Brendan Rodgers makes two changes to the Liverpool side that dismantled Premier League strugglers Fulham 4-0 going into the international break and the lack of a place for Daniel Sturridge will be one of the major talking points.
The first Merseyside Derby of the season warrants more than a little bit of thought and the Reds boss has brought Joe Allen back into the side to join Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Lucas in the midfield. Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel retain thier places in the heart of the Liverpool defence in front of Belgian ‘keeper Simon Mignolet, but it’ll be the surprise inclusion of Jon Flanagan that people will be talking about.
Glen Johnson occupies the other flank of course, but with Jose Enrique facing surgery to correct a long standing knee problem, the local youngster has been handed his derby debut over the more experienced Aly Cissokho. The trip to Goodison comes too soon for Daniel Sturridge who has been nursing a dead leg for quite some time and can only make the bench. There’s little surprise though that both Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez are raring to go and will be Liverpool’s main offensive outlet.
On the bench, Brendan Rodgers has goalkeeper Brad Jones, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, Victor Moses, Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho, and youngster Raheem Sterling.
On the flip side, Roberto Martinez has named a pretty standard side with Tim Howard making his 17th start consecutive Merseyside Derby start in the Blues net and Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka, and Séamus Coleman in defense. Almost Reds Gareth Barry and James McCarthy join Steven Pienaar and Ross Barkley in the Blues midfield while Kevin Mirallas and on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku start up front.
On the bench, there’s Joel Robles, John Heitinga, Nikica Jelavic, Gerard Deulofeu, Steven Naismith, Leon Osman and John Stones.
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