The enormity of Liverpool’s next Premier League game against Arsenal cannot be underestimated, meaning Brendan Rodgers will do well to replicate the tactics which created arguably his side’s best display of a dismal season to date.
A loss to the Gunners would leave the Reds trailing their sixth-placed visitors by eight points, all-but ending the Reds’ fading hopes of claiming a top-four spot this season.
However, the hosts’ chances of pulling off a table-turning victory, at 9/5 with Ladbrokes, will receive a serious boon should Rodgers apply the lessons learned in the Bernabeu back in November.
On that occasion the Northern Irishman decided to freshen up his team selection by using many of those players starved of Premier League starts before the Real Madrid encounter.
In particular it was chance for new signings such as Lazar Markovic, Emre Can and Adam Lallana to show their manager what they were capable of.
All three responded by turning in highly-impressive performances and suddenly Liverpool looked to be playing without the kind of fear which has inhibited them for much of the season.
Although a lack of cutting edge in the final third ultimately ensured they lost 1-0, keeping the best attacking team in Europe to such a scorleline was no mean feat.
In defence, Kolo Toure was immense, while Alberto Moreno also turned in his finest showing in Red so far.
On that night Fabio Borini was the furthest forward, but after his two-goal display against Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup last time out, Raheem Sterling is sure to be leading the line.
Against the Cherries, Sterling, Markovic and Lallana’s pace and movement was similar to that which troubled the European champions for long periods on their own turf.
When the teamsheets come in for Sunday’s televised clash at Anfield, Can and Toure’s names should be added to those of the aforementioned trio, while Lucas’ ability to shield the defence means the Brazilian could also be vital.
As he was in defeat that day, Rodgers must be bold in his selections against the perennial fourth-spot stealers.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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