The Liver Bird  

Monday, 28 April 2014

19th Century Football

Jose Mourinho once described the tactics of West Ham United as a display of "19th century football" his comments were derogatory and never intended to be received in a positive way. On Sunday however, the master of hypocrisy as opposed to the "master of tactics" also produced some sublime "19th century football". Whilst I begrudgingly commend him for coming to Anfield with a plan, getting some luck and seeing it out, I mostly still find the man repulsive, arrogant and somebody who only sees things as "right" when he himself says or produces them.

Liverpool on the other hand as Brendan Rodgers proudly responded post match were to play this game in the manner they have all season - they would attack. Whilst some feel Rodgers got it wrong and that he should have played for a draw, I feel this is where the real admiration is. Rodgers played great football and if it wasn't for a Steven Gerrard slip Chelsea would have been sitting on a frankly worthless 0-0.

The first chance of the game actually fell to Chelsea and for a brief moment it appeared as though the Chelsea bus might be in retirement. A long range shot from Ashley Cole forced Mignolet into a very early save. It wasn't long though before the double decker returned, complete with passengers tying their shoelaces and keeping the ball in the corner despite it being the first half... pathetic.

Following the Cole chance Luis Suarez broke down the right wing swinging a cross over to Philippe Coutinho who took his effort first time but smashed the ball into the side netting. Still on the attack Liverpool soon managed to gain a corner which created trouble in the box for Chelsea as the ball had to be cleared off the line. Eventually falling to Sakho, his effort flew high over the bar.

Ashley Cole may not have been playing regularly for Chelsea but he was certainly making his presence felt in this game for all the wrong reasons. The defender at one stage completely clattered into Suarez leading with an elbow, a free kick was awarded but the Chelsea man was never booked.

Shortly afterwards Chelsea had one of their rare attacks and found themselves annoyed with the referee when a Salah shot hit Flanagan's hand. In my opinion this was ball to hand as Flanno was turning his back at the moment of contact, I feel Chelsea would have been very lucky had that decision gone their way.

Referee Martin Atkinson by this point must have been getting bored of "warning" the Chelsea players about their time wasting as the tying of laces became more prominent. Not only this but Schwarzer was taking goal kicks like he needed a sat nav to find the pissin ball, it was just ridiculous. They got away with their antics for far too long, it was frustrating the hell out of me so god knows how the players were feeling.

Late in the second half before Chelsea finally took advantage a corner for Mourinho's side found its way to Kalas who was unlucky with his header. As Liverpool prepared to regroup though, hoping to reach half time still with a result that was more than suitable for them, a disaster happened.

Steven Gerrard of all the people on the pitch accidentally slipped gifting Demba Ba possession. Chelsea may not have the best strike force in the world but there was no way Ba was messing this chance up. One on one with Simon Mignolet he slipped the ball underneath the keeper and put Chelsea into the lead.

Despite conceding in such a heartbreaking and annoying way by half time, confidence was still high, you just had to feel that Liverpool would continue to press and eventually find a goal. The other aspect was that Steven Gerrard, already pumped prior to the game, was surely not going to allow his mistake to write the story of this title race.

Whilst an angry and driven Gerrard in some senses should have been a positive it actually turned out to be a negative for Liverpool and this was made evident straight away in the second half. A long range effort from Gerrard forced Schwarzer into a save but it was clear that Liverpool were not going to score that way, yet Gerrard trying to play the hero would continue to have a pop at these shots instead of sometimes making the pass. This isn't a dig by the way, it's just very clear that if Gerrard had not of slipped and given away a goal, there's no way he'd of been shooting from that range in the second half.

Just before the hour mark Liverpool replaced Lucas with Daniel Sturridge. It was great to see Daniel back and I just kept thinking that before we know it he'll be linking up with Suarez and we'll bag that all important goal, the moment however, never came.

Joe Allen was the next man to have a chance for Liverpool, his stinging volley called Schwarzer into action again and the Cech understudy did a brilliant job maintaining his side's lead.

Shortly afterwards, Simon Mignolet was doing the heroics after a run from Schurrle eventually ended with a shot, Mignolet saved well though and once again proved how much he is worth to Liverpool. He makes his mistakes but he always pulls off something brilliant that usually helps see his team over the line but not today.

