Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge has started seven of Liverpool's last nine games but could be dropped for the visit of United.Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers should leave out Daniel Sturridge for the visit of Manchester United on 22 March, according to former midfielder Dietmar Hamann.

Sturridge has started seven of the Reds' nine games since making a full recovery from a thigh injury but was omitted from the start of the impressive victory over champions Manchester City on 1 March.

The England international has scored twice since his return to the Liverpool team but Rodgers has been urged to revert to a ploy used in Sturridge's absence which saw Raheem Sterling lead the attack.

"That's what I'd do, personally," the German told the Liverpool Echo. "I would not be surprised to see Sterling play up top, with Sturridge on the bench.

"I don't think Daniel is quite at 100% yet, so I think it would be good to have him as a real weapon on the bench for the last half hour, and let Sterling stretch the United defence to start with.

"If you think back to the game at Old Trafford, that was the first time we really saw Sterling used as a striker. And though we lost the game, we created more chances than we had all season, really, and he made a big difference.

"I think he's played that role beautifully since. It changes everything when you have that pace up front, because you can stretch the game.

"We lacked that in the first part of the season when Mario Balotelli or Rickie Lambert were playing up there, but we've had it since that Old Trafford game. It would be a big call to leave Sturridge out, but I just think Sterling may be the way to go."

The leader of the Liverpool attack for the visit of United is the key selection decision facing Rodgers ahead of the game, with Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli also in contention despite their uncertain form this season.

Sterling began the 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford, Liverpool's last league defeat 13 matches ago in December 2014, and missed a series of presentable openings but Rodgers could yet attempt to repeat that ploy in the hope of achieving similar success.