Strange XI. It seems it’ll be 4-2-3-1 with Johnson on the left, Wisdom on the right. Enrique (left) and Sterling (right) on the flanks witih Suso in the hole.
- the team wouldn’t be lopsided as Johnson (left) and Sterling (right) should be able to provide attacking verve on both flanks;
- the team will have proper diveristy (hence increased balance) through the middle with Suso capable to provide different thing to both Allen and Gerrard;
- the team is returning to it’s strongest back three (ie the keeper plus the two centre-backs);
- the team is lacking proper attacking presence both through the middle (by lacking proper midfield runner) and down the flanks – Wisdom and Enrique are not capable to contribute so much in attack. Wisdom is not an overlapper while Enrique is not a pure wide player, let alone a winger in a context when the team is expected to be on attack in the majority of the time.
- Suarez will lack any kind of a support.
At least Wigan’s XI is as predicted so they didn’t spring any surprises. Liverpool’s XI is overly defensive-minded - unnecessarly so – in a home game when it’s widely expected the onus to be on us to provide the breakthrough and in a game when we would really need to win. Hopefully the team would manage to register a sloppy 1-0 win a-la vs Reading, but I’m not impressed, not at all.
However, this XI could easily be lined-up in a 3-4-1-2 shape: Wisdom joining the centre-backs; Enrique and Johnson as wing-backs, Suso behind Sterling and Suarez.
The positives of this variant:
- we are going like-for-like with Wigan, so they don’t hany any tactical advantages over us, hence our sheer quality should be the telling factor;
- in this variant Suarez will have greater support with two players playing closer to him (Suso in behind and Sterling around him);
- we would have proper width on both flanks with Enrique and Johnson;
The negative of this variant:
- in a way being matched-up with the opposition means we don’t have any tactical advantages over them. This means the telling factor could be their increased cohesion and understanding of this system so this could nullify our advantage from the difference in the quality;
Given the XI I’d be more happy to see this variant rather the 4-2-3-1. Hopefully the extra time on the training will lead to increased cohesion and understanding of it that will eventually lead to the win.