More long range efforts from Gerrard proved that things were getting desperate as Liverpool just could not find a way through Chelsea's ten men behind the ball. A moment of ingenuity from Coutinho though when he managed to flick a pass over the defence sent the ball agonisingly close to Luis Suarez who you have to feel would have scored if he made a connection.

Suarez would also see the last real chance of the game for Liverpool after a corner ball eventually fell to him, a cracking shot forced Schwarzer into yet another brilliant save and the Reds began to realise that this was not going to be their day.

To top it all off, Liverpool lost possession late on, again due to the manner in which they were playing and the panic of finding a goal. Who else but Fernando Torres? His resulting run was followed by Willian and whilst Torres of old would have simply slotted the ball into the back of the net, the Spaniard decided to pass to Willian who scored, crushing Liverpool's dreams right there and then.

I was absolutely devastated by final whistle, I don't mind admitting it, I was almost crying as the realisation of the title slipping away began to set in. What made it worse (and this is my own fault) is that I genuinely 100% did not feel we would lose this game, I knew Mourinho would set up the way he did but I felt we would at least gain a draw.

Add to that the manner in which we lost and also the smug bastard Mourinho screaming his head off down the line and well, I was a tad pissed off.

I said at the start, as much as it pains me to say it, Mourinho got it right, I do think I have a right to moan about his tactics simply because he himself slates them when it's not his side doing it. But the fact is Mourinho knew exactly what he was doing and he got that bit of luck that Chelsea needed. The Reds tried but they just could not break down the Chelsea defence and saves from Schwarzer also made it extremely difficult for Liverpool.

However, after sleeping and sulking for most of yesterday evening I have woken up back in my typical optimistic mode. We're still pissin in this race and nobody knows what is going to happen, so guess what? WE GO AGAIN.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game on Twitter and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Next up for Liverpool is Crystal Palace.

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Liverpool Ready For Chelsea At Anfield

Liverpool welcome Jose Mourinho's Chelsea to Anfield on Sunday and whilst Brendan Rodgers bats away the ex Inter Milan coach's mind games, Liverpool are 100% ready to go out and walk another step closer to that elusive Premier League title.

Mourinho began this week by saying he would rest key players in the fixture, perhaps having one eye on a shot at another Champions League. Whilst the media stirred up a storm as the board also agreed to allow Mourinho to field a weakened side, I found myself annoyed but genuinely not bothered. Jose Mourinho can field whatever soddin' team he wants, it makes no difference whatsoever, his whole team is worth tonnes more than ours and we're gonna have them.

For this reason I'm not providing any injury news for Chelsea, it's guess work trying to see who they are going to start anyway. For Liverpool though Daniel Sturridge will be subject to a late fitness test whilst Jose Enrique is still unavailable.

Chelsea are currently second in the league on 75 points. A win for them would put them back in the race and also aid Manchester City. Liverpool on the other hand are top of the table, a win or even a draw for Liverpool leaves the title still very much in their own hands with two games left.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year. Chelsea got the better of Liverpool at Stamford Bridge winning the game 2-1. This match was also the last time Liverpool lost in the league!

The last visit to Anfield by Chelsea saw Liverpool nick a 2-2 draw in the 90th minute via a Luis Suarez goal. Liverpool have a pretty decent record against Chelsea at Anfield, the last time the blues won though was quite recently back in 2010 when they beat the Reds 2-0.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have scored 15 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season.
  • Fernando Torres has failed to score 337 minutes in matches against Liverpool.
  • The Reds have scored three or more goals in 20 games this season.

I asked you for your score predictions and here are a few of the tweets I received.

I've had a lot of tweets saying 3-1 it's probably been the most popular prediction this week. For once, I still don't know what the score is going to be, part of me agrees that we're gonna score a few whilst the other thinks Chelsea are going to park the bus and we'll nick a 2-1. I'm definitely having a bet on Martin Skrtel anytime though!

Enjoy the match folks, it's another MASSIVE game!

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Monday, 21 April 2014

When Gerrard Said "Exactly The Same" We Didn't Know He Meant Another 3-2!

Liverpool in typical heart stopping fashion managed to collect another vital three points at Norwich on Sunday as they eventually won the game 3-2. A quick start for the Reds set a precedent for the game before Norwich slowly began to gain a foothold and pushed Liverpool right to the wire. Goals from Sterling and Suarez ensured Liverpool remained at the top of the table with just three games left.

