System a good fit for available players
If Brendan Rodgers raised eyebrows by fielding four centre-backs a fortnight ago, his subsequent decision to downsize to three has met with more widespread approval.
That’s what winning a game can do.
And given the personnel at Rodgers’ disposal, I believe it suits Liverpool down to a tee.
When Glen Johnson or Martin Kelly are fully fit, they can play their natural game down the right while Jose Enrique is well-suited on the opposite flank.
The system a team plays is always dependent on the players a manager has at his disposal.
And the 3-4-1-2 formation allows room for what I would term a luxury player. At the moment that’s Victor Moses but, when fit, Philippe Coutinho would surely prosper in that role, free to roam without any great defensive responsibility.
Of course, when you play with three central defenders it does take time to adjust.
All three have to be decent on the ball as they will be asked to step into midfield now and again.
I wouldn’t read too much into Daniel Agger being on the bench at the weekend and I would expect him to be back in the starting line-up once he regains full fitness.
The 3-4-1-2 formation also makes the job a little more difficult for central midfielders.
I don’t often hark back to the days when I was playing, but whenever we fielded three at the back for Liverpool, Graeme Souness hated it.
It changes they dynamic of the team, and Souness would complain he didn’t see the ball as often as previously.
Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard are having to change their game somewhat, but if Liverpool keep winning it will offer a compelling argument to adapt.
And I’d expect a home win this weekend.
Southampton were very organised at Anfield the other week and possess four very good attacking players, but Crystal Palace don’t.
Palace are very, very ordinary and I’m sure Liverpool will be keen to atone for their last home outing.