The Liver Bird  

Friday, 30 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Chelsea V Liverpool

(Image via 

It's The Normal One’s chance to get the better of the faltering Special One on Saturday as Jürgen Klopp prepares his side to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Londoners currently find themselves 15th in the table with the Reds sitting in 9th.

Injuries for Liverpool mean there is a doubt hanging over Christian Benteke, I seriously hope he's fit to start because we're going to really struggle without him. James Milner will also be available after serving a ban. 

For Chelsea, it is not clear whether striker Diego Costa will be fit enough to start but Nemanja Matic returns to the side. Courtois and Ivanovic are both unavailable. 

The last time the  two sides met was in May this year. Steven Gerrard was on the scoresheet but the game ended 1-1. The last win at Stamford Bridge for Liverpool  in the league was in November 2011. Daniel Sturridge netted for Chelsea that day but it was Glen Johnson who sealed the deal for the Reds.

Whilst it's fair to say our record at the Bridge isn't fantastic, we haven't exactly been embarrassed, in fact in our last five league visits to their ground we have only conceded five goals. Chelsea will usually score but they never get to a stage where the margin can't be surpassed, this should remain a positive for Saturday's game. 

Stat Sandwich
The Reds have won just one of their last 10 away games in the league.
Chelsea have won just one of their last seven games in all comps.
Since August 2012, Benteke has scored 14 Premier League goals via a header.

It's obviously going to be a tough match this weekend but the prospect of embarrassing Jose Mourinho is an exciting factor for me. I tend to get pretty geared up for the Chelsea games anyway, just because of the rivalry we have built up over the years but if we can watch Klopp get the better of the self titled “Special One” on Saturday, I will be absolutely ecstatic.

Chelsea are in a mess, Jose may not wish to admit it but the players have lost it. Even the likes of John Terry who is one of the most dependable players out there has been having an absolute mare. Star players aren't putting fear into the opposition like they used to, people feel as though Chelsea are there for the taking and I seriously hope Liverpool can take that initiative. 

To add to all the excitement, if you didn’t see on Twitter, I've had a right game trying to sort out how to watch this match. For those who don't know, I live in Wolverhampton and on Saturday at pretty much the same time as our match, Wolves are on the tele against Birmingham. All the pubs and bars in town and even in neighbouring Birmingham are going to be showing that match so I thought, not to worry I'll just watch it in the house… But we don't have BT Sport.

“I'm not missing the Chelsea game!” I thought, if it wasn't such a big match maybe I would accept sitting in a corner of the pub with a tiny tele that the manager has spared me but no sound on at all (this has happened before! Haha) but not for the Chelsea game, not Klopp’s FIRST meeting with Jose Mourinho.

And so, in what was a very impulsive moment, I went and booked train tickets to Liverpool. “Sack it, I'll watch the match in my favourite place!” So you can see why I'm so excited for kick off and why now I need that win even more.

I'll let you know what I get up to and what bets I put on tomorrow so just catch me on Twitter! - @LFCKirstyLFC 

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

P.s. A massive thank you to anybody who has voted for me in the football blogging awards, voting closes today and the awards ceremony is on the 19th November. 

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Bournemouth

Image via Independent
Liverpool welcome Bournemouth to Anfield on Wednesday evening as they aim to progress through to the next stage of the League Cup. It was far from plain sailing for the Reds when they eventually got the better of Carlisle earlier in the competition via a penalty shootout so it would be nice to see a smooth ride for a change.

It will be interesting to see whether Jurgen Klopp utilises this fixture to test out the talent of his youth or if he uses the opportunity to notch up his first win as Liverpool manager. A strong starting XI however would still not guarantee Liverpool victory, with Premier League opposition to contend with and a team that are still finding their strengths under the new boss the Reds need to start scoring goals and winning games.

Injuries for Liverpool mean the manager is unable to call upon Rossiter, Gomez, Ings, Henderson and Flanagan. It also looks as though Daniel Sturridge will remain on the sidelines which is a worrying prospect for Liverpool fans. The return of Christian Benteke should go some lengths to relieving the goalscoring problem but he's not a miracle worker.

For Bournemouth, they are without the influential Callum Wilson. Also unavailable are Elphick and Gradel whilst doubts are hanging over Tomlin and Arter, the latter of whom is recovering from a thigh injury.

