The Liver Bird  

Friday, 22 February 2013

Reds Valiant Effort Couldn't Pull Them Through

Say what you want about Luis Suarez but the man lives his football...
Image: sportinglife.com
Liverpool were just 1 goal away from progressing through to the next stage of the Europa League last night but an early mistake by stalwart Jamie Carragher made things even more difficult for the Reds. They found their 3 goals though courtesy of Luis Suarez and Joe Allen but that fourth goal remained too elusive for Brendan's boys.

Liverpool started their strongest possible side with Luis Suarez leading the line. It's been a blow not being able to start Sturridge in these fixtures and so it was clear it would fall to Suarez and Gerrard to find the back of the net unless of course a more unlikely source popped up.

Liverpool started in a very positive but slightly nervy manner in my opinion. There was such a rush to find that first goal that at times mistakes were being made, Zenit were too good a side to gift them with possession and thankfully Liverpool eventually calmed down.

It may have been the Europa League and not the Champions League that we all love so much but Anfield was still a wall of noise last night, each time a Zenit player had the ball the boos rang out, when Liverpool regained it, cheers echoed, it was just the atmosphere the lads needed to pull off what most teams would see as impossible.

Unfortunately for the Reds things didn't originally go according to plan. Just before the 20 minute mark the ball fell to Jamie Carragher, in his 150th European game and with the fans blasting out a rendition of "We all dream of a team of Carraghers" everybody knew he'd have this under control, but he didn't. A slip from the number 23 allowed Hulk through and he made no mistakes smashing his effort low into the middle of the goal.

You just couldn't make this stuff up, Jamie Carragher of all people is the man you rely on most but everybody makes mistakes and this silly one by Carra had put us in a right predicament, we started needing 3 goals and now we needed 4 but we're Liverpool and at Anfield on a night like this, anything can happen.

Just ten minutes later and Liverpool were presented with a real opportunity to get themselves off the mark. A great run all the way from defence by Daniel Agger ended with him being taken down just outside the box. Moans from Denisov meant the Zenit player was booked but despite his arguments he wouldn't be able to stop Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan stepped up to take the free kick and must have noticed the gap he was going to penetrate, in fairness it wasn't the best wall from Zenit but Suarez's intelligence allowed him to penalise them, his strike flew through the wall and past the keeper putting Liverpool back in the game, now they needed 3 goals again.

With Anfield now creating even more decibels it was only a matter of time before the consistent Liverpool pressure provided another goal. It was perfect timing really when the Reds found their second just before the half time whistle.

A pass from Enrique that deflected off a Zenit defender allowed Joe Allen a headed effort which was parried away but Allen then managed to get a foot on it and put Liverpool's second into the back of the net. Suddenly the comeback once again seemed possible, now all we need was 2 goals and we still had the whole of the second half to find them.

Zenit made two substitutions for the second half perhaps realising that they were being bullied far too much, Liverpool had real momentum now and the Russians knew it.

We had to wait until the hour mark though until our next real opportunity arose. Another free kick from just outside the area had all of the Kop praying that Luis Suarez would work some of his magic once again, and boy did he!

A simply sublime free kick from Suarez saw him send the ball curving way outside of the post only to weave back in straight into the back of the net, what a goal! Anfield went absolutely mental and so did Suarez, you could see how much he of all people wanted this, clenching his fists and screaming his head off, all we needed was 1 more goal, 1 goal after all of this effort, surely it was possible now?!

Assaidi and Shelvey were brought on just after the goal replacing Henderson and Joe Allen. Admittedly the subs weren't as effective as perhaps we all would have hoped but those people online yesterday looking for blame that shouldn't have existed and trying to pin it on Rodgers? Well they're just stupid. Shelvey should his chance of been a few more inches to the right could have been the one taking Liverpool through! But it wasn't to be.

The Reds played all the way to the whistle but Zenit were victorious on aggregate. That silly mistake from Carragher cost us and as gutted as he will be and as gutted as we all are I don't personally feel we could have asked for much more.

It's a bit cliche to say there's no other team like Liverpool when it comes to situations like this but it's true, most teams certainly wouldn't have found 3 goals under the circumstances and would have fallen at the first hurdle, we gave it our best shot but we're out, now all we can do it give it one last push in the league and see what happens.

Next up for the Reds is Wigan.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Reds Need Some European Magic

Let's hope Luis Suarez is on form...
Image: skysports.com
Liverpool welcome Zenit St Petersburg to Anfield on Thursday evening as manager Brendan Rodgers sits hoping for one of those famous, magical European nights. Of course this isn't the Champions League and nobody is expecting an Olympiakos type of night but wouldn't it be brilliant to watch us pull off this result and go through to the next stage?

