The Liver Bird  

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Liverpool Through To Semi Finals

An emotional Craig Bellamy during the minutes applause for Gary Speed...
Liverpool have booked themselves a place in the Carling Cup Semi Finals after beating Chelsea for the second time in ten days at Stamford Bridge. The 2-0 win saw Martin Kelly and Maxi Rodriguez bag the Reds their goals whilst Chelsea couldn't even muster a consolation.

Dalglish was true to his word and fielded a lot of different faces, Enrique, Reina, Lucas and Henderson however kept their positions after the Man City draw at the weekend.

Villas-Boas had also thrown in some non regulars in the likes of Turnbull, Bertrand, Lukaku etc. Arguably the Chelsea second string seemed a lot weaker than Liverpool's.

Very early on in the game there were two penalty decisions before a third was given. David Luiz went down in the box after a Coates challenge and the referee decided to give Luiz a yellow card for simulation. I think to be honest in a different game the penalty may have been given but it was good to see that Dowd did give a card, too many referees see a player diving in the box, don't give the penalty but then don't give a card either. As for Liverpool's penalty shout, that too could have gone either way but for the Reds it wouldn't be as crucial because minutes later a penalty was given to the away side.

A blatant handball from Alex in the box was missed by Dowd but his linesman encouraged him to make eventually the right decision. Andy Carroll stepped up to face Ross Turnbull. The Geordie smashed his effort with great power but straight down the middle and Turnbull saved. I must admit it wasn't a fantastic penalty but some of the abuse Carroll was getting for that was ridiculous, when Suarez skied it against Sunderland nobody jumped on his back did they?

No goals were scored in the first half and Chelsea had little threat on goal. Villas Boas must have predicted what was beginning to happen because he brought on Ramires just before the whistle in an attempt to boost his sides performance.

Chelsea's best chance of the game was probably a shot from David Luiz, Reina was otherwise occupied so it was left to Sebastian Coates to block on the line, keeping Liverpool in the game.

3 minutes later Liverpool had got themselves on the score sheet. A great ball from Jordan Henderson placed Craig Bellamy perfectly on a run, his ball into the box to an awaiting Maxi Rodriguez was fantastic and just like ten days ago, the Argentinian calmly put the ball into the back of the net.

Craig Bellamy was visibly moved during the minutes applause at the start of the game for Gary Speed but the Welshman certainly composed himself for a brilliant 90 minutes. Extremely proud of Bellamy, true courage.

And Bellamy wasn't finished yet. A foul on Jose Enrique gave Liverpool a free kick on the left flank outside the box. A sublime ball in from Bellamy was met by the head of Martin Kelly scoring Liverpool's second and his first goal in a Red shirt.

After Liverpool's second, Chelsea could see their chances of a place in the semi finals slipping further and further away. Manager Villas-Boas brought on Anelka and Mata just after the hour mark in the hope that their presence in attack would be enough to get Chelsea back into the game.

Lucas Leiva suffered an injury in the second half after a challenge from Ramires. The midfielder had to be replaced with Charlie Adam just before the 70 minute mark.

Dirk Kuyt and Martin Skrtel were also introduced late on for Liverpool. Skrtel helped a defence who began to come under some increased pressure but the Reds dealt with it well.

I'm personally so excited at the prospect of Liverpool in the semi finals and over two legs i always fancy our chances against any opposition. A good solid performance from Dalglish and the boys and they can enjoy a long rest now until Fulham on Monday.

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Monday, 28 November 2011

Chelsea In Carling Cup Quarter Final

Yer shoulda stayed at a big club, staaaayed at a biiig club!...
Liverpool make their second trip to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in as many weeks. The Reds drew Andres Villas-Boas' side in the Carling Cup quarter final away from home and will be looking to progress to the semis.