The last time the two sides met was of course in August this year. Christian Benteke netted an offside goal for the Reds. Prior to this Liverpool met Bournemouth in the League Cup in December 2014, Sterling scored twice in that 3-1 win.

In total, the sides have met on seven occasions, Bournemouth have never recorded a victory but they have picked up two draws.

After the Southampton game, Klopp appealed for calm and it's understandable because at the moment the pressure on his shoulders shouldn't even exist. He can't be fairly judged until he can make this team his own and all this pressure, well it's not exactly helping the players is it?

Poignantly Klopp stated "Football is not a fairytale." And it most certainly isn't but maybe a winning streak doesn't have to be a work of fiction, and what better way to get off the mark than with a win over Bournemouth on Wednesday night?

As you probably know there's only a few days left of voting in the football blogging awards so if you haven't already, please tweet this and support The Liver Bird - "I am voting for @LFCKirstyLFC in @TheFBAs as best #established blog."

P.s. I have to apologise but the Bournemouth match report will be missing from the blog as I'm snowed under at the minute with Uni work and it's just coincided with a particularly busy week. Back to normal service for the Chelsea game though and I can promise you the report should be interesting whatever happens as I've had to make plans to go and watch the game in Liverpool haha.

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Benteke Scores In Yet Another Draw For The Reds

It was another draw for Jürgen Klopp on Sunday as Liverpool let a late lead slip in a 1-1 draw. It was a relatively drab performance from the Reds and it's clear as day that Klopp will be unable to really stamp his mark on this team until he reaches the January transfer window.

The manager opted not to start Christian Benteke or Roberto Firmino and it's understandable that he didn't wish to risk two of his key players but Liverpool struggled to create a presence from the off due to a lack of quality. A few half chances in the first 45 from the likes of Milner and Coutinho were little to grasp hold of, it was just lucky that Southampton hadn't really found a strong footing either.

Milner to be fair to him was one of few players showing any real intent but captaining a team with Origi as your main striker is never going to prove fruitful in my opinion. The forward had less touches than both goal keepers in the first half and whilst some of this may boil down to a lack of supply I honestly don't think he's going to be able to cut it in the Premier League.

It was a blessing when Benteke was finally brought on to begin the second half but once again for me, the supply line was lacking. We have players who are able to whip balls into the box but it only ever feels like Milner and the injured Jordan Henderson are looking for that pin point delivery.

Coutinho and Can spent the majority of the game attempting wild shots from outside the area and I just don't see the point of it when you have a huge striker with a real aerial presence wondering around in the box.

It was another forgetful game for Coutinho too who has been a bit of a passenger in recent fixtures. His lack of form has coincided with a difficult period for the Reds and the sooner he's back on top the better.

Just after the 65 minute mark Klopp introduced Firmino and things definitely improved with him on the field. Ten minutes later and Liverpool had found their goal, a sublime cross from James Milner flew directly to the powerful Benteke who rose with ease and smashed home a wonderful header to put the Reds in front. 

Klopp’s celebration was quality but the madness was short lived as Southampton found an equaliser just six minutes later. Gaston Ramirez who had only just entered the fray provided the assist whilst Mane finished from close range.

It was so annoying to watch that goal go in, not because we deserved the win because to be honest Southampton had knocked on the door several times during the game, but it just felt like Klopp had bagged his first three points and we really needed that boost. The only thing keeping me from being annoyed now was that another goal would have won me £45!

As we know, that didn't happen though. Goalscorer Mane however was given his marching orders after a silly tackle on Alberto Moreno. Ronald Koeman was visibly annoyed at his player but you have to feel the Saints manager is a lot happier with the result than our boss.

Next up for Liverpool is Bournemouth in the league cup.

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Saturday, 24 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Southampton

Image via
It's Southampton at home for Jurgen Klopp's team on Sunday but will the boss be able to get the better of Ronald Koeman's side? The Reds still have injury worries to contend with and a lack of confidence in front of goal whilst Southampton can recall some top performances of late including a recent win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Injuries for Liverpool are still creating a bit of a problem as it looks as though Daniel Sturridge may be unavailable. The forward had to undergo another scan on his knee and it's not clear whether he will make the bench. Positively, Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino are back however Danny Ings and Jordan Henderson are both out long term.