Liverpool are unable to play Sturridge and Coutinho who frustratingly are both cup tied, both men were on the score sheet in the emphatic win over Swansea and the Reds will need to look elsewhere for their goals. Also unavailable is Fabio Borini who has dislocated his shoulder. Zenit have no new injury worries and it is predicted manager Spalletti will put out the same team.

I'm sure it hasn't been long enough for you to forget the scoreline when the teams last met but just in case you missed it all, Liverpool lost 2-0 in Russia and Zenit had the very influential Hulk on the score sheet.

Liverpool have shown against Swansea that they are in fact capable of gaining control, finding a lead and not only keeping hold of it but cementing the result. Swansea though were a weakened side and the last Premier League outing before that for the Reds ended in exactly the same way as the game in Russia.

Zenit are a very dangerous side and they have some quality players however I can't help but feel they were allowed more freedom than they will get at Anfield, Liverpool crumbled in Russia and I get the feeling they won't allow that to happen again on Merseyside. Zenit's supporters will have also provided a massive boost but it's a totally different story at Anfield, the Kop will be the one's roaring this time, especially if Liverpool get an early goal.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have lost 3 games in the Europa League this season.
  • Korsakov has scored 52 goals in 94 matches for Zenit.
  • In 3 out of the Reds last 6 games in all competitions they have scored at least twice.

Despite the positivity that Anfield will bring I still can't hide from how big the task is, however I've been feeling more optimistic than pessimistic lately and if Suarez has one of his good days playing without Sturridge and can find an early goal then Liverpool are definitely well within a chance of going through. Whatever happens at least it adds some excitement to this stage of the Europa League because let's face it, it's usually pretty dreary.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Monday, 18 February 2013

Reds Finally Beat A Side Above Them In The Table

Coutinho celebrates...
Image: clickliverpool.com
Liverpool produced an emphatic win over Swansea on Sunday with 5 different goalscorers finding the back of the net. In complete contrast to their last outing in the league against West Brom, this time the Reds created and took their chances leaving a weakened Swansea side with a lot to deal with.

Brendan put out a very strong XI for this fixture and new signing Coutinho also got his first start. Laudrup though made 7 changes to his Swansea side perhaps with one eye on Wembley. Sturridge was back up front for Liverpool who missed him dearly in the Europa League.

Liverpool began the first half at Anfield in a confident fashion, shots from the likes of Coutinho, Suarez and Sturridge didn't take long to appear at all but the home crowd would have to wait until just after the half hour mark to see their first goal of the game.

At 33 minutes Luis Suarez was taken down in the box by Agustein, the Uruguayan had been challenged earlier in the box too but appeals were waved. Nevertheless Liverpool now had a great chance to take the lead. Up stepped Steven Gerrard who must have been feeling a little more nervous than usual after seeing his last penalty saved, the captain however didn't make the same mistake this time and he ensured the Reds went 1-0 up.

I don't mean to find the only bad point in a simply superb game but I can't be the only one feeling that the penalty helped us a hell of a lot more than most people would think looking at the final score. What I mean by that is before the spot kick Liverpool were once again creating chance after chance but nothing was going in, the penalty gave us the scoreline we deserved and hence aided our confidence, providing a boost to go on and score more in my opinion.

Half time was reached with no further goals and I would imagine Swansea were feeling relieved to have reached this stage without further damage. It may have been a weakened side that Laudrup named but they still didn't put in a very competitive performance, Sturridge particularly was running rings around their defence far too easily.

The second half couldn't have started better for the Reds as Coutinho got his first Liverpool goal in the first minute. A powerful shot from inside the area was enough to get past Vorm and Liverpool were now 2-0 up.

4 minutes later and Liverpool were at it again and what a goal this one was, the build up was awesome! After a back heel to Sturridge, Jose Enrique continued his run into the box and completing a lovely one two Sturridge then returned the ball to Enrique who smashed home Liverpool's third.

This was just brilliant to watch, Liverpool were effectively taking the piss out of Swansea it's just annoying that we can't consistently play like this. 3 goals and no sign of Swansea getting a return would have done just nicely but the Reds weren't done just yet.

