The physical presence of Christian Benteke is one element of Brendan Rodgers' plan to make Liverpool a more unpredictable attacking prospect this season.

On his first Anfield appearance for the Reds the No.9 was the match-winner, prodding home in front of the Kop to secure three points against Bournemouth a week ago.

As well as his goal the Belgian offered a robust focal point for the team too, with his strength and aerial power creating chances for others by occupying defenders.

The manager highlighted one such incident after the game and predicted that those kinds of scenarios will lead to scoring opportunities for Benteke’s teammates as the season progresses.

With Liverpool set to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this evening, Rodgers explained how having a variety of forwards to play off will be beneficial to his side.

“When you bring in a certain profile of player, it gives you other options,” the Northern Irishman said at his pre-match press conference.

“One of the key things in bringing Christian here was, first and foremost, that he can play football. As you see already, his touch is good. His ability to bring players into the game, whether that’s with his feet or a little cushioned header, is a great skill.

“What he gives us is that threat in the box; when the ball comes in, he’s a striker that’s in the area. There are other ways of keeping the game alive, but when you have a 6ft4 player like Christian when the ball comes into the box, because of his physicality and mobility it keeps the game alive that little bit longer.

“It wasn’t the case that we were smashing the ball into the box and playing off a second ball. I’m not against that. There’s not a compromise.

“I said at the beginning of the season that we want the unpredictability to our game. Our notion in the game is always to dominate the ball but I’ve been around football for a long time and my emphasis has always been about possession, of course, but dangerous possession. That is important to us.

“Our conditions of our game won’t change but hopefully because of the different types of players we have, and different strikers in particular, it gives that unpredictability to our game, which is important.”

Fellow summer signing Roberto Firmino made his Anfield bow last Monday too, introduced as a second-half substitute as the Reds beat Bournemouth.

The Brazil international is still building up fitness having returned to pre-season training later than most due to his participation at the Copa America for his country.

But Rodgers reported that the 23-year-old is getting closer to a debut start and is well-equipped for the challenges of the Barclays Premier League.

The boss said: “He’s looking very good in training. As each week goes by, he’s getting fitter and stronger.

“It was a difficult game for him to come into [against Bournemouth]. He was coming into a game at high speed.

“He’s a real worker and it’s one of the things I’ve seen. I’ve been really impressed with his quality, his touch and all of that, which is natural.

“But his ability to work and press the game was one of the key things for us when we were bringing him in. He really understands the pressure and intensity. He’s coming from a league which is also a physical league.

“He’ll certainly be in contention over the coming weeks. He has looked very good in training.”

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