For Southampton, they may have to assess the fitness of Jay Rodriguez late on after he suffered a knock. It looks as though Stekelenburg has recovered from a back problem though so Koeman will have his usual keeper in place.

Southampton at the time of writing (Saturday games not finished) find themselves 9th in the table having won three out of their last five in the Premier League. Liverpool on the other hand have only won one out of their last five matches in the league, a victory over Aston Villa.

The last time the two sides met was in February this year, the clash at St Mary's ended in a 2-0 win for Liverpool with Coutinho and Raheem Sterling on the score sheet. The last fixture at Anfield came in August 2014, Raheem Sterling scored again that day in a 2-1 win for the Reds. Nathaniel Clyne netted for Southampton.

In fact, Southampton have a very recent win at Anfield with another current Liverpool player scoring for them. In 2013, Dejan Lovren scored in the 53rd minute to give the Saints all three points.

Stat Sandwich

  • The Reds have drawn three out of their last four games in the league.
  • Graziano Pelle has 17 goals for Southampton but only three have been scored on his travels.
  • Liverpool's 3-2 win over Aston Villa is the only time they have scored more than one goal this season.

I'm not sure what to expect in this game to be honest though I would hope the return of Christian Benteke will help however I still feel he needs more support. Southampton are a strong side under Ronald Koeman and I think they will be a difficult side to beat however it feels like the right time for Klopp to pick up his first three points so here's hoping we can get the better of them!

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching.

P.s. there's about a week left of voting so if you haven't already please tweet this! >>> "I am voting for @LFCKirstyLFC in @TheFBAs as best #established football blog"

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Friday, 23 October 2015

Reds Draw With Ten Man Kazan

Image via Liverpool Echo
Liverpool managed just a draw at home against Rubin Kazan on Thursday evening, despite the fact the visiting side played the majority of the game with ten men. Whilst this kind of result may have been questioned under Brendan Rodgers, for Jürgen Klopp it is simply a matter of finding his team in a pool of frankly average players. 

With injuries to contend with and the realisation that some of his team members just aren't up to scratch it is clear Liverpool struggled to really put the pressure on Kazan, however there are players who appear to have instantly benefited from Klopp’s influence such as Adam Lallana and Emre Can. 

Rubin Kazan were always going to pose an unknown factor on their visit to Anfield but I'm not sure anyone expected them to get off the mark so quickly. After a sustained period from the visitors it was Devic who finished neatly to put his side ahead. Perhaps aided by some poor defending from Clyne in particular, Devic still did very well to bring the ball down with his chest, it was superbly controlled and they deserved to take the lead.

Having got off to a favourable start it was a shocking mistake from Kuzmin already on a yellow card to commit another foul and be given his marching orders not long after the 35 minute mark. It was a blessing for Liverpool though who immediately capitalised from the resulting free kick. A lovely ball into the box eventually found its way to Emre Can who simply couldn't have missed and the Reds had found their equaliser.

Setting up what should have been an interesting second half, in fact Rubin Kazan with the disadvantage of ten men decided to shut up shop. Liverpool were already struggling to break through their defence especially having only Origi to call upon and so the game quickly turned into a stalemate.

Things improved slightly when Christian Benteke was introduced but he was never going to be on top form having returned just recently from injury. Klopp also decided to make a substitution immediately after half time when he brought on Lucas.

He gets a lot of stick in my opinion but I honestly still prefer it when Lucas is on the pitch, we just seem to run a lot more smoothly as a unit and for me he still has a job to do here at Anfield.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
Next up for Liverpool is Southampton. 

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Rubin Kazan

Image via
As the excitement of Klopp's first game began to fade at the start of this week, a renewed excitement is bubbling as we look forward to welcoming Klopp to Anfield for his first home game as manager. His opposition? Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.

Liverpool have a massive injury list to contend with recent news appearing to reveal that the likes of Benteke, Firmino and Sturridge would be available for selection on Thursday. However, Klopp has revealed in his press conference today that those players will still be unavailable. Kazan have a relatively strong squad to choose from however their midfielder Sergey Kislyak is unavailable as he serves a ban.

