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Should Sturridge Start Against United?

Sturridge has been downright prolific when fit since arriving at Liverpool, but not since coming back from his "mini-preseason." So, we have to ask if he's the best player to lead the line for Liverpool?

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Before the ink had time to dry on Luis Suarez's Barcelona deal, all Liverpool eyes turned to Daniel Sturridge as The Man who would keep the free-scoring Liverpool side from 13/14 going. Sturridge never had a chance to fulfill that role, as injury after nagging injury would keep the striker sidelined for most of 2014-15, and most of 2015-16 so far.

For Liverpool supporters, the hope always remained the same: wait until Sturridge comes back, and then we can start scoring goals again. For a brief spell last spring, and an even briefer spell this fall that was the case. Sturridge came back into the side and immediately started scoring goals. He bagged 4 goals in 6 matches this fall before returning to the physio table. Since returning a month ago, Sturridge has thus far failed to live up to his normal return, only scoring 1 goal in 5 matches so far. And that one goal was in the 6-0 humiliation of Aston Villa.

Yes, the sample size is small, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask whether an in-form Roberto Firmino or even Divock Origi should get the start Thursday night over Sturridge.

Firmino has really rounded into form since the start of the new year, bagging 7 goals and adding 4 assists in 2016. He might not be an out-and-out striker by trade, but he has shown himself more than capable of leading the line, and has done so in some of Liverpool's most impressive performances to date.

Origi has not been scoring contributing as much in the form of goals or assists (6 and 2, respectively), but he has shown the ability to press, stretch defenses, win headers, and hold up play.

I'm not so much arguing against Sturridge as much as saying there is room for debate. Given Sturridge's goal-scoring history, I wouldn't be shocked if he started banging in goals left and right (OK, maybe more left than right) sooner rather than later. But will that be Thursday night against United?

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