Brendan Rodgers was forced into making two changes for this fixture with Daniel Sturridge out injured and Jordan Henderson suspended. Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva took their place. With Suarez in the starting line up an interesting stat read that the Uruguayan had scored 11 goals in his last four games against Norwich!

The game began brightly for Liverpool who quickly got off the mark via the brilliant Raheem Sterling. After making his own space Sterling opted to take a long range shot and with a powerful stinging effort he sent his strike straight into the back of the net leaving Ruddy with no chance. There may have been a slight deflection but it takes nothing away from the goal, it was a superb start to the game for Liverpool!

You know things are going well when Joe Allen gets a crack at goal too. Shortly afterwards with a set up from Coutinho the midfielder forced Ruddy into a good save.

Liverpool continued to apply the pressure and after a pass from Flanagan to Sterling, the youngster again showed what a fantastic prospect he is. He waited patiently for an encroaching Luis Suarez and then placed a perfect ball into the box, Suarez then finished neatly slotting the ball to Ruddy's left to put Liverpool 2-0 up after 10 minutes.

After starting so brilliantly things quickly began to take a different turn for Liverpool in the latter stages of the first half. Norwich slowly but surely began to get a foothold and with their fans getting more and more vociferous the Reds were soon having to deal with some dangerous situations. A mix up in the box from the Liverpool defence late on nearly led to a goal and a sloppy loss of possession by Glen Johnson led to another attempt from Norwich which forced Mignolet into a save.

The second half started much of the same for Norwich who continued to pressure the Liverpool defence. In the midst of it all a chance for Liverpool saw Suarez make a beautiful long range pass to Countiho who sent a pass to Sterling but this time his shot flew over the bar.

Soon Norwich's hard work would pay off. A cross into the box was poorly dealt with by Mignolet who committed but failed to punch clear. In the melee a Johnson header fell to Hooper who slotted the ball home with ease to put Norwich right back in the game.

Liverpool never appear to make things easy for themselves and I've been saying constantly that this game and the Palace one would be the real questions. At times in this game it felt like we were beginning to throw it all away.

Seven minutes later though and Liverpool had punished again. Norwich lost possession far too easily and Raheem Sterling was the first to pounce, his run all the way to the box was sure to end in a pass but the youngster decided to take the effort himself, with a bit of luck his resulting shot deflected off Johnson and flew high over Ruddy, dropping neatly into the back of the net.

Liverpool definitely needed the two goal cushion at this point but Norwich were not finished yet. Another bout of green and yellow pressure left Liverpool struggling to deal with the attacks. Firstly a long range effort from Snodgrass forced Mignolet into a save and shortly afterwards a Redmond shot smashed off Skrtel and flew out for a corner. The header from the resulting corner for Norwich went very close but they didn't have to wait much longer for their second of the game.

Another cross into the danger area from Norwich from Olsson found its way to Snodgrass. The Norwich player did well to force his way into the air above John Flanagan who failed to follow his man upwards. The resulting header from Snodgrass once again put Norwich back in the game.

At this stage the Reds began to look extremely nervy even a shot from van Wolfswinkel called Mignolet into action and he hasn't scored in ages! It was another nail biting end to a game for Liverpool fans but thankfully the Reds managed to hold out.

It was a fantastic performance from Norwich who definitely had Liverpool panicking throughout the game but as has happened so often this season, Liverpool have worked through the pressure from other teams, they've scored goals, held on and fought for their points, for me, this is what a title winning side does.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea!

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

"Exactly The Same... We Go Again."

After a scintillating fixture with Manchester City last weekend, Liverpool fans find themselves ever more excited as the blue side of Manchester also slipped up against Sunderland in the week dropping more points. As the Reds assess their situation they could even draw with Chelsea now and still go on to win the league but first there is the yellow and green of Norwich standing in our way.

Injuries for Liverpool are pretty much the same with Jose Enrique out long term. What looked like a bad injury for Daniel Sturridge though is thankfully not as bad as expected and the striker will be subject to a late fitness test for this one. Personally I would save him for the Chelsea game.

For Norwich they are unable to call upon Yobo and Bennett but their captain Sebastien Bassong should be available to start for manager Neil Adams.