Interestingly for this fixture, both clubs have had new managers since the group stage draw. Unlike Liverpool, the Russians come into this fixture on the back of a league win and they currently find themselves 12th in the league. The Reds will surely take heart from their 0-0 draw with Spurs based on work ethic alone but will that be enough with a vastly depleted side for Klopp to pick up his first win?

Liverpool have never faced Rubin Kazan before, they have however clashed with Russian opposition on occasion. Zenit visited Anfield during February 2013 in the Europa League and the Reds won the game 3-1, Luis Suarez and Joe Allen were on the scoresheet that day.

In 2002, Spartak Moscow visited L4 and the Reds put five goals past them with no return, Emile Heskey scored a brace in that fixture. Overall Liverpool have a pretty solid record at home against Russian opposition.

Valeriy Chaly's side have only won one out of their last five fixures in all competitions and have scored just three goals during that time. Their most recent victory over Ufa in the league saw Kuzmin score twice and the suspended Kislyak also found the back of the net.

I would usually include your score predictions here but because I've been snowed under with Uni work I never got round to asking you! A quick scroll through Twitter seems to show a favouring for a 2-1 or 3-1 win and if I manage to put a bet on tomorrow I'll probably be going for 2-0 personally. Despite our massive injury worries I just don't feel like Rubin Kazan should be able to get the better of us at home.

It would be nice to see Klopp celebrate for the first time too as his side nets!

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

P.s. there's about a week left of voting in the finals of the football blogging awards, so if you like what I do here on The Liver Bird, please take a second to tweet this - "I am voting for @LFCKirstyLFC in @TheFBAs as best #Established football blog"

Thank you!

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Klopp Opens With A Draw At Spurs

Image via
After all the anticipation,  Klopp’s first game as boss of Liverpool Football Club ended in a 0-0 draw. With the late announcement of Daniel Sturridge being unavailable along with a multitude of other injuries to contend with, Klopp’s hand was forced and I doubt you'll find any fan displeased with a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.

With no other options available it was Origi who led the line for the Reds and I hate to say it but his inexperience showed for me. He definitely wasn't helped by having to play up front with no support but I don't think he made any real impact, even when he did receive the ball he followed up by losing possession or a tame shot. 

The only saving grace really was a header in the first half after a corner from Milner, Origi was perhaps unlucky to watch it crash off the bar but there are many saying he should of done better. I'm not saying I've given up on him, that would be completely unfair at this early stage but he definitely needs support and hopefully Klopp can aid his improvement.

Another player getting a lot of stick was Martin Skrtel, I've always liked Skrtel and I'm therefore probably more accepting of his mistakes. Whilst he did have a bit of a mare on Saturday, particularly when letting Harry Kane in, the fact is, alongside his hopefully now permanent partner Sakho, he kept a clean sheet. 

Whilst Liverpool began the game in a strong fashion it was Spurs who created the best chances of the first half. Firstly a shot from Njie forced Mignolet into a fantastic fingertip save, I'm still not quite sure how he reached it.

This was shortly followed by an attempt from Harry Kane but his effort was tame and Mignolet saved. A follow up shot from from Dele Alli was thankfully blocked by an alert Mamadou Sakho, keeping Liverpool in the game. Dele Alli was a real threat in this game but the Reds managed to keep him at bay.

The Reds may have been suffering from some Tottenham pressure but they were clearly causing the home side some trouble of their own. Klopp had set up his side to play at a high tempo, pressing and giving the opposition no time on the ball and for me, it worked. If we'd had some of our more experienced attackers on the pitch our valiant efforts in midfield would have been complimented by a goal, I feel confident of that and this is why for me the 0-0 result was a good one under the circumstances.

In the second half the only real goal mouth moments were a shot from Origi that was easily saved by Lloris, a shot from Harry Kane just outside the box that was saved by Mignolet and an Emre Can effort that went wide to the left of goal.

It was one of those games where both sides were simply ineffective in front of goal, neither team had the nous in the final third and whilst Liverpool had the excuse of injuries, I'm not sure what line Spurs are towing.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
Next up for the Reds is Rubin Kazan.

