After Liverpool’s positive start to the season Luis Suarez’s return to contention for a starting berth will have the club’s phalanx of attacking midfielders eyeing each other nervously, making calculations and Brendan Rodgers scratching his head.
Here’s how Liverpool will reassimilate the Uruguayan – 16/1 to be Premier League top goalscorer – just in case the positional arithmetic is too taxing.
Maintain the same formation
The Reds have lined up in the same 4-2-3-1 configuration for each of their Premier League matches this season and Brendan Rodgers was minded to send out his side in the same fashion last term when Suarez was available to him.
Drop Iago Aspas
He may have a lovably cheeky face and Brendan Rodgers’ faith in the £7.7m summer arrival means there will be more chances once he proves that he’s adapted more completely to the English game, but for now the Spaniard is vulnerable.
With Jordan Henderson on a 13-game run of starts Aspas will be sure to drop to the bench when Philippe Coutinho returns from injury and given the Brazilian has often been employed on the left of an attacking three, the central role occupied by the former Celta Vigo man is the free position.
Play Suarez behind Daniel Sturridge
The former Man City and Chelsea forward has been milking his role as line leader like a soloing pub band lead guitarist in the Uruguayan’s absence, notching 11 times in 10 starts so it would be hard to justify dropping him when both men are fully fit.
Rodgers employed both men simultaneously to good effect last season in games such as the 5-0 hammering of Swansea, the 3-2 Anfield victory over Tottenham and the 2-2 draw at the Etihad.
On all three occasions Suarez took the deeper role to good effect and playing him there will allow his side to get the best out of Sturridge too.
The Englishman’s goals have been a varied bunch this term, but his header against Manchester United and the wily way in which he anticipated an errant Jonjo Shelvey backpass against Swansea vouch for the fact he may have superior finisher’s instincts to his more celebrated teammate.