Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has urged Brendan Rodgers to play centre-back Mamadou Sakho if the Reds' poor defensive form continues.

The French international made his last appearance for the Merseyside club in the Capital One Cup clash against Middlesbrough on 23 September, as a thigh injury he picked up during training has kept him out of action.

Liverpool face Crystal Palace after the international break and Sakho has declared himself fit for the Palace clash. In his absence, Rodgers has deployed Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel in the heart of his side's defence.

The former Liverpool centre-half believes Sakho, Lovren and Skrtel will be the future central defenders at Anfield.

"Sakho is out injured but is closing in on fitness and if Liverpool keep conceding goals then you have to look at him," Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.

"But I still think both signings (Sakho and Lovren) probably haven't shown their true form and whatever we think of them at this time, they are better players than they have shown. But if Liverpool are still conceding goals then you have to look at Sakho."

"Kolo Toure came in and had a really good game at Real Madrid. He did really well but at his age now you have got to look at the other three for the future and for right now."

"He was unfortunate not to play against Chelsea but in the long-term you have to look at Sakho, Skrtel and Lovren and they have to be fighting it out between themselves," the former Liverpool defender added.

Meanwhile, Carragher has advised the former Swansea boss to change his tactics to get the best out of Lovren. The Croatian international joined Liverpool earlier in the summer after enjoying a brilliant run in the Premier League with Southampton last season.

"Liverpool's full-backs are more offensive and are going to leave you more exposed, that could be something to look at because Brendan Rodgers likes his full-backs to get forward," the Reds legend said.

"Alberto Moreno likes to get forward, Lovren is on that side and at times he does find himself in the left-back position with and without the ball."

"Maybe that is something he has either got to get used to or if he is struggling with that then Liverpool have to curtail it and change the small details of how they set-up slightly because you want to get the best out of him," Carragher concluded.