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Showing posts from October, 2012

Swansea Back To Haunt Brendan?

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Brendan Rodgers welcomes his old side Swansea to Anfield on Wednesday night as both teams aim to give their fans a treat on Halloween. This is the second outing in the League Cup so far for Liverpool and the Reds will certainly be looking to progress through the competition that they went all the way in last season.

Injuries for Liverpool mean that Pepe Reina and Glen Johnson are unavailable and it is predicted Brendan may field some fringe players. After a rather strong side against Anzhi and his best XI against Everton, it could be seen as an opportunity to give some players a rest.

The big injury worry for Swansea lies with Michael Vorm who is out for 8 weeks. It's a big blow for the Welsh side and his replacement Tremmel will have a lot on his hands.

Michael Laudrup got his Swansea side off to a steady start in the Premier League but the Jacks currently lie in 10th (still a plus on Liverpool's current standing). Their last match in the league cup saw them face Crawley and…

Disallowed Goal Robs Reds Of Derby Win

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I said there'd be controversy and there bloody well was. It was an enthralling game for anybody watching but Liverpool's early dominance faded in the second half after Everton had found two responses to the away side's goals. Add to this a denied Suarez goal in the dying minutes and you have yourself a typical Merseyside derby.

Brendan Rodgers chose to keep Brad Jones between the sticks for this one but Pepe Reina was on the bench. An exciting front three of Suso, Suarez and Sterling gave Moyes enough to think about even before kick off.

The game began with a very high tempo and both teams wanted to be first on the score sheet to set the tone, it wouldn't take long at all before we saw a goal.

Jose Enrique did well to hold possession on the wing and after regaining the ball he put in an inviting cross. Raheem Sterling was encroaching but had fallen over before he even had chance to make contact, luckily Suarez picked up the cross on the far side and from an angle (as …

Derby Sunday

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Liverpool make the short hop to Goodison Park on Sunday as they line up to play their 219th Merseyside derby. As a neutral the fixture is often unmissable and even more so if you are a Blue or a Red. The clash never fails to entertain and I'm sure Sunday will be no different.

Liverpool only have two injury problems (discounting long term) with Pepe Reina having to wait on a late fitness test and Glen Johnson being a doubt after picking up a knock against Anzhi.

Everton were worried whether the influential Fellani would be able to start on Sunday but the general consensus is that he will feature. Unavailable for Moyes' side though is Steven Pienaar who is serving a ban.

The last time the two sides met was in the semi final of the FA Cup last season. Suarez and Carroll were on the score sheet to send Liverpool to Wembley for the third time that year.

The last meeting at Goodison was in October 2011 where Liverpool were victorious but we only have to go back to October a year ea…

Downing Strike Seals Comfortable Win For Reds

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Brendan Rodgers went for a very strong XI against Guus Hiddink's Anzhi on Thursday night after many expected a weakened side. The only real fringe players were Brad Jones in goal and Stewart Downing who would end up proving he still has at least something left in his locker.

Anzhi's megabucks line up consisted of Samba, Zhirkov and Eto'o but it was evident from the whistle that the Russian's plans were to get the ball to the latter and hope for the best.

Liverpool started confidently and were strong in keeping the ball. Possession is obviously very close to Brendan's heart and I think the majority of Thursday evenings performance backed up that mentality. Game stats did finish at exactly 50/50 in possession though.

The Reds first real chance fell to Jonjo Shelvey but he couldn't quite convert his effort into a lead for Liverpool. It was safe to say from the tone set though that the Anzhi keeper would have a lot coming his way throughout this 90 minutes.

With l…

Anzhi At Anfield

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The Russians with the rubles travel to Anfield on Thursday night as Guus Hiddink's Anzhi face Liverpool in the Europa League. The two sides have never met before and although Anzhi are well known in the media it's still guess work for many as to what they are like on the pitch.

Brendan Rodgers still has long term injuries to worry about with Borini, Kelly and Lucas but the boss might opt to field a slighty different team in this Europa League tie. The youngsters have been fantastic and I get the feeling he will probably start most of them alongside players like Downing and Henderson who are now very much on the fringe.

In their last five games in all competitions Anzhi haven't lost. They have also managed to bag two goals in each of their last 4 games. In terms of their performances in the Group this year they confidently beat Young Boys at home and picked up a draw in Udinese.

Anzhi's squad has some massive names within it including Eto'o and Lassana Diarra, thei…

Sterling Strike Seals Reds Home Win

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Brendan Rodgers was desperately searching for a first home win since his time in charge of Liverpool on Saturday and for the majority of the game it looked set in stone that the three points would finally be his, however a rather tentative end to the game when Reading found their feet left Liverpool with a lot of work to do.