If you haven't already please give me a vote in the finals of the football blogging awards, simply tweet: “I am voting for @LFCKirstyLFC in @TheFBAs for best #established blog” 

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Friday, 16 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur V Liverpool

Image via The Guardian
Finally! After what seems like an absolute age, Jürgen Klopp steps out for his first match as Liverpool manager on Saturday against Spurs. I have no idea who he's going to pick in his starting XI and I'm not sure after assessing training and injuries what sort of set up he's going to go for so this match preview may not be the most useful this week!

Injuries for Liverpool have taken a turn for the worse as we lost both Gomez and Ings long term this week. It's really frustrating because both players could have had a big presence under Klopp, here's to speedy recoveries. Also confirmed as unavailable by the boss are Firmino and Benteke.

For Spurs, They have a few names on their injury list with the likes of Mason, Heung-min, Bentaleb and Pritchard all out. Pochettino however has gained some good news with the return of Danny Rose.

The last time the two sides met was in February this year, I specifically remember this game because Balotelli netted the winner and I chucked my cider all over the pub haha! The game ended 3-2 with Steven Gerrard and Lazar Markovic completing the scoreline for the Reds. Interesting to note that all three players have now either left or are out on loan.

Our last visit to White Hart Lane in August 2014 was also a good result as the game ended 3-0. I specifically remember this game n’all because I won £25 on Moreno last goalscorer! Historically Liverpool’s trips to Spurs haven't ended very well however Klopp must take inspiration from our most recent results at the ground.

Stat Sandwich

The Reds have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight matches in all comps.
Spurs are the only team in the league left who remain unbeaten from the opening weekend.
The last Liverpool manager to win their first game in charge was Gerard Houllier.

I am so, so excited for this game, I'm not expecting to win because I think it's dangerous to make that presumption, especially the way Spurs are playing and with the injuries we have but it’s just nice to feel excited about a match for a change. 

Under Brendan Rodgers I just found myself constantly pissed off, I tried desperately towards the end to get behind him but I just couldn't. Now we have Jürgen Klopp, I don't think you'll find any fan who isn't counting down the hours until kick off.

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

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

P.s. If you haven't voted for a second time, please could you help me in the finals by tweeting this: “I am voting for @LFCKirstyLFC in @TheFBAs as best #Established blog” 

I'd really appreciate it, cheers! 

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Jürgen Klopp: Who Is He?

Image via The Guardian
Well, apparently he's the "normal one" but for those of you who don't know a lot about the German's background I thought I'd do a quick rundown of our new manager welcoming him to Anfield. His press conference was simply brilliant and it's clear he's a charismatic and confident leader, the media lapped it up, the fans lapped it up and you can guarantee the players will too. I can't wait for the Spurs game!

Jürgen Norbert Klopp was born in Stuttgart, he's just gone 48 years old and in his playing days he played as both a striker and a defender. He spent his playing career at FSV Mainz 05 and his love for the club eventually saw him take over as manager in 2001.

He managed Mainz for seven years and during that time he gained them promotion to the Bundesliga. It was here where he began to show his talent and resilience, taking a club in a difficult situation and building them up.

Unfortunately for Klopp, Mainz were relegated at the end of the 06/07 season, Klopp remained at the club determined to regain promotion but after his efforts failed he resigned at the end of the following season.

In May 2008 Borussia Dortmund came calling, Klopp picked up some silverware in his first season via the T-Home Supercup and things went from strength to strength for the ex Mainz man. It took Klopp just two seasons to lead Dortmund to their first title in nine years. Again winning the Bundesliga the following season, Klopp had truly stamped his status as a legend, at least for the Borussia Dortmund fans.

In the 2011-2012 season Dortmund collected 81 points breaking the record for the most points ever accrued in the history of the Bundesliga (unfortunately for Klopp he couldn't basque in this glory for long though as Bayern Munich broke the record again a year later).

His time at Dortmund came to an end in 2015 after their position in the table had somewhat slid, Klopp announced he would take a sabbatical and the rest as they say is history. He received a phenomenal farewell from the Dortmund fans who still idolise him to this day.

He oversaw 318 matches at Dortmund which converts to 1.90 points per match.

There's more to the man than the teams he has managed of course but I suppose we will learn about that side of him more as the season goes on. What is fantastic though is the amount of fans, neutrals and pundits alike who are full of praise for Jurgen. Some are even jealous and I can't remember the last time somebody has envied a manager we have signed!

