Sturridge and Suarez to excel in new 3-5-2 system
Last Sunday in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Brendan Rodgers trialled his new - and many would say desired - system of three at the back.
October 7th, 2013
With all eyes focused on how this arrangement of three centre-backs – Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho – would cope, it was the action at the other end of the pitch that had everyone talking post-match.
Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez combined to hit the Black Cats for three, forming a formidable striking partnership with excellent understanding.
On-loan attacker Victor Moses, who played in the slot behind Sturridge and Suarez, said of their play:
“We all know Suarez and Sturridge are both great strikers and probably two of the best strikers in the Premier League at the moment. I can see them both scoring more goals in every game because their link-up play is incredible.”
Indeed, their knowledge of each other’s game was a delight to watch. It was also refreshing to see a Liverpool side play with two up front.
Until now, Liverpool’s four at the back system, with three across the midfield and two ‘number 10s’ behind Sturridge up front, hasn’t allowed room for two at the top.
However, when Suarez returned from his 10-match ban last week, a dilemma was put to Brendan Rodgers: What do you do if you have two world class strikers?
The simple answer, and Rodgers’ response is, you play both.
The three at the back allows for two wing-backs either side of midfield. They can come back and resume defensive responsibilities as and when, with the other staying as the attacker.
As teams generally only attack down one wing at a time, not only does this provide a dynamic counter-attacking and pressing system, but it also allows both wing-backs time to recover, comfortable that the other is going forward.
Effectively, there are always four back defending, with Steven Gerrard and Lucas (this season) sitting in the pocket in front of the defence.
Where Liverpool excel from this combination is having just one man, rather than two in the ‘number 10’ role – Moses last week, although Philippe Coutinho will most likely replace him upon his return from injury later this month – and the deadly duo of Sturridge and Suarez up front.
It’s very exciting from a Liverpool fan’s perspective to have both Sturridge and Suarez – two of the league’s best strikers – in the team.
Against Sunderland, with this new system, Liverpool clicked. It also allows for a change in personnel across the park – with the likes of Daniel Agger, Coutinho, Joe Allen and Aly Cissokho all to return from injury.
Entertaining football at Anfield and bright days ahead, I’m sure.