Glen Johnson
Glen Johnson was ruled of of Liverpool's match with Arsenal due to a jaw infection, and Mark Lawrenson says he was greatly missed from the fixture.

Mark Lawrenson believes that Liverpool's biggest weakness against Arsenal last weekend was their lack of experienced wingbacks as Aly Cissokho and Jon Flanagan were handed starts due to injuries to more senior players.

The Reds had gone four games without a loss as they prepared to Arsene Wenger's side but Glen Johnson was ruled out at the last minute with a jaw infection and the inexperienced Flanagan had to take his place.

With Jose Enrique also mising the game through injury, Cissokho was handed another start as Liverpool struggled to deal with the attacking threat of Arsenal.

And Lawrenson believes that with Brendan Rodgers' tactics at present, two experienced wingbacks are very much needed, suggesting that a different formation could have worked better.

"If Brendan Rodgers is going to persist with a three-man backline, then he has to get Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique back on the pitch as soon as possible," he said in the Daily Post.

"There's nothing wrong with the 3-5-2 variation Liverpool have been fielding in recent weeks.

"But with that system, you are only as good as your wing-backs. And other than Johnson and Enrique, I don't think Rodgers has anybody capable of properly filling either role."

He continued: "Against teams outside the top seven, you can play with that formation and win comfortably. But against top teams, it needs a bit of tweaking. It also needs the best players being available to play.

"Mind you, if Liverpool had got a point on Saturday we'd be talking about how well the season is going."

Liverpool's loss to Arsenal was only their second of the season and the side are still sitting in third place in the Premier League table.

A lack of European football this season could serve as a blessing for Rodgers' men as they spent the week preparing for their next league game while the other top sides travelled around the continent. They play Fulham on Saturday and have a big chance of getting back to their winning ways against a side struggling under Martin Jol.