Liverpool are currently still sitting loud and proud at the top of the table. After the defeat of Manchester City at Anfield the Reds really are feeling buoyant on 77 points and with a goal difference of 51.

Our opposition Norwich currently find themselves sitting in 17th as I write this post. The Canaries are very much in the midst of a relegation battle and with some tough fixtures to come there is a lot of weight on Neil Adams' shoulders! I personally don't understand why they got rid of Chris Hughton at the time they did, it seems like a strange decision to me, but who knows they might well pull off an escape.

Norwich have lost four out of their last six games in the league. Drawing one and winning their match against Sunderland.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year. The 5-1 drubbing saw Luis Suarez pick up four goals in this clash against what appears to be his favourite team. Our last trip to Carrow Road also ended favourably with Liverpool once again getting five goals this time with no return from Norwich.

The Canaries' best performance against us of late was back in 2011 when they managed to hold out for a 1-1 draw. Craig Bellamy and Grant Holt were the goalscorers that day. To find a Norwich win over Liverpool we must go all the way back to 1994.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have taken 31 points from a possible 51 in away games this season.
  • Norwich have lost their last three games without finding the back of the net.
  • Martin Skrtel is the league's highest goal scoring defender this season having netted seven times.

I asked you for your score predictions for this one and here are a few of the tweets I received.

I am genuinely concerned about this game, just as I am with the Crystal Palace one. Those on Twitter will have seen me raising my thoughts about these games and I've probably covered it on the blog too. I find myself very confident for Chelsea at home and also the Newcastle game but Norwich and Crystal Palace for me are potential banana skins.

You would hope with Norwich's current run that they will not pose as much of a threat and with Liverpool's momentum and goal scoring record, on paper it should definitely be a Liverpool win but football is a funny old game. I haven't seen much at all of Norwich this season and whilst most appear to be writing them off before a ball has been kicked, I personally feel that is a very dangerous attitude to have.

As Gerrard said "we go again".

Each game is as important as the last now, we need to face this one the same way we faced City and hopefully we can pick up another three points.

I'm not sure I'm gonna be putting any bets on tomorrow as I don't think I'll get chance however I feel as though Norwich will get an opportunity to score most probably from a set piece, I can see them nicking a goal for this reason but I also feel Liverpool will eventually have the upper hand. If I was popping some money on it would be on 2-1 Liverpool and Skrtel anytime, my new favourite bet haha!

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The 25th Anniversary Of The Hillsborough Disaster

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough disaster, with the inquests on going I hope the families can finally get some peace and closure after one of the biggest cover ups in English history.

It could have been any club on that sunny afternoon in April 1989. Football fans should stand together when remembering the 96 fans who lost their lives that day. Nobody should attend a football match and never return home.

Justice for the 96. #YNWA #DBTS

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Immense Win For Liverpool Over Title Rivals City

In a day that began with a sombre and poignant silence for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough 25 years ago almost to the day, it was sure to be an emotional atmosphere at Anfield on Sunday as the Reds attempted to truly cement their place in the title race.

Fans gathered around Anfield hours before kick off, waiting to bring in the team coach and "unleash" their famous support. With Brendan Rodgers aiming all week to try and take the pressure off the lads, dealing with the media like a pro, it may have helped calm the players somewhat but kopites alike for want of a better phrase were absolutely bricking it.

Despite the nerves Liverpool fans truly believed they could overturn the might of Manchester City. The blue club from Manchester have been fantastic this season and just like Liverpool pose a massive threat in attack, however the Reds enjoy games where the opposition are open and City simply had to come at us.

The game couldn't have got off to a better start for Liverpool who would find the back of the net after just six minutes. A moment to note prior to the goal though was the Suarez challenge on Demichelis. I personally don't think it was that bad a challenge and for me it was definitely more of the fact that Clattenburg was trying to set a precedent for the game. Nine times out of ten a challenge like Suarez's that early on would have warranted a warning.

Minutes later though Liverpool found themselves quickly forgetting about the decision along with Luis Suarez who broke with a beautiful ball to Raheem Sterling. The youngster made a mockery of the City defence twisting and turning eventually wrong footing Hart and the defender to slip the ball home. The view of the Kop from the cameras was absolutely mental, what I would have given to be present at Anfield. I on the other hand was on the sofa shouting "Hit it! Hit it! Hit it!... Why isn't he hitting it?! YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" haha.

