Liverpool’s uncertainty in defence has undoubtedly been an issue Brendan Rodgers has been unable to solve throughout his three years at Anfield.
The Reds have conceded a total of 192 goals since Rodgers took over at Anfield leaving Liverpool supporters increasingly frustrated at their side’s defensive displays.
Several horrid results towards the end of last season and two consecutive three-goal defeats in the Premier League this season has caused an uproar at Anfield. Leaving Brendan Rodgers with the task of solving his squads defensive issues quickly, especially if they are to challenge for top four this season.
This season has seen Brendan Rodgers continually persist with the central defensive pairing of Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel this season.
Unfortunately, for the Liverpool boss his persistence has not paid off as both Skrtel and Lovren were poor in Liverpool’s previous two defeats.
His central defensive duo’s form forced Rodgers to experiment with his defensive line in the Reds first Europa League clash yesterday.
Liverpool started their Europa League campaign away to Bordeaux with the defensive line of Gomez, Toure, Sakho and Moreno. Changes which were welcomed by many Liverpool fans.
An early injury to Kolo Toure saw the defender subbed off resulting in the defensive four turning into a back three of Emre Can, Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho.
This tactical changed allowed for Alberto Moreno to take a wingback role on the left and Ibe to do the same on the right. Aiding Liverpool’s attacking efforts in every opportunity.
Despite a late equaliser in the match, the defensive three of Liverpool held strong against the classy French outfit throughout the match. Which gives The Liverpool manager an important selection decision ahead of the Reds Premier League match against Norwich.
It would be criminal if Rodgers were to restore the combination of Lovren and Skrtel once again.
After his performance in the Bordeaux match, many supporters have called for Mamadou Sakho to return to the starting lineup once again.
The Frenchman received plenty of praise from his teammates and supporters after the Bordeaux match, giving him a very likely chance of starting at Anfield this weekend.
The decision to start the Frenchman, however, will be left with Brendan Rodgers. There have undoubtedly been issues between Sakho and Brendan Rodgers in the past, but, the Liverpool boss may not be able to overlook the defender any longer.
If Mamadou Sakho is restored to the Reds starting lineup, it may be the catalyst needed for Brendan Rodgers to gain defensive stability.
The next decision will be for Rodgers will be who to select alongside the Frenchman.
The decision should be either to move Joe Gomez centrally to pair the youngster with Sakho or to pair the Frenchman with Martin Skrtel like last season.
Liverpool supporters have had their patience tested with Rodgers persistence with Dejan Lovren. The £20 million signing from Southampton has been well below par since moving to Anfield, leaving supporters frustrated with his continuous selection.
Rodgers will need to take notice of the individual performances of each side he selects in Cup and European football this season. As these changes could be the reinforcement needed to strengthen the team each week.
The preferred defensive setup this weekend against Norwich would surely be the back four of Clyne, Sakho, Skrtel/Gomez and Moreno/Gomez.
By not selection Sakho, Brendan Rodgers could find himself on the receiving end of backlash from the Liverpool community.