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Showing posts from January, 2016

Five Things We Learned From The West Ham Draw

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One: The Reds are dire in front of goal. A snore draw in the FA Cup with West Ham on Saturday evening once again highlighted a now desperate need for a prolific goalscorer. In a match that Christian Benteke started, the Belgian failed to stamp a mark on the game and when faced with promising chances was incapable of finding the back of the net. He's clearly low on confidence and the Reds just can't afford to waste chances at the moment.

You have to feel that including Daniel Sturridge in Saturday's team would have solved some of the main problems because the possession levels and pressure on the ball were fine, even the defensive display was relatively strong, we just can't bloody score! Waiting for the Sturridge return though and then pinning all our hopes on his ability to remain fit? It's just not a long term option is it.
Two: James Tomkins isn't as hard as I thought he was. Tomkins is in his 8th year as a West Ham player (including a short loan spell to D…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V West Ham

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Liverpool welcome West Ham to Anfield on Saturday evening as Jürgen Klopp aims for another win in yet another cup game. The Reds of course come into this clash having secured their place in the league cup final beating Stoke on penalties, the Hammers pack a punch though and many feel this may be a step too far for the Reds.

Image via thisisanfield.com
Injuries
Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon Philippe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel and Divock Origi. The game also comes too early for any hint of Daniel Sturridge though with no real clarification of a return, who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and he'll randomly appear on the bench? It could be another experimental side from Klopp though who may opt for youth over experience after many senior players completed 120 minutes in the week.
For West Ham, they are missing Andy Carroll and Lanzini, Mark Noble has also been out with illness but should be available for a return on Saturday.
Previous Meetings 
The last time the tw…

Klopp Can't Look As Reds Go Through On Penos

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Liverpool are through to the final of the league cup after winning 6-5 on penalties at Anfield on Tuesday evening. After 90 minutes it was an offside goal from Arnautovic which forced the game to extra time and eventually the dreaded spot kicks. Jurgen Klopp's side were extremely underwhelming throughout the match and can consider themselves lucky to have sealed a ticket to Wembley after a convincing performance from Stoke.

Liverpool entered the second leg with a 1-0 advantage thanks to a Jordon Ibe goal at the Britannia and for the majority of the first half, despite not playing well, it looked as though the home side were going to make half time without too many issues. The influential Arnautovic though found his team an important goal at the 45 minute mark, he was clearly offside but to be honest a goal was nothing more than Stoke deserved. The Reds had provided little to nothing in terms of attack and it was Stoke who commanded this semi-final now.

A clever tactic from Mark H…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Stoke

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Image via thisisanfield.com
Liverpool welcome Stoke to Anfield on Tuesday evening for the second leg of their league cup semi final with the Potters. The Reds come into this game 1-0 up on aggregate but after conceding four goals at Norwich and scrambling to a win, Stoke must fancy their chances of an upset.
Injuries

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still unable to call upon their influential forward Daniel Sturridge. According to Jürgen Klopp in a recent interview he will be back within 10 days, we'll just wait and see on that one shall we? Also unavailable is Divock Origi and Martin Skrtel, it also looks as though the game will come too early for Dejan Lovren. There remains a lot of responsibility on the back four here after their performance against Norwich and I personally feel we'd be better off with the likes of Skrtel and Lovren in there though I know several fans disagree.
For Stoke, they are without Ryan Shawcross and it looks as though doubts are held over the fit…

Lallana Nets In Riveting 5-4 Win

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Five four, I keep saying it but it just won't sink in, five four. What on earth just happened? I will attempt to explain to some extent in the following match report. Liverpool are right to feel ecstatic with the 5-4 victory over Norwich but when the dust has settled there are several questions that need to be asked, particularly concerning the defence.

The game began with continued pressure from Norwich who started the match far more brightly than Liverpool but against the run of play, Klopp's side opened up the scoring after just 18 minutes. A Firmino effort which should have been saved by goalkeeper Declan Rudd somehow managed to spin back towards goal and provided the Reds with their first of the game. It wasn't clear then however that another eight goals would be scored!

Naismith was quick to make his mark on the game when initially he made a crunching tackle on Lucas Leiva, it was a bad one in my opinion and I'm surprised he wasn't shown a yellow card. Proba…

MATCH PREVIEW: Norwich V Liverpool

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Liverpool travel to Norwich on Saturday afternoon and Jurgen Klopp has indicated that there will be no sign of forward Daniel Sturridge who apparently is 10 days away from fitness. The Reds enter this game on the back of a win over Exeter City and will be looking to get back to winning ways after defeat at the hands of Manchester United most recently in the league.

