do the same in the return leg next Tuesday.

It therefore makes total sense for him to make a few tweaks against Bolton, although history shows you cannot take any opponents for granted in the FA Cup.

If the Liverpool team is weakened too much, Neil Lennon’s team have the quality to spring a surprise. With that in mind, here are three players who should against The Trotters, and three who should be rested.



Football - Football League Cup - Semi-Final 1st Leg - Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC

Lallana has missed a fair chunk of action through injury, since limping off against Leicester City on New Year’s Day, but he made his return as a late substitute against Chelsea.

Saturday’s game represents the perfect opportunity for the 26-year-old to be given just his second start of 2015, as he looks to find full sharpness again. He would fit perfectly into one of the inside forward roles behind the striker in Rodgers’ thriving 3-4-2-1 formation.

The former Southampton man was showing signs of becoming a really important player prior to his injury, producing a superb display in the 4-1 over Swansea, and his return is great news for the club.


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Liverpool's Jordan Rossiter celebrates scoring the first goal against Middlesbrough on his debut during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rossiter had a dream start to his Liverpool career, scoring on his debut against Middlesbrough in the League Cup back in September. It remains the 17-year-old’s only appearance for the Reds this season though.

The midfielder should be given his chance against Bolton on Saturday, and there is no reason why he wouldn’t slot in nicely alongside Steven Gerrard or Lucas Leiva.

Youngsters have to be given a chance at some point, and there arguably won’t be a better opportunity for Rodgers to give Rossiter a start between now and the end of the season.


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 17, 2014: Liverpool's Javier Manquillo in action against Southampton during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having featured heavily earlier on in the campaign, Manquillo has become more and more of a fringe player. This is mostly down to the brilliant form of Lazar Markovic, rather than his own performances.

The young Spaniard is unlikely to be called upon for the game at Chelsea, so bringing him in against Lennon’s men and giving him some much-needed playing time makes total sense.

The on-loan star brings defensive quality more than anything, although his attacking game can be a little underrated by some. It would be a great opportunity for him to show Rodgers that he is worthy of a more regular place in the side.



LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 2, 2014: Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring the third goal against Leicester City during the Premier League match at Filbert Way. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Henderson has played more minutes than any other outfield player for the Reds so far this season (2,625), and although his fitness levels are bordering on astonishing at times, the vice-captain needs to recharge his batteries.

The 24-year-old will be a key man at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and Rodgers will need him at his optimum level in the middle of the park. There should be enough quality to get past the Championship outfit without him.


SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 10, 2015: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against Sunderland during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Brazilian has been in dazzling form of late, producing some virtuoso performances and running the show in some games.

One aspect of Coutinho’s game that is vastly underrated, however, is how much work he gets through off the ball. Because of this, he needs a day off.

The 22-year-old has racked up over 2,000 minutes of playing time this season, and with the crucial game with Chelsea on the horizon, playing him against Bolton would be a needless error by Rodgers.


SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 10, 2015: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic scores the first goal against Sunderland during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The improved form of Markovic has been one of the most pleasing aspects of Liverpool’s 2014/15 campaign to date. The 20-year-old has been brilliant in his wing-back role, whether it be on the left or right, and he has become a key player.

Saturday represents the perfect chance for him to be rested though, having been an ever-present since the draw with Sunderland at Anfield in early December.

The Serbia international should not be overplayed, and Rodgers should use him as wisely as he has used Sterling. The risk of burnout is undeniable, and resting him would be the sensible option.

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Who would you start and rest for the game against Bolton on Saturday? Let us know in the comments section.

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