Liverpool made only one change to their side after Pepe Reina was kept out with a hamstring problem, Brad Jones took his place. Reading had ex Reds man Guthrie in their starting XI and fielded Pogrebnyak up front.

The first half was of good quality for the home side and Reading were causing minimal problems. The likes of Suso, Sahin and Sterling were linking up well and as always despite his finishing not quite being up to scratch Suarez was offering a lot in terms of attack.

Both Sterling and Suarez had chances at goal but were denied by McCarthy or sent their efforts off target. Their tenacity and freedom to easily break through the Reading defence though meant…

Doubts Over Reina For Reading

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Football is back! Real football I mean, not the one where you travel all the way to Poland with your national side only to be told you can't actually play the game because the pitch is now a massive puddle... Internationals ay?!

Anyway, fear not, the boys in Red are back and their opponents this Saturday are Reading.

Unfortunately for Liverpool the break has also offered the chance for injuries to be aired and Pepe Reina will have to undergo a late fitness test to see whether he will be able to start after picking up a hamstring problem. Fabio Borini will also be unavailable for up to 3 months after fracturing a bone in his foot, with Suarez our only real forward left I don't even want to start thinking about what may happen.

Reading on the other hand are relatively strong and only have one real concern with a doubt hanging over Noel Hunt.

The last time the two sides met I am sure you will remember was in the FA Cup. In January 2010 Reading came to Anfield after sealing a dra…

Everything But The Goal

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Liverpool had to settle for a draw on Sunday afternoon despite their best efforts and a good all round performance. The passing and movement was bang on and chances were certainly created but with a lot of the work left to Suarez to find the back of the net, in the end neither himself or the rest of the side could find the Reds a goal.

Brendan opted to field his youngsters once again with Sterling, Suso and Wisdom all starting. Suarez was the main man up front. Stoke had two ex Liverpool players in their starting line up; Crouch and Adam whilst Owen didn't even make the bench after picking up a knock in training. (Shocker).

The first half left Stoke chasing the ball a lot of the time. Liverpool were confident in retaining possession and the likes of Suso and Sterling were creating space making the Liverpool attacks more threatening. The Stoke defence for the time being was easily undone.

Despite this, Liverpool didn't get many clear cut chances in the first half but were by f…

Owen Returns To Anfield With Potters

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Stoke make the trip up North to Anfield on Sunday as Liverpool look for their second win on the trot in the league. The Reds season only began at Norwich in many senses and it's important Brendan's side keep hold of their momentum now especially at home.

Liverpool don't have any new injury woes but still unavailable is Jonjo Shelvey who is serving his ban. Stoke have similar problems with Andy Wilkinson out through suspension too. Interestingly for Stoke they have four players who will know Anfield very well - Crouch, Owen, Pennant and Adam.

Michael Owen has turned into a bit of a talking point for this game but not because of his football, because of the reaction he will or won't receive. Most Liverpool fans can't stand him and they certainly aren't afraid to make their opinions clear and so anyone hoping for a good reception for Owen may be disappointed.

Most people who have read my Past Players feature on Owen will know where I stand on the situation and wh…

Di Natale Leads Udinese Win

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Liverpool fell to a shock defeat at Anfield on Thursday night after Udinese found the back of the net three times leaving the Reds without enough time to find an equaliser. Liverpool certainly weren't poor but an early goal in the second half shook the side a bit and the lads never really fully recovered.

Robinson was the youngest of Brendan's chosen starting XI but the main men like Gerrard and Suarez were left on the bench. In contrast to original reports Di Natale wasn't rested and started for Udinese.

Liverpool made a very confident start to the game and were retaining possession with ease. Udinese looked happy to allow this early on but it quickly became apparent that they would need to capitalize on the break.

Liverpool took the lead just after the 20 minute mark and Jonjo Shelvey was heavily involved in almost every aspect. It's easy to forget that Jonjo himself is only young but he has bags of experience under his belt now and for me has been very impressive o…

Italians Come To Anfield

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Liverpool welcome Italian side Udinese to Anfield tomorrow as they look to gain another win in their Europa League group. The Reds found there first league win in some style against Norwich at the weekend so here's hoping the goal fest rubs off.

Brendan is unable to call on Lucas or Kelly who are both out long term and there are also doubts hanging over Jose Enrique and Joe Cole. Udinese do not have any major injury worries but it is believed they will not start Di Natale and will opt to rest him instead or bring him on as a sub.

Liverpool have never met Udinese and whilst they have come across Italian opposition many times before this game may be a hard one to predict for Brendan Rodgers.

A positive for Liverpool is that Fabio Borini is experienced in Italy and may be able to shed some light on what to expect from Guidolin's side.

I can't say I am an expert on Udinese by any means but it does certainly appear from this season that they play to the stereotypical Italian w…