Redknapp: Fourth would suit Rodgers

Jamie Redknapp believes even finishing fourth would be a great achievement for Liverpool this season despite their abundance of forward talent.

Last Updated: 17/01/14 at 22:11 Post Comment

Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez: Will both start against Aston Villa?

Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez: Will both start against Aston Villa?

For the first time in a number of years, Liverpool have been spoken about as genuine title contenders this season.

They have two of the Premier League's most prolific forwards in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, not to mention the support acts of Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, but Redknapp believes fitting in the in-form quartet could prove a problem for Brendan Rodgers.

He told Sky Sports: "It's an exciting time for Liverpool fans at the moment, not least because of the brand of football Brendan Rodgers' men are playing on the pitch.

"When everyone's fit, Liverpool have got more attacking options than they've had in an awfully long time and in Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling they have players that can win you matches.

"Against Stoke last Sunday the game was getting stretched and Liverpool's attacking style left them open at times but it's great to watch and I think that's what Liverpool fans want.

"For a few years under Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier that wasn't the case; during that time Liverpool wouldn't throw men forward like they do at the moment.

"The form of those forwards leaves Rodgers with a dilemma this weekend, though. Does he, at home against an Aston Villa side struggling for confidence (who Liverpool are 2/9 to beat), go with both Sturridge - who scored on his return from injury at the Britannia - and Suarez?

"That could mean benching Coutinho, who has done really well while Sturridge was out or replacing Jordan Henderson, who's been in great form, or maybe Lucas.

"Because Liverpool aren't involved in Europe they have got the luxury of playing Saturday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday. Although that gives players the chance to rest, recover and get ready for the next game, it also causes you a problem because you can't give everyone game time.

"It's a tough decision for Rodgers but essentially it's the sort of problem he wants to have."

Liverpool did top of the table last month but back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea in December saw the Reds fall off the pace.

They are now six points behind Arsenal but remain in a Champions League spot going into Saturday's game against Aston Villa.

Despite the confidence in the Anfield camp, Redknapp suspects Rodgers would take a fourth-placed finish if offered it now.

He added: "Liverpool have been getting good results despite Sturridge's absence and people are talking about them being in the race for the title.

"That's where they should be and what Liverpool fans want - but this is unchartered territory for a lot of their players.

"I wonder if Rodgers, deep down, would take fourth place and a Champions League spot now. My guess is he would.

"We all want to be successful in football and last week Samir Nasri said Liverpool are the best side City have played against this season.

"But, if you consider where Liverpool were at the start of this campaign, finishing in the top four, given the quality of the other teams going for a Champions League spot, would be a good achievement for them.

"There's Chelsea, who have spent an awful lot of money, Manchester City, who are incredibly strong and getting better and better, an Arsenal side in a great position, Tottenham, who look like a better side under Tim Sherwood, plus Everton and Manchester United, so a Champions League spot would be a real mark of how far Liverpool have progressed this year.

"Liverpool have got Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea to play at home, too, which gives them a chance of scoring some vital points over some of their fellow top four challengers.

"However, there's a long way to go and a lot of tough teams to overcome."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

shagwa
Wenger warns Hodgson

I

m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

GVMUFC
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

F

or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

rodger's gusset
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

Footer 365

Ligue 1: Lyon held by Bastia, Monaco grind out a point, Rennes climb

Lyon missed out on the opportunity to leapfrog Marseille in to second place in Ligue 1 as they were held 0-0 by Bastia.

Premier League: Arsene Wenger is frustrated by loss to Man United

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists his side should have got something from their 2-1 loss to Manchester United.

Premier League: Van Gaal stays grounded after first away win propels United into the top-four

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal played down his side’s first away win of the season at Arsenal.

Mail Box

A Funny Mail About Line Dancing & More

We have some great responses to young Jack's question about how readers first got into football. Plus, finally some intelligent thoughts on Dave Whelan's outburst...

United Fans Would Gladly Take Wilshere

That's the message to any Arsenal fans who don't appreciate the midfielder. Plus, plenty on everyone's current favourite football club chairman and a wee question about fandom...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property