Another goal just before the hour mark fell for Luis Suarez who once again deserved to find the back of the net after all his effort. With an assist from Stewart Downing, Suarez completed a typical strike and left the Swansea keeper with no chance. Suarez looks immensely comfortable when Sturridge is playing with him, he has less work to do and he knows Sturridge will provide him with the assistance he needs.

4-0 though still wasn't enough for Brendan's side and it was another penalty after a hand ball in the box that would provide Liverpool with their final goal of the game. After a brilliant performance Daniel Sturridge was rightly given the penalty, converting with ease the forward had found the Reds a fifth goal of the game.

Unfortunately for Liverpool the game ended on a rather sour note as Fabio Borini had to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder, I hope he makes a fast recovery.

Liverpool had a remarkable 33 shots and 18 of them were on target, if Liverpool could learn to consistently convert their chances then they would be in a far better position. Nevertheless it was a fantastic performance from the Reds and to see 5 goals from 5 different scorers is always very refreshing!

Next up for Liverpool is Zenit.

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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Reds Look For Win Against Swansea

Suarez scored the last time Swansea were at Anfield...
Image: mirror.co.uk
It's Swansea at Anfield on Sunday for Liverpool and the Reds will be looking to find their way back to winning ways after two defeats on the trot. The loss against Zenit followed the same suit as the West Brom game and it's a worrying prospect that Liverpool are able to crumble so easily but in contrast, when looking at the performances againt Arsenal and Man City, it's clear Liverpool can still get a result.

There are no new injury worries for Liverpool and so Brendan will have the pick of the bunch for this tie against Swansea. The Welsh side on the other hand will be without the influential Chico Flores who has ruptured his ankle ligaments (ouch!) and Neil Taylor is also still out with a broken leg.

The last time the two sides met was in November last year. The game ended in a 0-0 draw despite 9 shots on target from Liverpool. The last time Swansea were at Anfield was in October for the League Cup, the game ended badly for Liverpool who conceded 3 with only one return from Luis Suarez.

Liverpool have lost 3 of their last 6 matches in all competitions whilst Swansea have only lost 2. Swansea's last game saw them put in a confident performance against QPR scoring 4 times, they failed to score at all in their 3 matches before this though.

Stat Sandwich

  • Since Swansea were promoted Liverpool have failed to score against them in the Premier League.
  • Swansea have only won 1 of their last 6 away games in the league.
  • The Reds still haven't beaten a side above them in the table yet this season.

I think it's evident that Liverpool need to play a lot better than they have done in their last two fixtures to get anything from this game. They may have been starting games well but they aren't capitalising when they're creating all the chances. I'm hoping for a win here but I'm not so sure we'll be able to pull one off at the moment therefore I'm going to go for a 1-1.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Friday, 15 February 2013

Hulk Makes Reds Angry

Hulk's goal was fantastic...
Image: telegraph.co.uk
Liverpool fell to a 2-0 defeat in Russia on Thursday evening after once again having most of the chances and then completely losing the plot in the last half of the game. In a similar fashion to the West Brom game Liverpool were hit when they least expected it after having what looked like control.

Brendan Rodgers fielded a very strong side after making it clear this week that he wasn't going to rest anybody. He obviously realised the size of the task ahead and the importance of gaining a result in Russia.

The first half consisted of several missed chances for both sides and on a rather questionable playing surface Luis Suarez was one of a few players struggling to compete with the ground at times. Without the cup tied Daniel Sturridge once again Liverpool found themselves lacking an option and despite the best efforts of Suarez, he couldn't find the Reds an opening goal.

Luckily for Liverpool when the attacks came in from Zenit Pepe Reina and Jamie Carragher were confidently dealing with them, some great saves and timed tackles kept Liverpool in the game and Brendan I would assume would have felt pretty ok with the scoreline at half time.

A goalless draw to take back to Anfield would have been very nice but the second half would pose greater problems for Liverpool than the first.

The Reds didn't create as many chances in the second half and Zenit were beginning to keep more of the possession. It was clear the home side were becoming more confident and with some dangerous players on their side it was only a matter of time before they found the back of the net within this momentum.

Just before the 70 minute mark that goal came. From outside the area a simply wonderful strike from Hulk left the Reds with a lot of work to do in the last 20 minutes of the game. With barely a minute to recompose themselves though Zenit had found themselves a second.

A close range goal for Semak sent the home fans wild and now there really was no way back for Liverpool. Lucas was brought on after the goal in an attempt to prevent any further damage and Liverpool managed to make it to the final whistle without conceding any more.

