John Aldridge has urged Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to drop Christian Benteke for the Merseyside derby against Everton, if the striker is fit. The Reds' summer signing suffered a hamstring injury against Norwich City and missed the last two matches against Carlisle United and Aston Villa.
Danny Ings replaced the injured Belgium international in the second half in Norwich and scored his first goal for his new club as they drew the match 1-1 against the Canaries. He went on to score his second goal against Carlisle in the Capital One Cup fixture.
Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge returned to the starting lineup at the Anfield outfit's 1-1 draw against Norwich after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. He started his second match of the season against Aston Villa and scored a brace, while partnering with Ings.
As Everton host their arch-rivals in the Premier League clash on Saturday, 3 October, the former Liverpool striker has expressed his delight after the Reds ended their recent poor run in their 3-2 victory over Villa and has advised Rodgers to start Sturridge and Ings up front against the Toffees.
"What a much-needed win that was on Saturday. I think when Jon Moss blew his whistle at around five to five, the sighs of relief could be heard all over Merseyside! It was nervy, but it was a vital three points," Aldrdige told the Liverpool Echo.
"And let's accentuate the positives here; going forward it was a lot better. A lot better. When you've got Coutinho in behind, and any two of Ings, Sturridge and Benteke up front, you're going to cause teams a lot of problems. You're going to create chances because of the quality that those players have. That's the light at the end of the tunnel for me."
"We scored three for the first time since February and boy that's a good sign considering our defensive troubles. It gives Brendan Rodgers a decision to make going into the derby if Benteke is fit."
"Me? I would leave the front three as they were against Villa, with Ings and Sturridge up there. It's a big call, but Benteke has got a fight on his hands now to get his place back. Ings has come in, performed well, scored a couple of goals and impressed everybody with his work-rate."
"I like the way he and Sturridge looked up front on Saturday. The movement was good, they stretched the game, worked well together, and we created chances as a result. You could see the signs of a relationship developing there, which is really encouraging," he added.