Liverpool Club Focus – Dalglish faces selection headache ahead of Tottenham clash

Despite seeing his side scoring just 28 goals in 23 Premier League matches so far this term, Kenny Dalglish will lead in-form Liverpool into the key game against title-hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur with a selection headache. The respected Scotsman could find it tough to accommodate the return of skilful Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, given that fellow forwards Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Andy Carroll are all in good form. Who, if anyone, will the Reds legend drop?

Fiery Welshman Bellamy has been a superb source of goals for the Reds this season, scoring six times in 17 top-flight appearances. The 32-year-old brings some welcome pace to an otherwise sluggish Liverpool side and he has used this speed, along with great skill and inventiveness, to create a whole host of opportunities for both himself and teammates so far this term. Given that Bellamy has scored in three of his last four games, it is difficult to see Dalglish sacrificing someone who has slowly become his most important player, for the sake of Suarez.

While energetic Dutchman Kuyt has not been hitting the back of the net as often as Bellamy this campaign, he has suddenly burst into life over the previous two games. Indeed Kuyt, who had been linked with a move away from Anfield in January, has scored in the last two fixtures. The former Feyenoord and Utrecht star has a great work-rate and brings some intelligence into Liverpool’s play. The 31-year-old has a good chance of facing Spurs, as he has been used as more of a right-winger than a striker throughout his career at Anfield.

But what does this mean for £35m man Carroll, who is not as versatile as Bellamy and Kuyt? Is his place under the greatest threat? This might well be the case, but it depends on whether Dalglish would be willing to drop a player who has impressed over the last few weeks and even scored against Wolves last time out. Carroll offers something different to the Merseysiders’ other forwards. The towering striker can make life difficult for opposition defenders and make his aerial presence known. And while he has not shown it much this season, Carroll is a useful option to have standing in the box from set-pieces. The 23-year-old has been low on confidence at various times so far this term, but he is finally starting to look comfortable in a Liverpool shirt. It would be brave of Dalglish to leave him out now.

However, many fans would argue that Suarez brings a great deal more to the Reds’ team and should start against Spurs, even though he may be rusty after missing a whole month of their schedule through suspension. Of course, Dalglish may opt to play Suarez alongside Carroll, with both Bellamy and Kuyt out wide. But this remains unlikely as it could be considered too attacking against quality opposition in the form of Spurs. It will be interesting to see how Dalglish shuffles his pack ahead of this crunch clash.

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