It's not an impossible task to turn this around at Anfield, of course it's not but you have to be optimistic like myself to hope Liverpool can pull off one of their famous European nights. As many have said it depends on "which team turns up" and without Sturridge I feel we're lacking easy goals that would boost our confidence in a game where we're creating chances but not converting.

All hope is not lost though so here's hoping for a bit of magic next week. First though, Liverpool have to face Swansea on Sunday!

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

To Russia With Love

How's that for some man love Zenit??? Happy Valentine's Day! Haha...
Image: betfair.com
Liverpool make the rather long trip to Russia on Thursday evening whilst unwittingly creating several arguments between couples on Valentine's night as one pleads to watch the match and the other drags them out for a meal. I went for a blatant pun in the title for this post but as most of you will know there isn't much love being given to the Zenit fans at the moment and I doubt that will change on Thursday evening after they revealed their true opinions about black and gay players last year. I, for this reason alone hope we absolutely hammer them.

Liverpool have no new injury worries and Brendan Rodgers has also indicated that he will be taking all his big names and resting no one. Zenit are also in pretty good shape with their manager able to choose from an almost full side.

Don't hold me completely to it but my research had indicated that Liverpool have never met Zenit and so unfortunately I can't offer any "the last time these two sides met" paragraphs in here. Zenit though have faced British opposition before and at home they have never lost to an English side.

Zenit's last 5 fixtures suggest they are in pretty good form most recently drawing with megabucks Anzhi and also gaining a win over Milan in the Champions League in December. (Russia have a winter break). Zenit haven't lost in any competition for their last 5 matches.

Liverpool on the other hand have notched up 2 losses in their last 5 games, the most recent obviously coming at the hands of West Brom.

Stat Sandwich

  • Martin Skrtel won the Russian league with Zenit.
  • Zenit and Liverpool reached a total of 3 European finals between 2005 and 2008.
  • Liverpool's only defeat away from home in the Europa League was against Anzhi.

This game is a very difficult one to predict as I will be the first to admit my knowledge of Zenit is below par. Zenit though are going strong in their league currently sitting in 3rd place. It's also very clear that trips to Russia are difficult and the home advantage will certainly play into Zenit's palms. 

Despite that I still feel Liverpool can pick up a result here and if I was going to place a quid on the game I'd put it on 1-1.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Baggies Park The Bus Then Snatch 3 Points

The expression says it all...
Image: sportinglife.com
Liverpool were the victims of a real smash and grab at Anfield on Monday evening as they struggled to accept a late West Brom win after creating almost all of the chances themselves. Liverpool troubled Foster throughout the game but after Steven Gerrard missed a penalty it was clear something special would be needed to take the lead. The Baggies didn't even have a shot until 80 minutes but they made it count, scoring and then finding the net again 10 minutes later.

There was no Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool as he continued to nurse a thigh injury and it would quickly become evident how much we missed the forward. Jamie Carragher was named in defence once again and it was Shelvey chosen to partner Luis Suarez up front.

The first half for Liverpool was a relatively decent one. I popped online at half time and most of Twitter appeared to be annoyed with the performance so far, I however was focusing on the positives after all, Pepe Reina was completely untroubled and all the chances were falling to us, however, I was wrong to be optimistic.

The first half allowed Liverpool to really apply pressure on the baggies, each and every time the away side picked up the ball there was a red shirt either directly in front of them or racing towards them, it was brilliant to see, the problem though was that when Liverpool did have or retain possession we were failing in the final third. Unfortunately for Liverpool the likes of Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique were on an "off day" and so supply into the box was limited and when it did occur it wasn't always up to standard.

Combating this though was Stewart Downing, I'm not his biggest fan but he was arguably the best player for us yesterday and thankfully his crosses and runs were causing problems. It was clear though that Liverpool were missing that poaching attitude. Suarez had several chances of course he did but he was never hovering in the box waiting for a cross because he's always trying to do everybody's job and create the effort from outside the area himself. Liverpool were in control of the game and had all the chances but vitally, they couldn't find the back of the net.

In the meantime West Brom after their run of form were more than happy to park the bus for the whole of the first half and with the aid of an on form Ben Foster they did exactly the same in the second half too.

Just before the hour mark, Liverpool realised that they needed to make some changes, Borini and Sterling were brought on replacing Henderson and Shelvey. Shelvey was pretty quiet for me and so I felt that was a good substitution and it was also brilliant to see Sterling playing again.

Borini and Sterling added some more options for Liverpool but still they couldn't find a goal. A succession of efforts from the Reds one after the other in the second half left West Brom wondering how they'd managed to keep the ball out, but it just wasn't happening for Liverpool at all.

