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Liverpool vs Derby County: What will Rafa do?

Broken record alert: Stevie-G and Carra are out for this one. God I hope this means Gerrard sits out the England qualifying matches. Come on, Stevie, let Limp foot Lampard get some playing time. Moving on, I first expect to see all those who weren't featured against Toulouse on Tuesday start, which means Torres and Voronin up front, Xabi & Pennant in the respective midfield positions, and Finnan at right-back.

As for the rest of the squad, joining Xabi in the middle will probably be Mascherano. Though I would not be surprised to see Sissoko or even Lucas. Torres' effort alone should be able to beat Derby, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Rafa do a little experimentation. On the left, I have to think he'll go with Babel, but, if he's not transferred by tonight, we might see Harry Kewell. There's been no official announcement nor report about Kewell's current state of fitness, but it was around this time all along that he's suppose to make his return. It would be a huge boost if he did. Also I don't think we'll see Benayoun start here despite his inspiring performance on Tuesday, mainly because he played the full ninety on Tuesday and we'll need him down the road so there's no need to wear him out. As for possibly starting Riise on the left, it could happen, but I think Rafa is going to have to start being more cautious about how he uses our defenders. Especially until Carra gets back.

On the backline joining Finnan, should be Hyypia and Agger in the middle and Arbeloa on the left. We could possibly see Insua on the left, though I think it'll really matter who starts at left-mid. If Kewell or Riise start there, it's somewhat of a possibility. I know Aurelio is due back in around a month, but we really need to start thinking about working in our future starters like Insua and Darby particularly when playing against lesser clubs at Anfield. We can get away with mistakes in these situations.

So here's who I think Rafa will play:
Babel (or Kewell, I hope)


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