After beating Chelsea 2-1 on their own turf last weekend, Liverpool will surely be brimming with confidence. The only problem is, when this fixture came out, Kenny Dalglish was livid at it's proximity to the big Man City game on Sunday, at the time Dalglish told travelling fans to expect a youthful side but will he now after ceasing his chance in the league play a side with a bit more experience?

Jamie Carragher immediately is somebody he could throw on to add in that experience as the defender has been on the bench for the last two games so requires no rest. Dalglish if we're looking at players not regularly utilised also has the likes of Spearing, Kelly, then looking even further down the youth system players like Coady and Suso.

I personally agree with what Dalglish is saying but i don't think he will field a completely changed side because this is too good a chance to miss.

Steven Gerrard is still unavailable for Liverpool but Craig Bellamy will return after missing the City game for personal reasons.

Chelsea have problems not with injuries but suspensions and cup ties meaning that John Terry and Raul Meireles are unavailable.

The last time these two sides met in the League Cup was in December 2007. Once again it was at the Bridge but Chelsea got the better of the Reds and were 2-0 winners.

Liverpool's overall record at the Bridge is a decent one, losing once in their last five visits, drawing once and victorious in the other three fixtures.

Stat Sandwich:

  • This is the Reds 7th away game in the League Cup out of their last eight ties.
  • If Chelsea win it will be their 11th time in the League Cup semi finals.
  • (You should already know this! But...) Liverpool are the most successful team in the League Cup winning it a record 7 times.

Cup games are always tough to predict but after a solid performance against them last week, whoever Dalglish fields i think we have the mentality to go down there and knock them out. Chelsea haven't been brilliant of late and we've shown how we're not afraid to take the game to them at the Bridge.

I'm going to punt for another 2-1 victory for Liverpool, here's hoping we can get ourselves a place in the semi finals!
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May i just take this opportunity to pay my respects to Gary Speed. A wonderful footballer and a lovely man, my thoughts go out to his family and all who knew him. #YNWA

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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Point A Piece

Suarez battles with Lescott...

Liverpool had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday after fighting hard against a City side that began to tire as the 90 minutes went on. Joe Hart kept the away side in the game with minutes to spare after a great save to deny Andy Carroll. Both sides had a bit of luck but neither left victorious.

The start to the game was put into great perspective after the sad news that Wales manager Gary Speed had died at the age of 42, applause and silence was given to his memory and also respect was paid to Brad Jones and his wife after the loss of their son Luca to leukemia before kick off.

Craig Bellamy was pulled out of the game due to his close relationship with Gary Speed undoubtedly having an effect on his emotions and preparedness to play.

Man City were the most lively of the two sides to start with, after a spell of twenty minutes or so with Liverpool having to deal with a string of attacks. Efforts from Yaya Toure and Silva were dealt with but it was certainly Mancini's side showing signs of scoring.

City were excellent in creating space and always having someone available to pass to but as impressive as this was, Liverpool were confident enough to allow them to do so. For several games this season Liverpool haven't been afraid to allow the opposition to play the game they want and then after some patience, hit them on the counter attack. On Sunday, it wasn't as effective as it has been but nevertheless the Reds were still holding their own.

A frustrated Vincent Kompany was booked during City's lively spell, the defender appeared unable to fully deal with Suarez and so was shown the yellow card.

With the run of play now swinging slightly in the favour of Liverpool it was left to Charlie Adam and Lucas Leiva to shine.

This duo, considering the midfield they were playing against truly shone. I must admit when Charlie Adam first signed for Liverpool i was slightly wary, I've always thought he was a decent player but thought he was a bit overrated. After watching him game in game out though he has continued to grow and grow, what a fantastic midfielder this man is!

His passing is second to none, he's not afraid to get stuck into tackles and regain possession for his side. He shoots, not to mention when others wouldn't even consider it and his alertness if often the reason why the opposition are left so baffled.

As for Lucas Leiva, his work isn't as flamboyant as Adam's which is why a lot of people seem to think he's useless. Far from it. This is a player who puts in tackle after tackle and calmly finds his man and moves on time and time again. He's one of those players that gets on with it, reliable and for me always a starter.

