Lucas the fall guy in reintegration of forgotten man Suarez
With just two more Premier League games to go before Luis Suarez is eligible to play for Liverpool again, after serving a 10-match ban for biting, manager Brendan Rodgers has been left with some real selection dilemmas.
Daniel Sturridge may be missing from England’s squad for their first qualifier, but Liverpool’s strike ace has not only attracted frenzied interest in the Premier League top scorer market, where he’s 10/1 with Ladbrokes, but his early-season performances make him nigh on impossible to drop.
Perhaps his current injury problems will curtail his involvement further and make team-selection a little easier for Rodgers, but if ‘Studger’ is fully fit, can Rodgers afford to shift him from the centre just to accommodate Suarez?
The short answer is no. Despite the Uruguayan’s phenomenal goal-scoring efforts last season, where he could easily have topped the charts himself were it not for his ridiculous antics, Sturridge has got to stay put.
Since joining Liverpool Sturridge has unmistakably proven that he is best off playing down the middle, as five goals from just four appearances in his favoured position this season tells us.
Meanwhile, Suarez’ own propensity for a dribble makes him more versatile to cut in from either side of a three-pronged attack and that’s where he should slot in.
However, this will also have a domino effect, especially now Chelsea forward Victor Moses has joined on loan.
The obvious candidate to drop from the current starters up front is new boy Iago Aspas, who has been operating on the right of the front three.
Rodgers has hinted that he intends to play Moses, which would mean golden boy Philippe Coutinho moving infield to pull the strings from a more central position.
One of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson or Lucas then has to make way. And as this writer has already outlined the case for keeping Henderson in the team, then that has to be the unfortunate Lucas.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10