At 76 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty. Some would argue it was a soft one but West Brom needn't have worried anyway because captain reliable Steven Gerrard had his penalty saved by Ben Foster. For me, this was a turning point. West Brom now also had Lukaku on, a monster of a man and so they knew if their chance arose, they could snatch all 3 points.

At 80 minutes McAuley (whose parents are Liverpool fans) silenced the already quite Anfield faithful with a headed goal for his side. After seeing how much freedom Agger was allowed in the opposition box it makes you wonder why the Dane allowed his counterpart the same deal.

It almost felt like the Reds had given up after the West Brom goal went in and things were made even worse when Steve Clarke's side found another. At 90 minutes Lukaku scored from close range completely distinguishing any hopes Liverpool had of scraping a draw.

It was a terrible game to watch by the end of the 90 minutes but one thing is clear Liverpool can't afford to waste their chances and they need to take them when they're in control. West Brom were in a terrible bout of form and although it was clear their tactics were to aim for a smash and grab all along it simply shouldn't have been allowed to happen.

Next up for Liverpool is Zenit.

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Out Of Form Baggies At Anfield

Coutinho could feature for the Reds against West Brom...
Image: guardian.co.uk
Liverpool welcome Midlanders West Brom to Anfield on Monday evening as ex Reds assistant Steve Clarke looks to lead his new side to a result against Brendan's boys. Liverpool though have produced some brilliant displays and were almost hard done by only picking up draws against both Manchester City and Arsenal.

Liverpool are leaving the decision on Daniel Sturridge's fitness until the last minute after the forward suffered a thigh injury. Other than that there are no new injury worries for the Reds and positively Liverpool are now able to call upon new signing Coutinho.

West Brom are without Popov after the player spat at Kyle Walker during the Tottenham game, a disgraceful thing to do. He begins his 3 match ban. Also available again for the baggies is Peter Odemwingie, it will be very interesting to hear the response from their fans should he get the start on Monday.

The last time the two sides met was in September last year in the League Cup. Liverpool won the game 2-1 with Nuri Sahin finding both goals for the Reds. The meeting before that was in August where Liverpool fell to a 3-0 defeat at the Hawthorns. Surpirisngly West Brom also won the last time they made a visit to Anfield, Odemwingie finding a winner for the away side in the 75th minute.

Stat Sandwich

  • In all of Liverpool's last 10 Premier League games there have been 3 or more goals.
  • West Brom haven't won in their last 6 league games, they've never had a run of 7 without a win.
  • Lucas Leiva if chosen will make his 200th appearance in a Liverpool shirt.

Despite West Brom's recent poor run of form they still find themselves 9th in the table and only 2 points behind Liverpool who are in 8th on 36 points. Liverpool going in to this game have to feel pretty confident though as they're the one's pulling off the performances.

Steve Clarke has done a brilliant job with West Brom but the baggies appear to have hit a bit of a rut and I personally can't see them getting themselves out of it at Anfield on Monday. Suarez and Sturridge have been immense and the Reds are bound to find goals against West Brom, I'm going to punt for a 2-0 Liverpool win.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Monday, 4 February 2013

Gerrard Strike Gains Reds A Point

Av summa that!...
Image: dailyrecord.co.uk
Liverpool lined up to face Champions Manchester City on Sunday evening looking to go one better than their draw at the Emirates. Despite another great performance from the Reds though the away side had enough left in their closet to pick up a point and the game ended 2-2 again for Brendan's boys.

The line up consisted of Jamie Carragher once again in defence, his experience and leadership obviously still standing him in good stead and up front for Liverpool was the new SAS. I'm overly impressed with these pair.

The game started positively for Liverpool who began very much in the same way as they did against Arsenal. This match meant a lot to both sides but perhaps you could argue City needed the 3 points more as they look to chase Manchester United. They needed the points and most people pre-match would have predicted Mancini's side to win but Liverpool weren't going to go down without a fight.

It was unfortunate that the Reds conceded the first goal because we were actually having the better of the chances but the effort was too simple to miss for forward Edin Dzeko. Assisted by James Milner a tap in was enough to put the home side ahead.

Just 6 minutes later though and Liverpool had smashed themselves straight back into the game. Sturridge was once again hovering around annoying defenders but also breaking in to the box and playing in his team mates,  when finding himself in a bit of space after receiving a Gerrard pass Sturridge grabbed the opportunity with both hands and with a lovely strike put Liverpool level.