Back to City, who had managed to get themselves a corner 30 minutes in. David Silva whipped the ball into the box, a slight lapse from the Liverpool defence meant that Kompany was able to get to the ball but luckily for City after the defender missed it with his head, his shoulder did the work for him.

A rather bizarre goal but at this stage in the game it was expected. The vital thing now for Liverpool was to keep their heads, everybody has seen what City can do when they get into the flow of things, the last thing we needed was for them to get settled.

And what better way to unsettle a side than by putting one in their net?

That man, Charlie Adam two minutes after the City goal found himself with possession. At a time when most players wouldn't even consider having a pop, Adam knows that it's always worth it. Similarly to the goal against Wolves, Adam smashed his effort, it was clearly going wide, but the quickfire attempt was enough to fluster Joleon Lescott who was concerned about Kuyt on his shoulder. The ex Wolves defender made the wrong decision and turned the ball into his own goal.

This was Liverpool's share of the luck, arguably more fortuitous than a goal from your shoulder but after the work rate we'd put in, we deserved it.

The second half saw City come out straight away with an attempt from Nasri, it would be Liverpool however who would have the lions share of this 45 minutes.

City brought on Mario Balotelli just after the hour mark, the striker didn't feature much but was left asking himself "Why always me?" after being sent off with a second yellow. I do think it was a bit harsh for the foul on Skrtel but after the amount of fouls he'd made whilst on the pitch, it wasn't surprising.

Manager Kenny Dalglish brought on Andy Carroll with 10 minutes to go for Liverpool. The Reds were having enough chances but there weren't enough bodies in the box to get on to the end of the crosses.

A worrying moment with minutes to spare for Liverpool was when Reina failed to dispossess Silva on his third run out of the box in the game. Silva in all honestly could have quite easily had a shot but he took way too much time, when he took his chance there were three defenders on the line and Skrtel managed to make the clearance.

Mancini brought on Kolo Toure to shore up the defence but there was still enough left in extra time for Liverpool to have one last chance. City who had given up on winning had put everything now on keeping the scoreline as it was but a superb header from Andy Carroll nearly descended City's blue moon into a red mist. Luckily for the away side Joe Hart with a great save prevented Liverpool from taking all three points.

After looking back, especially in the latter of the second half, some would say the Reds perhaps deserved to win but in the same thought, we can't really be disappointed with a draw against City.

There were plenty of positives too, we're now 8 games unbeaten, Lucas and Adam were immense and we got stuck in to City. Sides like theirs at the moment hate being bossed around, the hard tackles from the Reds knocked a bit of sense into the away side and i feel Dalglish's boys can be proud of their performance.

Next up for Liverpool is Fulham and with a nice run of fixtures after that, this could be a great time for Liverpool to quietly go about their business and rack up some points.

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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Reds On A Run But So Are City

I expect to see some antics from him on Sunday...
Manchester City make the short trip to Anfield on Sunday for what is set to be an exciting fixture between the two sides. Liverpool are coming off the back of a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge whilst Manchester City can boast an unbeaten run in the league.

Jamie Carragher is back to full fitness again for Liverpool and is expected to be on the bench again tomorrow for the Reds. Steven Gerrard still isn't back after suffering an ankle infection.

For Manchester City they have no injury worries but of course there will be no sight of Carlos Tevez who is wondering around Argentina, trying to get a deal with Milan, refusing to involve himself in football; ever again, something like that.

The last two clashes between the two sides have been complete opposites of each other. In April this year Liverpool put three past City with no return and Andy Carroll on the score sheet but in August 2010 it was City who got the better of us keeping a clean sheet and putting three past Pepe Reina.

For the last time City won at Anfield however, we have to go all the way back to 2003. There have been two draws in the time since then at Anfield.

