How will the Reds March in Under Rodgers?

With the new season just now a matter of weeks away, it remains to be seen exactly what formation Liverpool will look to deploy in Brendan Rodgers’ fourth year at the club.

The Reds have made six signings so far this summer, providing the team with much needed experience as well as flair and ability, but how will the ‘Kop’ boss look to set up his team this season?

How will the Reds March in Under Rodgers?

Rodgers almost stumbled upon a 3-4-3 formation last season, with a back three of Emre Can, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho providing a steel to the side which saw Liverpool go on a 13 match unbeaten run.

This system could be used again; Brendan has the personnel to fit it, but with the majority of fans agreeing that they would like to see Emre Can in a midfield role next season, who takes up his place at the back?

Does Rodgers want to place his trust in Dejan Lovren, who had a poor first season at the club, despite an improvement towards the end of the campaign? Andre Wisdom and Tiago Illori may well be given more of a chance to show their worth this season, whereas it may be too early for Joe Gomez to cement a regular place in the side, despite his pre-season form. Kolo Toure would be expected to be a contingency only, with his invaluable experience.

Another problem this system throws up is the front 3. If like last season Rodgers’ chooses a single striker, then who fills that role? Liverpool have already signed Danny Ings and are widely known to be chasing another striker, with Christian Benteke all but completed.

Daniel Sturridge almost seems to be the forgotten man due to his unfortunate injury record, but if the former Chelsea forward is fully fit and firing, it would be hard to argue against his place in the team. Fabio Borini, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert are all expected to leave this summer, whilst Belgian international Divock Origi may be more suited to a wide position.

A slight tweak could be made to the 3-4-3, with one attacking midfielder behind two strikers rather than the two behind the one, which would allow a pair of strikers to form a partnership; Sturridge and Benteke perhaps?

However this then starves the amount of attacking midfielders in the side – at least one of Phillipe Coutinho, new boy Roberto Firmino and £25 million man Adam Lallana would miss out. Lazar Markovic and Jordon Ibe would also be likely to miss out, unless they were deployed as full backs again, which reduces their impact on the side.

Could this season see Rodgers revert back to the diamond formation then? The formation worked so well in the 2013/2014 season as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge formed a deadly partnership, scoring 42 goals between them in the Premier League alone, combining well with Raheem Sterling playing the Number 10 role.

That being said, Luis Suarez was an incredible player for Liverpool, and as last summer proved – it was impossible to replace the Uruguayan. But as touched on earlier, a partnership between two strikers can be formed in the diamond formation, something which Liverpool desperately need after a poultry 52 league goals scored last season.

Rodgers used this system in the Reds first pre-season game, with Markovic behind Danny Ings and Rickie Lambert, but it would be far too early to read into friendly selections and systems, after all tinkering with formations is the point of these games, along with gaining fitness.

Emre Can could find himself at the base of the diamond with an engine room of James Milner and Jordan Henderson which would surely be unrivaled in the league. It could also help Alberto Moreno at left back to keep his position rather than being too far up the pitch, whereas Nathaniel Clyne should be a solid upgrade on Glen Johnson.

However, once again the formation throws up problems. The lack of attacking midfielders and wingers comes to mind, and questions would have to be asked about where Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva would fit in. Martin Skrtel also looks more vulnerable in a back two, in comparison to a back three where he looked far more comfortable with Can and Sakho helping him out.

So perhaps the Liverpool manager may look at systems such as 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 to get the most out of the midfield options he has at his disposal, but the excitement around the new look squad and the anticipation is something for Reds to look forward to. One thing that can be guaranteed as usual is that Liverpool are in for an interesting season.
Thoughts Liverpool fans?