Welcome to this special edition for Chinese New Year 2011. Liverpool got a massive boost last night when they won 2-0 against Stoke, making it their 3rd victory and 3rd clean sheet in a row. This is a marvelous achievement ahead of this weekend’s clash with Chelsea. Suarez made his debut just after an hour of the game and promptly scored Liverpool’s second goal. Every thing else aside, this is a result which sees Liverpool currently sitting on 7th.
Liverpool fielded a very different team with 6 defenders playing this game. They were playing a 3-4-2-1 formation which saw Agger, Skrtel and Kyrgiakos holding the back line. Kelly and Johnson were the wing backs while Aurelio and Lucas held down the midfield. Gerard and Meireles meanwhile supported the lone Dutchman, Kuyt, who found himself playing as a striker for a change.
I just would like to note that this isn’t the most usual formation that teams employ but with Liverpool’s available players, this might be a formation that is worth considering. Case in point:
- Liverpool does not have great out-and-out wingers
- Liverpool does not have too many fit strikers (Carroll is still out)
- Liverpool has 2 great midfielders in Meireles and Gerard
However, Liverpool still needs a left wing back/left defender. While Johnson is playing in said role at the moment, it is not his general position and I think that Liverpool can be better served with a true left wing back or left defender.
Liverpool got their two goals from Meireles and Suarez. Meireles seems to have found his scoring touch with Liverpool and that can only be a good thing especially with Gerard getting on in age. Suarez scored a debut goal and will be a valuable asset to Liverpool as they try to fight for a Europa League place this season and perhaps a Champions League place next season. Once Carroll is back from his injury, Liverpool will need to figure out the best formation to play.
A traditional 4-4-2 seems possible with Kelly and Johnson patrolling the right and left back positions, Agger and Carragher as first choice center back pairing when fit, Kuyt and Rodriguez down the wings, Gerard and Meireles down the center and Carroll and Suarez up front. If a bit more defensive cover for the back four is needed, then Liverpool can go to a sort of diamond formation which sees Lucas coming in for either Gerard or Meireles. This is what I think Liverpool can do but it is all up to Dalglish to determine the best way to get the most out of his players and get results.
As he has shown in this occasion, he is not afraid to experiment and break out of the ordinary to achieve results. Well done Dalglish and well done Liverpool. Let us hope that he can produce another tactical victory and get some points at Stamford Bridge next!