Injuries

Injury news for the Reds obviously leads with the missing Daniel Sturridge but also still out is Martin Skrtel and it looks as though Adam Lallana will miss out on the game thanks to a muscle issue. For Norwich, they have received a real boost after signing Steven Naismith from Everton. Unavailable are both Gary O'Neil who serves a suspension and Andre Wisdom who is unable to feature against his parent team.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was is September last year, in a game that ended 1-1 the scorer for Liverpool was the missing Danny Ings. Our last trip to Norwich ended in victory with Luis…

Reds Through To FA Cup Fourth Round

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Image via telegraph.co.uk
Liverpool have secured their place in a fourth round fixture against West Ham after putting three past Exeter at Anfield on Wednesday night. It was another relatively inexperienced side fielded by Jürgen Klopp but the likes of Christian Benteke and Joe Allen also featured in the replay.
It was immediately noticeable that Exeter were not the same team we saw at St James' Park after Joe Allen found the back of the net in just ten minutes. What was really confusing many onlookers though was the decision by Exeter manager Paul Tisdale to leave their top goalscorer Tom Nichols on the bench. I'm not sure what the thinking was behind that but I honestly think it affected Exeter, Liverpool may have got off the mark early and we maintained the majority of possession but if Exeter had their star man on who knows what could have happened.
The sight of Jose Enrique was a surprising one for most Liverpool fans on Wednesday night, perhaps even more surprising though w…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Exeter

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Liverpool welcome Exeter to Anfield on Wednesday evening as both sides prepare themselves for an important FA Cup replay. After playing the kids in the first clash between the two sides, Jurgen Klopp has hinted that he may well play the youngsters again.

Injuries

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon Philippe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren. It would be unlikely however for that trio to feature in what could be another unfamiliar XI fielded by the Reds. For Exeter Paul Tisdale has little to worry about in terms of injuries after seeing several key players return in the fixture at St James' Park, it is expected that the manager will field another strong team.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was of course on 8th January, Jerome Sinclair and Brad Smith were on the scoresheet that day and Liverpool for a vast proportion of the game looked like they were going out of the competition.

Exeter have visited Anfield on three occasions in history …

One Shot On Target Was All They Needed

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Manchester United walked away from Anfield on Sunday afternoon with a vital three points after somehow beating a Liverpool side who had bossed the majority of the game. It was the Reds who were creating the majority of the chances but United needed just one on target to convert via Wayne Rooney and send a strong message to Jurgen Klopp.

In a game that saw goalkeeper David De Gea win man of the match it is no wonder that so many Liverpool fans are utterly frustrated with the result. You can call me bias all you want but I'm sorry, United did not deserve to win that game, I'm not sure they even deserved a draw yet they walked away victorious, which leaves you asking questions about your own side.

Jurgen Klopp obviously hasn't had time to put a stamp on this side yet so this is by no means a dig at the manager but surely the owners must start looking at this team and start supporting the manager financially because this squad just isn't good enough.

There were flickers i…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Manchester United

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Liverpool welcome Louis van Gaal's so called army to Anfield on Sunday afternoon in what is sure to be a heated clash between the two sides. United have somehow managed to remain in the top sector of the table for the majority of the season despite some questionable performances, at the time of writing the devils remain above Klopp's side. After a hard fought draw with Arsenal though, can Liverpool get the better of Manchester United on Sunday?

Injuries

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still unable to call upon forward Daniel Sturridge. Martin Skrtel also remains on the sidelines and although Dejan Lovren appears to be returning to fitness, the game will come too early for him.

For United, they are without Schweinsteiger who has a knee injury, Michael Carrick is also unavailable while Phil Jones will be subject to a late fitness test.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was in September last year, the game at Old Trafford wasn't exactly one to remember for…

Allen Nets Equaliser In 90th Minute

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Liverpool versus Arsenal is rarely ever a dull game, even in clashes where no goals are scored both sides always manage to put on a show and it was no different on Wednesday night. The six goal thriller was end to end in the first half with the Reds perhaps faltering a bit in the second, Klopp's side didn't give up though and it was Joe Allen at 90 minutes who scored an equaliser to ensure both teams walked away with a point.

It was Roberto Firmino who was first to score in the game, the Brazilian has had performances called into question of late, looking somewhat lacklustre without his compatriot Philippe Coutinho. The number 11 though made sure he took his chance on this occasion as Petr Cech failed to completely deal with a shot from Emre Can, the ball splayed out to Firmino who converted to put Liverpool into the lead.

It was a brilliant start for Klopp's side and I think it's fair to say not many expected Liverpool to take the lead. However, predictably, the lead…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Arsenal

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The Reds welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Wednesday evening and after some improvement in terms of injuries, along with the signing of Steven Caulker, boss Jurgen Klopp may be able to field a slightly stronger team than first predicted. The loaning of Caulker hasn't exactly excited many Liverpool fans but it's clear to see that it's a quick fix to a rather immediate issue in defence.

Injuries

There's some positive news for the Reds as both Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure are available. Jordon Ibe and Jordan Henderson could also feature but there will be no Daniel Sturridge. For Arsenal they are without key man Alexis Sanchez, Cazorla, Welbeck and Wilshere are also out but Ozil could return to the side on Wednesday evening.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was in August last year  in what was a strangely eventful 0-0. In April last year the Reds fell to a heavy defeat at the hands of Arsene Wenger's side when the Londoners scored four and Liverpool could o…

Kids Earn Replay At Kop

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Fielding a team with a grand total of 34 appearances so far this season was perhaps a questionable decision made by Jurgen Klopp on Friday evening but despite their weakened line up, Liverpool still managed to collect a draw at St James' Park. A spirited Exeter side took the lead in the fixture which looked extremely tentative at times for the Reds but goals from Brad Smith and Jerome Sinclair ensured a stay in the FA Cup.

