The injury to Daniel Sturridge has hurt Liverpool badly more than the defeat to Hull City. Sturridge along with Luis Suarez has been one of the key players for the Reds this season. He has scored nine goals already but more than that it is the disruption of SAS partnership that will cause a major headache for Brendan Rodgers.
He will have to shuffle his system now. The decision lies – whether to stick with 4-3-3, use 4-2-3-1 or deploy Iago Aspas alongside Suarez in 4-4-2/3-5-2 system. The options are plenty but Rodgers don’t have enough ground and time to experiment.
Liverpool have one clear advantage over their rivals this season. They don’t have any side distractions and therefore can play his best team week-in-week-out. The problem is, Liverpool do not a huge squad, rather depth in squad like other challengers and therefore any disruption in plan A leads to a knee jerk situation.
I personally feel Liverpool can still cope up without Sturridge. The problem lays elsewhere, especially the defence and Rodgers needs to solve it quickly. Post September, Liverpool have managed only 1 clean sheet in 7 games.
Is it due to too much tinkering of formation – from three-man defence to two-man defence – or change of central defensive partnership – something is wrong with Liverpool. Rodgers have tried Sakho, Agger and Toure beside Skrtel but he needs to continue with the best central partnership pairs only, take the case of Arsenal as example.
It is indeed a worrying sign as they have conceded 13 goals away from home this season, more than any other teams in top eight. Rodgers must find a way to fix the defence.