I was so glad Sterling netted because after that ridiculous offside decision given against him at the Etihad I felt he deserved a goal in this fixture.

Shortly after Liverpool had taken the lead a Manchester City break saw Yaya Toure have a pop at goal. His effort flew way off target and in the process he pulled with up an injury. Toure is an absolutely cracking player and a top bloke but it was hard not to feel a bit happy that he would have to leave the game, he commands the midfield and has such an influence that it was bound to help Liverpool. He was eventually replaced with Garcia.

Liverpool then followed with another wave of attack the likes of Coutinho and Sterling were causing real problems for City who struggled to stem the flow. Initially a Sterling cross fell to Sturridge who sent his effort just wide to the left of goal. Shortly afterwards Coutinho stepped up to take a corner, unbelievably Steven Gerrard was free in the centre of the box and leapt to send in a strong header, convinced it was in, there was Joe Hart to spoil the party.

The resulting corner from the other side was then taken by Steven Gerrard. Martin Skrtel left his marker Vincent Kompany with ease and skipped into space, his glancing header then flew past Hart and into the back of the net as Anfield proceeded to go absolutely mental once again.

It was hard to believe that only 25 minutes had passed and we were already 2-0 up and whilst it was hard not to get carried away you simply had to calm yourself down because there was no way City were not going to find the back of the net in this game.

Some pressure from the away side began to appear late on in the first half. Firstly a risky challenge from Sakho on Dzeko in the box left Reds fans holding their breaths but Clattenburg decided not to give the spot kick. I do feel City had a case there to be honest but as the game unfolded there were plenty of poor decisions for both sides.

Next Jesus Navas produced a cross for David Silva who sent a header wide then came the real heart stopping moment. A Nasri corner flew into the box and in the melee and fumbling from Mignolet a shot on goal was produced that had to be cleared twice on the line by our defenders. It all happened so fast that watching live there was no real chance to panic but once the ball was cleared it was shocking how close that was, a goal in the first half for City could have completely changed the game dynamics.

Shortly after this troublesome moment Fernandinho got a shot on goal but Mignolet redeemed himself this time pulling off a fantastic save.

Liverpool had soaked up the pressure from City and retained their 2-0 lead going into the second half.

The first real incident of the second half once again involved Luis Suarez. After a challenge from Demichelis Suarez went down on the edge of the box in a theatrical fashion. For me it didn't look that bad of a challenge at first but I also didn't think he'd dived. When I saw the replay I began to feel as though he had dived but further analysis appears to have shown that there was minimal contact. Anyway the main point was the fact that City felt if he had dived he should have been booked but cruicially it appears Clattenburg was regretting his very early booking that he gave to Suarez. As I mentioned earlier I think he was unlucky to get that first yellow and to receive a second here and be sent off would have been very harsh in my opinion, I'm sure City fans will completely disagree but that's the way I feel.

In contrast to the first half, the second half began with the game in City's hands. After Pellegrini brought on James Milner a few minutes into the half it was clear to see the influence he was having on the game. A one two involving Milner and Fernandinho set Milner through on goal but he opted to pass to Silva who finished with ease to put City back in the game.

Now boosted, City were applying constant pressure whilst Liverpool began to look nervy despite the fact they still had the upper hand on the scoreline. It wasn't long until Milner was causing problems again along with Nasri and Silva in the box, after a mix up in the box Glen Johnson's deflection ended up sending the ball past an unprepared Mignolet who could not have foreseen the mishap. It was frustrating for Liverpool to concede in this way but you have to credit City who may not have scored the goal but were providing an onslaught in attack during this period.

After seeing out the majority of the pressure Liverpool began to work hard to get back into the game. A draw may have been acceptable for Manchester City and who knows in the long run it may have been enough for Liverpool but Brendan's boys are serious title challengers and the eleven men on that pitch along with the manager and the whole of Anfield desperately wanted that win. Anfield continued to roar on the lads and slowly but surely the pendulum began to swing back in our favour.