I don't need to point out to an intelligent group of people such as yourselves the immediate problems we will face on Sunday against the City side but i would like to point out Silva. His ability to maintain that link between defence and attack has been phenomenal of late and he's a nightmare to deal with in the box. The Liverpool defence however were solid against Chelsea, if they keep their heads and concentrate they should be able to deal with whatever City throw at them.

Speaking of midfield, i think most will agree that after Maxi's performance last weekend, he deserves to start again tomorrow. People seem to forget about the influence he can have on a game, in my honest opinion, even with the signings of Henderson and Downing, at this moment in time he is the best winger at Liverpool Football Club.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 7 Premier League matches.
  • Manchester City have scored 42 goals in their first 12 matches this season.
  • 9 out of Liverpool's 11 goals conceded have come in the second half.

Prediction wise this is another clash where anything could happen. On paper everything points to advantage Liverpool but the way City have been playing in the league this season, it wouldn't shock me if they battered us. However, after a great performance at the Bridge i think the lads have got it in them, Dalglish would relish the chance to mess up Mancini's run and with City on a bit of a downer after their defeat to Napoli in the week, who knows?

Enjoy the match folks!

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Maxi And Glen Grab Win At Bridge

Glen takes his shot...
Liverpool took all three points away with them from Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the Reds put two past the home side. A brilliant work up to Maxi Rodriguez's first was followed by a Glen Johnson winner in the 86th minute. Despite Chelsea beating Reina at the hands of Daniel Sturridge, they couldn't quite keep their heads for the whole 90 minutes.

Dalglish changed the line up and it saw a first start given to Maxi Rodriguez. Suarez started with Craig Bellamy as his partner, there was no Stewart Downing and still no Jamie Carragher. Chelsea decided not to start ex Reds Torres and Meireles and Villas Boas chose Drogba to lead his attack.

The first half was easily the better half for Liverpool, they had control of the game and although Chelsea had their chances it was the away side that looked the more likely to change the scoreline.

Maxi Rodriguez was causing problems all over the pitch for a slow starting Chelsea side. The Argentinian hasn't started for Liverpool in the league at all this season and after his display some may be left asking why? His ability to get himself in to space and his quick thinking is some of the best within the ranks at Liverpool, with Dalglish tending to make the substitutes to the midfielders i personally think it should be Maxi starting and then being replaced after the hour mark, not the other way around.

Another man in a Red shirt creating havoc was Craig Bellamy, the Welshman is disliked by many but if anything it just spurs him on. Making several timed runs between the Chelsea defence and playing some cracking through balls, he too had a belter.

The first goal of the game came just after the 30 minute mark. An alert Charlie Adam had already foreseen what goalkeeper Petr Cech was planning to do, making up ground he quickly intercepted for Liverpool. Craig Bellamy grabs possession and with a run into the box plays a one-two with Luis Suarez he then sweeps the ball to Maxi Rodriguez who finishes his chance and puts the Reds in front.

The build up to the goal was fantastic, the confidence required to do that and the unselfishness of Craig Bellamy, it was just a class goal.

Half time was reached and clearly Chelsea were struggling, a substitution from Andres Villas-Boas saw Daniel Sturridge replace Mikel.

The start to the second half was more so in Chelsea's favour. Of course they weren't going to let their first half performance continue into the second but would this burst of possession and chances be enough to fluster Liverpool?

It worked, Chelsea found their equalizer at 55 minutes and Villas-Boas could take praise from his clever substitution. Sturridge put the ball in the back of the net for the home side after a cross from Florent Malouda.

Things began to become tense for Liverpool, Dalglish's side had started the game brilliantly but now Chelsea had put some pressure on, the focus was being lost. Silly little passes and giving the ball away was becoming constant but luckily the lads had chance to calm down and concentrate because Chelsea despite some great chances couldn't find a winner.

The cross flicked on by Ivanovic was probably the most daunting moment for Liverpool fans but a quality Pepe Reina got down low to make the save and keep the Reds in the game.

