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Is This Liverpool’s Strongest XI? Does Kenny Even Know His?

With the Carling Cup final on Sunday, we look at the selection problems Kenny Dalglish faces as well as suggest what Liverpool’s strongest starting eleven is.

The 6-1 win over Brighton was a good result for the Reds, but Kenny Dalglish will have a selection headache on his hands, as his side prepare to take on Cardiff in the Carling Cup Final on the hallowed Wembley turf.

Does Kenny really know what his strongest eleven is? One reason why it’s so hard for Dalglish is because of players showing inconsistent form. Andy Carroll has been increasingly impressive in recent games, but looks as though he still needs a couple more weeks before he is a striker capable of scoring somewhere in the region of 15 league goals a season. The reality is that he has been picking up goals against ‘lesser’ opposition this term. His 3 goals of 2012 have come against Brighton, Wolves and Oldham.

Another example of inconsistent form is Stewart Downing. The left winger is proving to be a very ‘hot and cold’ player. The midfielder excelled against Brighton, like Carroll, but has failed to produce the goods consistently this season. He has had some good games followed by shocking performances, meaning he’s been in and out of the starting eleven. Undoubtedly has the ability, it seems to be a confidence issue for the winger, like Andy Carroll. But the inconsistencies make for a tough decision for Kenny Dalglish.

Strongest Starting XI?

In the goalkeeping role, there is only one suitable candidate in Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina. In defence, I personally think that Martin Kelly is a better option that Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique is doing a fine job in the left back role. In the heart of the defence, the central pairing of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are just fine. In my opinion, the defence is Liverpool’s strongest element of the team, as I think it has something that none of the other departments have: consistency. Kenny Dalglish doesn’t shuffle around too much in the defence because the defence is so strong.

In midfield, it gets slightly more complicated. There are so many permutations. With Lucas Leiva out injured, we’ve had to rely on the young Jay Spearing. He’s done a decent job although his tenacity has let him down on occasion. Charlie Adam is another one that has shown inconsistency this season, along with Jordan Henderson, but Adam seems to be the managers preference at this time.

Steven Gerrard, when fit, is a guaranteed starter. Craig Bellamy is fantastic, but at his age and with his injury record, he can’t be an option week in, week out. Maxi and Kuyt are versatile members of the squad but i don’t see either making it into Kenny’s first choice eleven.

In the forward’s role, it’s more straightforward. Realistically, we only have Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez fighting for strikers role(s). The problem is whether to play just one, which would be Suarez, or find a way to play Carroll alongside him.

Here is what i believe our strongest team looks like:

football formations

Thanks to Two Liverpool Fans for this guest post

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