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11th Oct, 2016 | 4:50pm

Aldridge: Lallana blow would be reduced with this duo starting down the middle for Liverpool

By Harvey Byrne

John Aldridge believes that Philippe Coutinho should move into the centre with Daniel Sturridge leading the line for Monday’s clash against Manchester United, if Adam Lallana isn’t fit enough for the encounter.

Lallana suffered an injury in the recent league clash against Swansea, which ruled him out of international duty with England and he now faces a battle for fitness before the fixture at Anfield.

Coutinho has featured on the left-hand side of a three-man attack for the Reds in the new campaign, while Sturridge has mainly been used from a bench role.

However, former Liverpool striker Aldridge has highlighted the influence Coutinho had against the Swans after Lallana left the pitch, while also picking out Sturridge’s goal scoring display for England at the weekend.

“If Adam Lallana isn’t fit for the visit of United then I’d play Philippe Coutinho in that advanced central midfield role and start Daniel Sturridge up front,” wrote Aldridge in his opinion piece for the Liverpool Echo.

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“Coutinho changed the game against Swansea when he moved into the middle. It’s a freer role for him compared to when he’s out on the left where his influence can be a bit limited at times.

“The Brazilian found pockets of space to hurt Swansea and was able to really express himself. Being without Lallana would be a blow but Coutinho can certainly flourish in that position.

“It was great to see Sturridge score for England against Malta and I hope he does it again against Slovenia on Tuesday night. We need him full of confidence and ready to prove against United that he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet.”

Liverpool have not struggled in front of goal in the new campaign, bagging 18 goals from their first seven fixtures.

However, Lallana has been key to the Reds’ attack providing three goals and scoring three himself in eight appearances.

Fans of the Merseysiders will be hoping that if he does miss the match that his loss won’t affect the team too much against their fierce rivals, which see’s fourth take on sixth at Anfield.

In other Liverpool team news, Micky Quinn believes that Jordan Henderson is “now excelling under Jurgen Klopp” at the Reds after initially thinking he struggled with the captain’s job.