With another disappointing defeat for Liverpool, came a change of tactics. An innovation perhaps, observed in the opponents ranks, compelled Brendan Rodgers to change his tactics. A change to a back 3, featured first against Newcastle, yielded a 1 – 0 defeat for Liverpool. The blame put on their hapless attack, spearheaded by Mario Balotelli, signed as Liverpool missed out on Alexis Sanchez. He moved on to a new idea, shifting Sterling to the head of Liverpool’s attack. Providing them pace and the ability to hunt for the ball, they beat Leicester and Stoke City.
They meet Manchester United this Sunday, who last time ran out 3 – 0 winners at Old Trafford. But, since then Liverpool haven’t lost a single match since then, raking up six consecutive clean sheets in the process. Inclusion of Emre Can in the defence has provided much defensive stability. The development of Jordan Henderson, whose emergence as a midfield leader is making the imminent departure of Steven Gerrard that much more easy to absorb for everyone associated with the club.
The crucial feature is the movement of the duo behind the main striker in this formation – likely to be Coutinho and Adam Lallana, although Sterling has played there too. Opponents are constantly out foxed by the lateral movement of those players, who start on the flanks before drifting inside between the lines, leading to questions about whether it is the full-backs or central midfielders who should be tracking them. Dropping Simon Mignolet has just improved him and he looks rejuvenated with many crucial performances, highlighted by the fact that he has more clean sheets than De Gea and Courtois.
The match against Manchester United might be the match of the season, but there’s no team more in form than Liverpool.