Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has warned Dan Agger he needs to fight for a return to his starting XI.
Rodgers has insisted he will continue to pick the team on merit, saying Martin Skrtel is well suited to the current formation.
"The three at the back plays to his strengths," said the Northern Irishman.
"It allows him to defend and it allows him to simplify things when he has the ball.
"I think in the run of games he's had he's gained confidence and that's meant I've acknowledged and recognised that he's playing at a really good level.
"I've always tried to show my fairness with players. People say 'you don't like this player' or 'you don't like that player' but it's about performance level.
"If you are playing well, you'll play. If you're not, you'll be in and out of the team.
"I've got an international captain sitting on the bench but that's because I like to think I'm fair and if people are playing well they play. Martin has been outstanding."
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