The home side found the back of the net after just nine minutes when Josh Read whipped in a lovely cross and Tom Nichols at full stretch managed to connect and convert. I can't say it was a shock really because the Reds had got off to a shaky start to say the least. This was a team that had never played together, apparently in the warm up Jurgen Klopp was running through technique and link up play with Benteke and Sinclair because they quite possibly didn't even know who each other were. It was crazy.

Despite the inexperienced team Liverpool quickly fou…

MATCH PREVIEW: Exeter V Liverpool

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Liverpool will make their best effort to show up at Exeter's St James' Park on Friday evening as manager Jurgen Klopp continues to try and find a functioning and fit starting XI. Since the league cup clash with Stoke on Tuesday the Reds have seen their players drop like flies with no fit centre backs resulting in Ilori called back from loan and most recently, news today filtered through that Jordon Ibe is the latest to succumb to the hamstring curse.

Injuries

To go into detail, for the first time ever I will resort to a bullet pointed list for our injuries. The Reds are unable to call upon;

Jordon IbeDejan LovrenKolo TourePhilippe CoutinhoMartin SkrtelMamadou SakhoJordan HendersonDivock OrigiJordan RossiterDaniel SturridgeDanny IngsJoe GomezJon Flanagan
Unbelievable. On the other hand Exeter are looking a lot healthier with David Wheeler being their main injury concern, the midfielder suffered an ankle injury recently. Doubts also hang over the fitness of Noble and Ribeiro.

Prev…

Injury Woes For Reds But Ibe Nets Winner

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Liverpool managed to collect a much needed victory at the Britannia on Tuesday evening despite losing both Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren during the first half due to hamstring injuries. In the second half Kolo Toure also played through what appeared to be another hamstring issue but it was Jordon Ibe who found the back of the net for the Reds and secured the win in the first leg.

The advantage going into the second leg of the semi final at Anfield will be invaluable for the Reds who may still be suffering injury wise come the end of January. Jurgen Klopp opted to start without a recognised striker for this fixture and also missing from the XI was Jordan Henderson and Mamadou Sakho.

The game started brightly for the Reds as the trio of Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho put their magic on show. Some wonderful moves and link up play from the threesome left Stoke quickly on the back foot and I must admit I was surprised to see Liverpool start so confidently.

Unfortunately we didn't …

MATCH PREVIEW: Stoke V Liverpool

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It's a big game for Liverpool on Tuesday evening as Jurgen Klopp takes his side to the Britannia for the first leg of a league cup semi final against Stoke. The Reds of course were beaten by West Ham at the weekend and confidence is running low at the moment around L4.

Injuries for Liverpool mean Daniel Sturridge will still be unavailable after apparently suffering another setback during recovery. According to Jurgen the forward was unable to attend one session and he would rather wait until Daniel has strung together some full sessions before risking him for a start.

Liverpool are also without defender Martin Skrtel and both Milner and Henderson in the middle of the park. For Stoke they are looking relatively strong with just Muniesa and Ireland unavailable to feature.

The last time the two sides met was back in August of 2015. A single goal from Philippe Coutinho was enough for the Reds to get the win during that fixture. Most Reds however will remember vividly the final game o…

Hammers Complete Double Over Reds

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Slaven Bilic's side got the better of Liverpool at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon via goals from ex Red Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio. Jurgen Klopp watched on as his side struggled to create any concrete chances in front of the West Ham goal and whilst some will argue a refereeing decision may have aided the home side, Liverpool certainly did not deserve to get anything from the game.

Christian Benteke led the line for Liverpool and he quickly came under fire from pundits and fans alike during the game. I said as soon as we were interested in Benteke that there was no point buying him because we didn't have the right players to work for him, to add insult to injury his price tag was £32.5 million, I knew it wouldn't take long before fans turned and blamed him for all our issues but the fact is, it's not all his fault.

Our team on Saturday just felt completely disjointed. The flashes from Coutinho and Firmino are predictable at times and sides like West Ham just a…

MATCH PREVIEW: West Ham V Liverpool

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After victory over Sunderland on Wednesday evening Jurgen Klopp's side face West Ham on Saturday for their first fixture of 2016. The Reds will face tough opposition from the Hammers who are just one point behind them in the league.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon James Milner, Martin Skrtel and Divock Origi. It also looks as though the knock Jordan Henderson picked up against the Black Cats will keep him out of this fixture. Positively for the Reds though, Daniel Sturridge should be available for the clash.

For West Ham, the game comes too early for the likes of Jelavic, Moses and Reid who have returned to training but are unlikely to feature. Manager Slaven Bilic will be pleased however with the return of Payet who has been out for two months.

The last time the two sides met was in August last year when Brendan Rodgers' side fell to a 3-0 defeat. Philippe Coutinho and Mark Noble both saw red in that fixture too. Our last visit to Upton Park also end…