It was only mildly surprising that Brendan Rodgers didn't make any changes to the starting eleven on Wednesday night; the second-year manager has shown a tendency to stick with what--or rather, who--he knows when it comes to personnel decisions, and aside from switching between Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling over the past few weeks, there's been little variation.
Still, most expected one or two fresh faces against Sunderland, especially with Spurs set to visit Anfield on Sunday. Rodgers stayed the course, however, and took it a step further when he opted to use just one substitution in the course of the anxious 2-1 win. Daniel Sturridge was taken off in favor of Raheem Sterling, but all others remained on the pitch, for better or worse, to see the match out.
You can't argue with the three points, though, and while it's fair to worry about the state of the squad during their busiest week of the run-in, Rodgers asserted that there won't be any drop-off at the weekend:
"There are different ways you can look at it. We've had it this season already where we've had midweek games. Earlier on in the season, we had a cup game that went into extra time - against Notts County at home - and then at the weekend we beat Manchester United 1-0. People thought the midweek game was going to be a really taxing game.
"The condition of our players is very good, physically they are in a really good moment and they have been throughout the course of the season. If you look physiologically at the team, because of how we press - our philosophy is to press aggressively at the top of the field - our work on a daily basis is conditioned in order to do that. As well as the recovery process, which is important, the condition of the players is very good. We play with high energy, high tempo, high intensity and the players have been exceptional in terms of what their input is into the game."
It wouldn't too much of a shock to see Rodgers pick the same eleven yet again, although most expect something slightly different against Spurs in terms of the tactical approach--a return to the 4-3-3 with Coutinho partnering Jordan Henderson in the midfield, which we saw against Everton and Arsenal, might be the template here, especially given Tim Sherwood and Spurs' tendency to play with a high back-line. Even that change wouldn't be an entirely different eleven, though, as it would necessitate only the dropping of Allen and the addition of Sterling to play along the front with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Whatever ends up happening, we'll hope that the manager's words hold true, and that come Sunday evening Liverpool have earned another three points.