Shortly after the goal Jordan Henderson picked up a booking and usually, especially if you haven't watched the match, you would consider this a bad thing but strangely I don't think it was, his booking just emphasised how hard he was working, he was bound to get caught at one point but Henderson's work ethic on Sunday was truly fantastic. Again though I really, really wish he would learn to stop hesitating, he was left with an opportunity at one stage to set up Suarez and you could see Henderson considering to lift the ball over to him but instead he stopped and played it to bloody Downing, in time however I'm sure he will become even more confident.

Half time was reached with no more goals but it was clear both sides still had something left in the tank. It wasn't as fast paced as the Arsenal game I don't feel but there was still goals in this.

Again, Liverpool started confidently in the second half, chances were being created but none converted, it would take until just after 70 minutes for something to come good for the Reds and how good was it?!

Vintage Steven Gerrard this was. Hanging around outside the box in that sort of Olympiakos Champions League/ FA Cup West Ham sort of space, thankfully the captain was spotted by Jose Enrique and with a perfectly timed effort Gerrard smashed home Liverpool's second, sending it flying past Joe Hart who knew himself he had no chance.

It was superb! Just what I felt we deserved at this stage of the game and how long has it been since we've seen a Gerrard goal like that? Just classic.

Now in the lead the lads must have been conscious about what happened at Arsenal, they knew City were capable of finding another goal but to concede it in the way we did was a bit annoying.

5 minutes after Gerrard's goal, Aguero was on the wing in possession. Pepe Reina made the decision to come out, now the thing is, Reina does this mad crazy "I'm gonna run at the bloke even though there's no danger and he's miles away" thing quite often, and 9 times out of 10, despite me panicking like a nut job everything is fine, this time however, it wasn't and Reina has to take the blame.

That being said, there's only a few players who would have converted the shot from the position Aguero was in and so credit has to be given there, Manchester City had found their equaliser and neither side was capable of finding a winner.

Liverpool had to settle for just the one point and I do mean settle because their performance warranted a higher tally. With 12 shots on target to City's 5 perhaps the Reds should have taken their chances whilst they had control.

Next up for Liverpool is West Brom at Anfield!

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Saturday, 2 February 2013

Mario's Gone But They're Probably Still Super

Entertainment has certainly been decreased with the departure of Mario...
Image: bbc.co.uk
Liverpool are faced with the tough task of Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon and with the Reds doing so well to start with in the Arsenal game, Brendan's boys will certainly fancy their chances of causing problems for the Champions. However, the Reds will need to keep their concentration if they are able to gain a lead.

Liverpool are in a pretty good situation injury wise with no new troubles and the trio of Enrique, Johnson and Reina all back. It is believed new signing Coutinho will have to wait for his first start in a Liverpool shirt though. Man City are without Vincent Kompany which is a big blow for them but Mancini is hopefully both Richards and Maicon will be available.

Liverpool are currently placed 7th in the table whilst Manchester City are hanging 7 points behind Manchester United in 2nd place.

The last time the two sides met was in August last year. With Skrtel and Suarez on the score sheet Liverpool managed to collect a point from the game. The last meeting with City at the Etihad for Liverpool was also a positive one as the Reds picked up a 1-0 win in the Carling Cup, however our record as a whole at City isn't a brilliant one.

City haven't lost in their last 5 games in all competitions and also, impressively, they haven't conceded in that time either. The Reds on the other hand have notched up two losses in their last 5.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have found the back of the net in all of their last 11 Premier League matches.
  • City are -18 on their goal count compared to this stage of the season last year.
  • Liverpool haven't won a game in the league this season where they have conceded first.

You don't need me to tell you that this is going to be a real test for the Reds but that doesn't mean that we're going to walk away with nothing. If we play as we did in the majority of the Arsenal game then we could once again find ourselves in control of the situation, importantly though, if Liverpool do get to this stage then they need to remain calm and keep their concentration, Arsenal pulled back that game far too easily and it simply never should have happened.

I'd definitely fancy Suarez to get on the score sheet and with Kompany missing the City defence has taken a slight knock there that could be exploited via both the Uruguayan and Sturridge up front. Perhaps optimistically I will go for a 1-1 here, I don't think it's going to be as end to end as the Arsenal game and therefore there won't be as many goals, unless of course Liverpool go to pot and City run riot.

Enjoy the match folks!

P.s. Thank you to anybody that voted for The Liver Bird in the Sportskeeda Blogger Awards! I really appreciate it! They should be announcing the winners soon.

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