I asked you on Twitter for your initial thoughts on Klopp after the press conference and here are a few of the tweets I received:

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Monday, 5 October 2015

Rodgers Sacked After Draw In Merseyside Derby

Image via
Liverpool managed to collect a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon, but the real headline fell to Brendan Rodgers when just an hour after the game had finished FSG decided to sack their manager. The news filtered through later in the evening sending Twitter into a storm. Some fans were elated other were saddened, some, like myself weren't really sure what they were feeling but I think most would agree it was time for a change.

I don't want to go too much into the fate of Brendan Rodgers as I will cover this in my Shoot post on Wednesday (follow my Twitter to see it first - @LFCKirstyLFC).

Prior to kick off it looked as though Liverpool might have been given a lifeline when it became clear neither Stones or Coleman would be available in defence. A recently returned  Daniel Sturridge would surely be able to take advantage of the weakened back four?

Sturridge though would not be the man in focus, in fact it would be his fellow forward Danny Ings.

The first half for the Reds was a relatively good one, it was Rodgers’ side creating the majority of the chances but as has been an issue for some time now, we just couldn't find the back of the net.

At 41 minutes though some questionable defending saw Danny Ings completely free in the box. His resulting header was an easy goal to put the Reds into the lead but it wasn't long before Everton returned to spoil the party.

This time it was Liverpool’s turn to show off their poor defensive skills. A frankly comedic attempted clearance from Emre Can deflected off an unaware Martin Skrtel and fell right into the path of Lukaku. Of all the players you want the ball to fall to…

Of course, he converted his chance and brought Everton right back into the game.

What started as a pretty confident performance from the Reds, slowly but surely came undone. In fact, we were only still in with a shout of some points thanks to a selection of fantastic saves from Simon Mignolet, who must have left Rodgers thanking his lucky stars.

A second half where the Toffees gained more of a foothold eventually led to nothing for both sides and little to discuss other than chances wasted. I honestly didn't feel like we played that bad. I wouldn't say I was pleased with the performance but it was a lot better than I was expecting.

The real shock though came hours later. I seriously thought that if Rodgers avoided defeat he'd be given more time but FSG must have had this decision in the pipeline prior to kick off. In fairness, to be dropped after the Merseyside derby, win, lose or draw is pretty ruthless but it had to be done.

I'll never forget coming so close to the title with Rodgers, I'm 26 in November and that is easily (aside from the Champions League final) the most excited I have ever been as a Liverpool fan. It was a phenomenal season and he no doubt deserves credit but when you boil it all down, over the time period he's been here and the money he's spent? He just hasn't quite cut it in my opinion.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game originally but Rodgers has since been sacked and so I won't be including them this week.

It's a very interesting time for us ahead as we await the announcement of a new manager. If, as the media would have you believe, the job is between Klopp and Ancelotti then I personally would prefer the latter. For me he's more experienced and would buy well however I can't say I'd be disappointed with Klopp. He'd need time though and a lot of trust I feel in order to build Liverpool into his vision.

I just hope we don't get Dick Advocaat… Haha!

P.s a massive thanks to anybody who voted for the blog, I made the shortlist and I'm a finalist for best established blog! You can now vote again in the finals, simply tweet: “I am voting for @LFCKirstyLFC in @TheFBAs as best #established blog”

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Saturday, 3 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Everton V Liverpool

Image via
After failing to get the better of FC Sion at Anfield on Thursday evening, there's no escaping the pressure cooker for Brendan Rodgers. With a string of poor results and rumours rife that his replacement is being lined up, the manager can accept nothing more than a win in this all important Merseyside derby.

Rodgers has pointed to the fact that he is yet to lose a derby as manager but relying on such statistics is a dangerous ploy, especially when the Reds are failing to perform and Everton are actually playing pretty well.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are without Firmino, Henderson and Lovren whilst Christian Benteke will be subject to a late fitness test after suffering hamstring issues. For Everton, the game could make perfect timing for John Stones and Seamus Coleman who are rumoured to be returning. Kevin Mirallas is serving a suspension.

The last time the two sides met was in February 2015 in one of the worst Merseyside derbies in recent history. It really was dull and the game ended with neither side finding the back of the net. The fixture prior to this was another draw, this time a 1-1 at Anfield in the league with Gerrard and Jagielka on the scoresheet. That 90th minute goal was heartbreaking!