A couple of penalty decisions left Liverpool fans asking questions of their own when firsly Daniel Sturridge appeared to be brought down in the box and then shortly afterwards Luis Suarez was being ragged and pulled by an unusually flustered Kompany. The City defender is another player I genuinely like and he's usually very composed but City did not like Liverpool's dominance at all on Sunday and sometimes players take out their frustration in the wrong way as Liverpool would also see themselves later in the game.

In the midst of a more Red dominated period City did get another few chances but luckily were unable to convert them, a worrying moment saw Silva outstretched in front of goal but his shot trickled wide.

At 77 minutes Liverpool earned a throw in to the right of goal. Throw ins never usually spark excitement as it is hard to create immediate problems from them however Glen Johnson's throw saw an erratic attempted headed clearance fall to Vincent Kompany, a man you would put your house on being able to make a simple clearance however he completely fluffed it, slicing the ball into the path of the brilliant Philippe Coutinho. He had one chance and one chance only to set this shot up and place it and boy did he deliver! This really was edge of the seat slow motion sort of stuff as Coutinho squared up to take it and then bang! His effort flew neatly into the bottom right of goal putting Liverpool back into the lead!

It had been crazy all afternoon but Anfield now literally was insane. Me at home on the other hand had jumped off the sofa screaming my head off whilst quite possibly deafening my fella and me Mom. I also suddenly realised that along with winning £9 on Skrtel scoring I was also on for a £20 win if this scoreline stayed the same, not that I was arsed about money at this point in time!

Shaking like a leaf I sat back down for what is easily the most nerve wracking section of a league game I have ever watched.

A Milner cross into the box in stoppage time raised even more questions for Man City as it appeared as though Skrtel had cleared the danger with his hand. I do feel we were again lucky with this one but along with our penalty decisions as I said earlier I honestly feel overall both sides had decisions go for and against them and on the whole Clattenburg was just pretty shite.

The final note of the game for Liverpool came when a nervous Jordan Henderson felt he simply had to do something to prevent another City attack but his challenge was extremely poor, his high boot was very dangerous and he rightly received a straight red card. It's a blow for Liverpool but at the time all that mattered was to see out the final few moments of this game and we did!

As the camera zoomed on a teary Steven Gerrard I almost began to well up myself. The captain seriously wants this and his speech at the end with the rest of the lads was brilliant. There's four games left and although we know anything can happen I challenge anybody to stand in that man's way, his passion and fight will filter through to everyone and along with the brilliant tactics and temperament of Brendan Rodgers I honestly feel we can do this now.

City was the hump in the road, I knew we had the quality to beat them but if we couldn't pull it off for me that would have been it. I still insist that I am more nervous about the likes of Norwich and Crystal Palace than I am of Chelsea and after seeing this weekend's game I don't feel scared of Chelsea one bit.

As Steven Gerrard has said today we have have four cup finals left, it's a massive task of course it is but with the momentum we have we can do this!

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Next up for Liverpool is Norwich...


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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Is This Liverpool's Biggest Game In 24 Years?

I'm back from Budapest and bringing you what hopefully will turn out to be an iconic match preview in the build up to a game that is easily the most important one in my lifetime as a Liverpool fan when concerning the league. The Reds prepare to face the might of Manchester City on Sunday whilst also assembling a fitting memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough as we near the 25th anniversary of that fateful day.

Every game in England will kick of 7 minutes late this weekend with Liverpool's tie starting at 13:37. There will also be a special display using scarves donated from a variety of clubs and fans to remember the 96 and a mosaic will also be presented by the fans before kick off.

Injuries for Liverpool leave them without Jose Enrique, the positive news though is that Daniel Agger is available again, Rodgers will have to decide whether to bring him back into the starting line up. Annoyingly for Liverpool, Man City's injury worries appear to have been improved at exactly the right time. A knock for Yaya Toure is no longer deemed a problem and Sergio Aguero is also back in the team. The only player Pellegrini is unable to call upon is Nastasic.

Liverpool are currently sitting top of the pile on 74 points. The Reds have not lost a game since 29th December and have won their last nine in the league. Manchester City currently find themselves third in the league beneath Chelsea on 70 points. City though have two games in hand thus adding the stratospheric importance to this game for Liverpool. If we manage to beat Pellegrini's side, the title is well and truly in our own hands. City have won five out of their last six games and their last loss came at the hands of Chelsea.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year. Liverpool played very well at the Etihad and most fans will find themselves recalling the ridiculous offside decision given against Raheem Sterling. City won the game 2-1 but Brendan's side showed real promise in the game.

