Johnson Fit to Start in Likely Return to Four at the Back

Clive Brunskill

At his pre-Fulham press conference, Brendan Rodgers assured fans Glen Johnson would be back in the starting lineup on Saturday. Meanwhile in training, signs point to a return to four at the back.

Some players' worth is proven more by their absence than their presence, and when it comes to Liverpool, few live up to that adage like fullbacks Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique. Particularly in the case of Johnson, arguably the best right back in England when on form, it can be easy to overlook just how much the defender brings to the side until he's not in it any more.

"Glen Johnson will be fit," said Brendan Rodgers at Thursday's pre-Fulham press conference, and with those five words Liverpool fans around the globe breathed a sigh of relief. "He's fine. He's trained this week—it was just one of those peculiar things that happened. Maybe if it had been a day earlier, he may have been able to play, but he's fine for the game and has looked good in training."

Despite doubts about his availability earlier in the week due to a hip injury picked up late on against Arsenal, Rodgers did not address the status of Steven Gerrard. However, that the player trained in a green bib on Thursday alongside midfielders Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson and strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez hints strongly at a start against Fulham for the captain.

Those who subscribe to "bib theory" when it comes to Liverpool's starting lineups will also have noted that Philippe Coutinho was wearing green but Jose Enrique wasn't, signalling another start at fullback for Aly Cissokho. Meanwhile, Martin Skrtel will be favoured to keep his place in the starting XI alongside a reintroduced Daniel Agger in a return to the pairing that provided the club's brightest spot during Kenny Dalglish's tenure.

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