In fact, in the last 10 meetings between the two sides in the league, six of those matches have ended in a draw. Our last three trips to Goodison Park have also finished honours even and to be honest, at the moment it feels like that's the best we can hope for on Sunday.

AUDIO: Brendan discusses the derby and insists we have played well on our visits to Goodison Park but have been unlucky.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have won just one of their last eight away games in the league.
  • Everton's win over West Brom earlier in the week is the first time they've come back from two goals behind to win a league game in 21 years.
  • Sturridge has scored six goals in his last eight cup and league games against the Toffees.

I'm looking forward to the match because I always look forward to Merseyside derbies but then I keep remembering that we're a load of crap at the moment and probably need a miracle to get all three points.

Add to this a manager's career is probably hanging in the balance, and you have a strange set of feelings going into this game. It's no secret that I'm not Brendan's biggest fan but it's never nice to see a manager go through this and to those fans hoping for a loss just to seal the deal? Wind yer neck in.

For me, that's pathetic, you should always want the team to win I don't care how much you hate the manager why would you want us to lose? And even worse, actually praying for a loss in the Merseyside derby? I've got no time for people like that I'm afraid.

I asked you for your score predictions and I got quite a few 2-2 draws through to be fair, I might have a quid on that!
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Friday, 2 October 2015

Reds Could Only Muster A Draw Against Sion

Image via The Guardian
Liverpool welcomed FC Sion to Anfield on Thursday night and whilst I was unable to watch the match this time out, just the highlights, I'll do my best to give you a run down of the key events. As much as I love a good natter this is another boring factual post but don't worry, I'll have a rant on for the Merseyside Derby, I can almost guarantee that!

Rodgers made seven changes to the side that featured against Aston Villa at the weekend but he retained faith in some of his usual starters such as Mignolet and Ings.

The Reds didn't take long at all to get off the mark in the game when Adam Lallana scored with a shot from the centre of the box. He was assisted by Origi who had been given a call up after playing a bit-part role recently.

While Liverpool appeared to gain some control during this portion of the game, Sion quickly put a stop to the Reds' complacency after Assifuah netted for the away side on the 17 minute mark with a right footed effort.

Almost immediately afterwards it looked as though the Reds had regained their lead but the goal from Danny Ings was ruled offside.

The Reds continued to to apply some pressure in the remainder of the first half with Ibe and Can having to watch their efforts fail. Liverpool couldn't find a goal though and therefore entered the second half level with their Swiss visitors.

At the start of the second half Alberto Moreno was immediately brought on to replace Nathaniel Clyne. From what I could tell whilst following live tweets, those watching the match were very frustrated with Clyne's performance and so the substitution appeared to please many. I like Moreno to be fair, sometimes he gets caught being defensively naive having placed too much focus on an attacking opportunity however I think he's getting better with time.

Four minutes into the second half, Kolo Toure hit the bar, that was a shock to say the least haha!

On the hour mark Danny Ings who had earlier learnt of his England call up was replaced with Philippe Coutinho. From the highlights alone (not much to go on I'm aware) it did appear as though Danny was having a bit of an off day but then again it doesn't help when you're out of position does it...

As the second half continued FC Sion gained confidence and continued to maintain their footing in the game. Assifuah the goalscorer was causing issues for Liverpool who had to deal with the growing attack.

At the 76 minute mark and still with no real hope of a winner Brendan Rodgers decided to replace Kolo Toure with Mamadou Sakho which appeared to be a bit of a pointless decision to be honest. Liverpool had collected eight shots on target at this point but had only converted once so you do sometimes find yourself questioning the calibre of the attack. But nevertheless, swapping defenders when you need a winner just doesn't seem to add up?

As the half continued things got worse for the Reds and despite some chances from Philippe Coutinho it quickly became evident that Liverpool would be walking away with a draw.

I forgot to ask you for your thoughts on the game as I had to write this up in a bit of a rush cause I'm at Uni today so apologies for that. To be fair though it wouldn't be hard to guess your reaction!

Next up for Liverpool is the Merseyside derby in what surely is a massive, massive game for Brendan Rodgers.

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