Football

Brendan Rodgers Set To Make Surprise Call On First Choice Defence To Start Against Stoke

Brendan Rodgers Set To Make Surprise Call On First Choice Defence To Start Against Stoke

The 6-1 defeat to Stoke at the end of last season was always going to cause a ripple effect going into this season for Brendan Rodgers. His assistant and his first team coach both bit the bullet and another summer of transfer upheaval have followed.

Perhaps all that would have happened regardless of the drubbing at the Britannia, but it does seem to have made it clear to Liverpool's owners that some serious change was needed. Rodgers survived that change but this season is almost certainly a make or break one for the Antrim man.

First up, a trip to Stoke on Sunday where Liverpool can either exercise some demons or pick up where they left off in May. To ensure it's the former, Rodgers is going to have to get things right in his defence.

Although things looked very shaky at the back last season, Liverpool have once again focused their transfer spending on the top end of the pitch. Nathaniel Clyne has been brought in from Southampton and he will make the right back slot his own but the other full back position is far from filled.

That 6-1 defeat was perhaps a low point for Alberto Moreno. Torn asunder the Spaniard was hauled off at half-time and it looks like he may have lost the trust of Rodgers with reports indicating that 18 year Joe Gomez is in line to start the season as Liverpool's first choice left back.

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Given his age, and the fact that he has largely played at centre or right back, that may be something of a surprise but it's something that the former Charlton youngster is planning on taking in his stride.

If I do start then I’m confident in my ability and I’ll do my best to help the team.

I always like to try and stay as relaxed as possible. I do obviously feel pressure but that mainly comes from myself and wanting to do well. And wanting to perform well for my friends and family who are always supporting me. I want to do them proud.

After his £3.5 million move from the Addicks this summer, it's fair to say Gomez may have expected to bide his time before his first start but a positive pre-season and a dearth of quality left backs in the Liverpool squad means Gomez may have an opportunity to cement a place in Liverpool's first team squad from a very young age.

[Liverpool Echo]

Gary Reilly

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