Since the reintroduction of Kolo Toure and Lucas Leiva to the side, Liverpool have looked considerably more assured at the back even if their attacking impotence has continued. Very few could have predicted the calming influence the veteran Ivorian - who began the season as fourth choice at best - would have on Liverpool's unstable back line. Alongside the ever-present Martin Skrtel, Toure has consistently demonstrated the leadership and experience that was supposed to be provided by summer signing Dejan Lovren for a hefty price.
For his part, the Croatian has struggled to meet expectations since his engineered move to Merseyside. Following up an impressive pre-season debut with a string of eccentric performances that left Brendan Rodgers with more questions than answers, Lovren found eventually himself demoted to the substitutes bench until an untimely groin strain for Kolo Toure provided an opening to return to the starting eleven. Against Basel, Lovren looked rejuvenated and, though there were a few lapses of concentration, he largely atoned for any errors.
Further, Tuesday's match saw a return to the matchday squad for Mamadou Sakho, who was fit enough to at least make the bench. The polarizing Frenchman has been sidelined since September but, following a highly-publicized spat with Brendan Rodgers, it remains to be seen whether the former Paris Saint Germain captain has a place in the manager's long-term thinking.
For better or worse, it appears that Liverpool's central defensive partnership comprises of Martin Skrtel and one other centre half. With that in mind, who do you think warrants the starting berth alongside him when Liverpool travel to face Manchester United on Sunday?