Liverpool vs Stoke team news: Steven Gerrard dropped to the bench by Brendan Rodgers

 

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers has opted to drop Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to the bench.

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The Reds, who lost to Crystal Palace last week and only managed a draw against Ludogorets in Bulgaria in the Champions League, are struggling for form and the skipper makes way.

Gerrard has looked tired this season and has failed to hit the heights he reached last year in a deep role. Gerrard was pushed further forward in Sofia but was ineffectual in that role.

Rodgers has opted to stick with Kolo Toure ahead of Dejan Lovren at centre-back, and Lucas in midfield, after the pair were two of the better performers in midweek.

Rickie Lambert, who has two goals in two matches, again leads the line.

For Stoke, Mark Hughes has changed three players from the team that suffered a shock defeat at home to Burnley last weekend.

Phil Bardsley and Marc Muniesa are replaced in defence by Mark Wilson and Erik Pieters, while Marko Arnautovic replaces Victor Moses on the wing.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Enrique, Skrtel, Toure, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Lambert

Subs: Jones, Lovren, Moreno, Lallana, Gerrard, Markovic, Can

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Nzonzi, Sidwell; Arnautovic, Bojan, Walters; Diouf

Subs: Butland; Whelan, Muniesa, Adam, Ireland, Crouch, Shenton

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