The three meetings prior to this have all ended 2-2 with two games in the league and one in the Carling Cup. Manchester City may be a powerhouse now but they have not won a game at Anfield since May 2003. Milan Baros was on the score sheet that day in the 2-1 City win.

Stat Sandwich

  • The Reds have won all four of their home meetings with members of the top seven clubs, scoring 14 goals in the process.
  • City have not lost in their last 10 away league matches.
  • Liverpool have failed to score in only two of their league games this season.

I asked you for your score predictions for this one and here are a few of the tweets I received, it appears some people are getting a bit carried away! Haha.

I must admit I'm still not feeling nervous for this one I'm just stupidly excited, I'm sure the nerves will kick in tomorrow morning though but I still do honestly feel as though we can beat them. I also think there will be goals in this game hence why I'm going to pop a quid on 3-2 to Liverpool and also probably Martin Skrtel anytime.

Whatever happens tomorrow it's not all over, anything can happen and whilst it would be a massive blow we have to keep doing what we are doing and play to the end. But here's hoping that tomorrow we will all be going absolutely ape shit knowing we've just battered Man City and are sitting top of the league with the title in our hands!

Enjoy the match folks, it's set to be a stunner!

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Friday, 4 April 2014

Reds Aim To Hammer Home Their Title Credentials

Liverpool make the trip down south on Sunday afternoon as they prepare to face Sam Allardyce's West Ham side. With the Reds sitting proudly on their perch, an away game against a side that can cause problems is a daunting task for Liverpool and as Brendan Rodgers has said many times we must take each game as it comes. The title is in our hands but we must win, continuously.

Injuries for Liverpool are pretty much none existent with just Jose Enrique still missing. For West Ham, they are without the likes of McCartney and Collins. They also have a problem with front man Nolan who has suffered a back injury recently.

Just in case you didn't know, Liverpool currently find themselves top of the soddin league! On a very nice 71 points and with a plethora of goals the Reds must feel confident going into this game. West Ham find themselves 11th in the league currently on 37 points. Big Sam may not be famed for sexy football, sexy anything for that matter but he seems to have pleased the West Ham fan base in hopefully securing them another season in the Premier League.

Liverpool have won all of their last six fixtures in the league whilst West Ham have won three and lost three and have conceded in every game.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year. Liverpool won the game 4-1 with Suarez getting a brace on the day. Liverpool's last trip to Upton Park was in December 2012, the game was a close one with a Gerrard own goal putting us behind in the game. Joe Cole found us an equaliser though and a winner from Jonjo Shelvey sealed the deal. The game ended 3-2.

West Ham have picked up wins in recent times on their turf against the Reds though winning 3-1 in February 2011 and 1-0 in January 2008.

Stat Sandwich

  • Glen Johnson has scored against West Ham in three of his last five games in this fixture.
  • West Ham have had 20 shots from opposition hit the woodwork at Upton Park this season.
  • 60% of Liverpool's goals have been scored in the first half this season.

I've said this several times possibly on here and definitely on my Twitter, I'm finding myself really nervous for the smaller (no offence) clubs compared to the bigger ones. The perfect example for me was the Spurs game, I was nervous (of course I was considering what is at stake here!) however I was nowhere near as bad as I was before the Sunderland game.

For me the likes of Chelsea and City simply have to open up and come at us which in my opinion suits us perfectly especially at Anfield, we'll simply catch you on the break and score more goals that you. Teams like West Ham and Sunderland though? They're gonna park the bus and make it extremely hard for us to break through and whilst I have confidence we will somehow find a way and grab a goal I still get mega nervous for these games!

It makes it worse this weekend as I'm off on a city break to Budapest and my flight takes off the minute we kick off! It's gonna be absolute agony.

Nevertheless I am hoping and praying that Liverpool don't slip up and I'll go for a 2-0 win.  Apologies for not asking you all for your score predictions this week, I didn't know which day I would be doing this preview and so I never got chance to ask but feel free to drop me a tweet with your predictions anyway!

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

P.s. don't forget the match report for this game will be missing from the blog, normal service resumed for the City game!!

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