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Which of the New Boys Starts on Monday?

Liverpool will have Victor Moses, Tiago Ilori, and Mamadou Sakho all available when they face Swansea City on Monday night at the Liberty Stadium. Who, if any of them, starts?

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Valerio Pennicino

With Brendan Rodgers' injury update earlier in the day providing encouragement on the recovery of Joe Allen, Kolo Toure, and Daniel Sturridge (who I completely missed because he's not really hurt got it?!?), Liverpool are set to miss only two members of the squad through injury and one through suspension. That's a good thing in isolation, but combined with the additions of Victor Moses, Tiago Ilori, and Mamadou Sakho, Rodgers now seems to have a healthy set of options to choose from ahead of Monday evening's visit to Swansea.

We've already had a version of this conversation prior to the start of the season, when Toure, Simon Mignolet, Luis Alberto, and Iago Aspas were set to make their respective debuts. Three of that contingent have been regular starters, with Alberto left to come off the bench for a few minutes at a time. If their integration into the squad is any indication, we could be looking at extended glimpses of at least a couple of the late summer signings in Wales.

Ilori looks to be the easy choice to leave out unless Rodgers immediately slots him in at right-back; I'm far more trusting of Andre Wisdom right now than I am Ilori even though Wisdom's looked out of sorts, mostly based on the fact that I've never actually watched Ilori for a full ninety minutes. It's not his natural position, though, and while Wisdom is a convert himself, there's at least a body of evidence to indicate that he can do the job capably as long as he doesn't try to do too much.

One of the reasons Ilori doesn't yet feature in the central defensive pictures is the presence of Mamadou Sakho, who many have pegged to be Daniel Agger's new partner. I'm excited to see Sakho play, though it's not necessarily a lock that he'll be in the eleven come Monday night given Martin Skrtel's performance two weeks ago and the return of Kolo Toure. I put zero stock in the "two left-footers can't be a pairing" argument, but it will be a transition if Sakho or Agger slides to the right side of the partnership given that neither have spent much time there.

That leaves Moses, whose loan move has given Liverpool another adaptable forward that can play throughout the forward areas. If Daniel Sturridge is fit, and assuming Philippe Coutinho is a lock to start forever and always, Moses will be competing with Aspas and Jordan Henderson for the two remaining slots in the front four. I don't think that Moses has to start, but if he did it might be ahead of Aspas, with Coutinho playing behind Sturridge and Henderson remaining on the right. As many have pointed out, however, Swansea's style could well be suited to having Aspas involved, meaning it could be between Moses and Henderson for the fourth spot.

Rodgers alluded to the fact that there's potential for them to be involved (while also underlining that Ilori and Sakho are long-termers) during this afternoon, and while we have to wait until Monday to find out for sure, we might as well pass the time by talking about where they might fit in.

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