LUCAS STRUGGLING FOR WORLD CUP
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is now struggling to make his way into the Brazil 2014 squad after being starved of first-team action at Liverpool. Under the last few managers, Lucas has been a regular first-team player. He seemed to form an impeccable partnership with Steven Gerrard in the centre of midfield. However, Brendan Rodgers has brought about a significant change to the way Liverpool have been playing this season. The likes of fast players like Coutinho and Jordan Henderson have been preferred in the centre of the park, while Gerrard himself has had to play a defensive role.
Lucas has been frustrated on the sidelines, as this spell could cost him a place in the World Cup 2014 squad. Getting into the squad is very important for him being a Brazilian, as the World Cup returns to his home nation for the first time since 1950. However, Brendan Rodgers says that the players should put Liverpool before the personal interests. Unlike in the past few seasons, Liverpool are now challenging for the title and it is very realistic that they could win their first league title since 1990. The club are top of the table with just five matches remaining, when they entertain title rivals Manchester City at Anfield this weekend.
"I respect all the players and their needs but I want what's best for Liverpool and can only think of Liverpool. I know it's been hard for Lucas because since he got his injury the team has done really well in his absence. Steven in that role is a world-class operator. There is more emphasis on the attacking element. Hopefully it won't hinge on that because I think he's already done enough to get in the squad for the World Cup," said Rodgers. The 27-year-old has made just 23 appearances this season.