Just after 80 minutes Andres Villas-Boas decided it was time for another substitution, this time a double one. Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles, not worthy of starting apparently, were brought on in an attempt to find the winner for a now desperate Chelsea side.

The Liverpool fans went for the pantomime reaction to the substitutions because i think most know, we no longer require the work of these two players, we're more than happy without them and it was these two players who ended the 90 minutes with subdued looks on their faces.

Glen Johnson who had been fantastic all game made another attacking run down the flank at 86 minutes, a slight weave in the box set him up with a chance to get the winner for Liverpool and calm as ever, the ex Chelsea man slid the ball home past Petr Cech and John Terry who ended up on his arse. It was superb!

Victory is always sweet, especially in games like this but even more so when it's done in the dying moments.

Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing also made appearances for Liverpool but it was left to perhaps two men who have started the least games so far this season to seal the win for the Reds.

With Manchester City up next, it may not be so far-fetched to feel that we have a chance of messing up their unbeaten run. After all, we're on one of our own. Plus the fact that Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have failed to beat us so we should be more than capable of giving City a game.

And as for Chelsea, get ready for us in the Cup, youth team or not, we're coming out to win!

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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Reds Aim To Show Torres & Meireles What They're Missing

He'll be needing the toilet after Liverpool are done with his side on Sunday...
Liverpool make the trip down South on Sunday to face Chelsea in the first of two clashes this month with the London side. This game has had enough spice sprinkled over it in the recent weeks, the factors of Torres and Meireles will surely add to the already predictable atmosphere and both clubs could seriously do with a big win.

Without delving in to it too much the news around both Luis Suarez and John Terry will also play a part on Sunday. Both players insist they are innocent but with Suarez actually being charged before kick off, we can't afford to let off field situations filter on to it.

Team news means that Suarez may not be available to start anyway after a slight back problem he picked up in the international break. Jamie Carragher is back and a choice for manager Kenny Dalglish but captain Steven Gerrard is still out.

For Chelsea it's only Michael Essien who is unavailable but Drogba and Sturridge are doubts after just recovering from knocks.

Liverpool have won the last two of the clashes between the two clubs and kept a clean sheet both times. Interestingly in the last Liverpool win it was Raul Meireles who scored the winner. Meireles appears to have started his Chelsea career in the same fashion as he left it at Liverpool, Torres on the other hand still looks a shadow of his former self.

The Reds' last four league games consist of three draws and a win, Chelsea have two wins and two losses. The draws of course for Liverpool have been hard to take because none of them have occurred through a lack of chances, i just hope we've perfected the act in time for Sunday.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have only let the opposition have 38 shots on target so far this season, the lowest tally in the league.
  • Chelsea have picked up the most cards in the league this season - 31 in total.
  • Liverpool have hit the woodwork ten times this season, more than any other side.

In all honesty, i can't predict what is going to happen tomorrow. International breaks for a starters always seem to mess things up and with the chance of Suarez not starting I'm not sure where the chances to get the flow of the game underway are going to come from, however i can see a free kick or corner causing havoc in the box and being enough for Liverpool to nick a win.

Not completely confident and think Chelsea will grab a goal but still feel we have enough to get all three points. Here's hoping anyway and it should be a cracking match!

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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Past Managers: Volume 3 - Bob Paisley

Whenever somebody utters the name of Liverpool Football Club, it's synonymous with great managers and great players. Over the years Bill Shankly has become an icon but many people forget the achievements of his successor, Shankly began the dream, but it was none other than Bob Paisley who ensured it continued.



The Basics

Full Name: Robert Paisley
Nickname: Bob
Date Of Birth: 23rd January 1919
Born in: Sunderland
Position As A Player: Defender
Years As A Liverpool Player: 15
Years As Liverpool Manager: 9

Playing Career

Bob Paisley began his footballing career at Bishop Auckland a none league side close to Durham. Bob made his move to Liverpool in 1939 but because of World War 2 he was unable to make his debut until the beginning of January in 1946.

