Reds v ‘Boro – just one change by Rafa

Rafa reportedly told his players after the Barnsley defeat that he’d be playing his strongest team much more now this season, because there was less of a need for rest for his players. The only change he’s made today is the one he was forced to make. Alvaro Arbeloa steps in for the suspended Jamie Carragher alongside Sami Hyypia in the centre of defence.

Dirk Kuyt is given the chance to build on his new-found confidence and increase his little run of two goals in two games, alongside first-choice striker Fernando Torres.

Martin Skrtel is on the bench, the new centre-back not considered match-fit enough yet to start having come back from a calf injury.

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Aurelio, Mascherano, Gerrard, Lucas, Babel, Kuyt, Torres

Subs: Martin, Skrtel, Crouch, Riise, Benayoun