His first goal came against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a league fixture at Anfield. As a defender, Bob wasn't a huge goalscorer but managed to put 10 in the net over 253 appearances for Liverpool.

Coaching Career/Backroom Staff

Bob after hanging up his boots for Liverpool liked the place so much he decided to stay. Interestingly Bob took his next step as a self taught physiotherapist, I'm pretty certain that wouldn't be allowed nowadays!

After his spell as physiotherapist Bob went on to coach the Liverpool reserves, Bob was a key member of the famous "Boot Room" when Shankly became manager and it stayed that way until Shankly announced he was retiring in 1974.

Managerial Career

Bob took the Anfield hot seat in 1974, something he admitted he wasn't really expecting and although the fans had faith in him, i don't think anybody expected the amount of silverware he would bring.

Bob managed Liverpool for 9 seasons. Under Bob Paisley Liverpool began to dominate English football, no opposition looked forward to a trip to Anfield. Liverpool won the league 6 times under Bob, they won 3 League Cups, 1 European Super Cup, 1 UEFA Cup, 5 Charity Shields and amazingly 3 European Cups.

Bob Paisley is still the only manager in the history of football to have won three European Cups.

After Leaving Liverpool

Joe Fagan took Bob's place at Anfield after he retired in 1983 but Bob wasn't quite done with Liverpool yet. He spent some time advising Kenny Dalglish when the King was player manager in the 80's and was eventually made director in this period.

In 1992, Bob had to retire from his position as director at Liverpool Football Club due to health reasons. Bob had Alzheimer's Disease and after 4 years of battling he passed away in 1996 on the 14th of February. A fitting day to leave us all for a man who was loved by so many, he was 77 years old.



The Paisley Gates at Anfield were created as a memorial to the great man and still stand today.

Quotes

Bob like Shankly was famous for a quote or two, here are some of my favourites:

"I'm surprised they don't charge me rent and rates." - After visiting Wembley for an 11th time.

"Mind you, I've been here during the bad times too, one year we came second."

"Newspapers remind me of Jaws. They'll consume anything you've got and be back for more the next day."

"If you're in the penalty area and don't know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we'll discuss the options later."

"Kevin was quicker off the mark, but Kenny runs the first five yards in his head."

Honours

As A Player

First Division Champions - 1946/47
FA Cup Runners Up - 1950

As A Manager

First Division Champions - 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83
European Cup - 1977, 1978, 1981
League Cup - 1981, 1982, 1983
UEFA Cup - 1976
European Super Cup - 1977
Chairty Shield - 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1982
Manager Of The Year - 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83

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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Goalless Draw At Anfield

Suarez battles his way through...
Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw with Swansea at Anfield on Saturday in a match which could have quite easily contained goals for both sides. Vorm and Reina played vital roles in the 90 minutes to keep the scoreline level and despite the Reds getting the ball in the net an offside call from Sian Massey ended the celebrations early.

It was an unchanged side from Kenny Dalglish with Carragher and Gerrard still unavailable. Good news to hear that the captain is now back in training though.

Andy Carroll had the first chance of the game when he connected with a cross from Stewart Downing. Just 6 yards out, the Geordie managed to miss, it was agonizing to watch and as Dalglish said himself, if that had of gone in, who'd have known how the match would have ended.

Of course, it was a bad miss but 6 minutes in you shouldn't need to worry about missing a chance at home against Swansea, because plenty more will come, right?

They did come. And just as quickly, they passed us by. Liverpool had 25 shots at goal in this match, I've lost count of how many matches we've had 20+ shots in now but once again the Reds just couldn't put one into the back of the net.

Swansea were superb, their passing and movement throughout the game showed their confidence and they too had their moments. Pepe Reina was called into action on several occasions but thankfully the Spaniard kept Liverpool in the game.

In the latter period of the second half the Reds appeared to have found their footing and for a good ten minutes or so Swansea were under the cosh.

Dirk Kuyt had the ball in the net as Liverpool fans began to celebrate but a keen eye from Sian Massey spotted Kuyt in the offside position. It was gutting but in all honesty, Liverpool had taken all that time to even get something in the net, did we really deserve anything from this game?

Swansea had fought hard and Vorm once again was superb for the away side in the dying minutes. The two saves from Suarez and Johnson were fantastic and the Reds had to settle for just the one point.

Once again, it appeared to be a story of missed chances for Liverpool. For me, i had no qualms with the defence, midfield perhaps were a bit off but i agreed with Dalglish's decision to bring Kuyt on. To be honest, missed chances are one of the hardest things to fix, what are you supposed to do? Other than keep grafting, the magic will happen eventually and until then, as disappointing as it is all we can do is look at the positive of the unbeaten run.

Of course drawing with Swansea and Norwich at home is not ideal, nor is it really that acceptable considering the amount of money and talent on the pitch but we're heading in the right direction. We've struggled against these sort of sides at home for a good while anyway, the King is a legend but as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.

With Chelsea and City up next i personally think the Reds will come out of their shell. I don't know if it's psychological but there's something about the Liverpool side when they face strong opposition. I think as well it may be worth starting Bellamy because at the moment although our strike force is creating chances a plenty, i feel the Welshman may give them a lesson in how to finish them.

Whilst i've got your attention, if you have two seconds spare could you please fill out my survey? I'm trying to gather opinions on the blog so that i can attempt to improve and change it depending on what peoples answers are. Would really appreciate it if you could follow the link! HERE.

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Friday, 4 November 2011

Promoted Swansea Face Reds At Anfield

Perfect pub for the away fans? Haha...
Look at me, typing up a blog post for you all on my birthday after a full morning of Biology and Chemistry... Surely i deserve brownie points for that?? Haha!

Anyways, back on topic...

Liverpool welcome Welsh side Swansea to Anfield on Saturday. The Reds recorded a win over Roy Hodgson's West Brom in their last game whilst Swansea put three past a flailing Bolton side.

Injury news means that captain Steven Gerrard is unavailable. I'm sure you have all read the stories about his ankle infection, i just hope it's a speedy recovery. Jamie Carragher will be looked at late on after picking up a calf injury and that's all the problems for Liverpool covered, everyone else is fit.

For Swansea they are also in pretty good shape but Stephen Dobbie will be unavailable for manager Brendan Rodgers to select.

Dalglish has clearly been assessing this game carefully because it's no secret that the Reds over the past few seasons have struggled against promoted sides, especially at home. We also can reflect back on the Norwich result, still fresh in the minds of the players I'm sure so let's hope we can improve on that result.

Swansea are on a decent run and have had a great start to the season, a loyal fan base will surely provide some noise tomorrow too.

The last time the two sides met was in 1990. An FA Cup clash saw Liverpool put eight in the Swansea net with the Welsh boys unable to even find one consolation goal. In the league we have to go all the way back to 1983 where Liverpool again didn't concede winning 3-0.

Of course, because of the gap since the two teams have played each other, there's a large element of the unexpected.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield so far this season.
  • Swansea's away record is the worst in the league so far this season.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their past 7 matches in all competitions.

Another interesting stat i saw in a quote on the BBC was this "Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll have started together in four of Liverpool's last six matches - and the only games that failed to end in a Reds victory were the two they didn't start together." If that doesn't prove that their partnership is maturing within the side, not much else will.

I've predicted the correct score for the last two matches and both times have failed to put a quid on. I can't have a punt this week either as i won't have time on Saturday but once again i shall offer my opinion and this week I'm going for a 1-0. Obviously I'm hoping for a lot more but i still think we're sorting out our minor problems when facing teams like Swansea and even with Swansea's bad away record, they're going to be a hard team to beat.

Enjoy the match folks! 

I'm off for a meal and maybe a few cocktails haha.

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