The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 30 March 2019

PREVIEW: Liverpool V Spurs

Bloody hell don't you just hate international breaks? I never thought I'd own up to this but that sickening feeling that the title race has been giving me each match? I've actually missed it. Thankfully it's back on Mother's Day as the Reds welcome Tottenham to Anfield.

Injury news for Liverpool means they are still unable to call upon Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is nearing fitness but remains out. A doubt also hangs over Alexander-Arnold who picked up a back injury recently. For Spurs, they are without Eric Dier but Trippier should be back in contention for this fixture.

The last time the two sides met was in September last year. Liverpool won the match 2-1 thanks to goals from Wijnaldum and Firmino. Spurs found their consolation goal at 90 minutes. 

Tottenham's last trip to Anfield ended in a 2-2 draw, Mo Salah found a brace in this clash. The Reds have won five out of the last ten meetings between the two sides, Spurs have won just once (a 4-1 victory in October 2017) and there have been four draws.

At the time of writing, Man City are top of the Premier League table on 77 points, Liverpool are in second with the Spurs game to come, currently on 76 points. Spurs sit in third with a total of 61 points.

Image via The Express
After starting the season strongly and managing to hold the pace, Spurs during recent weeks have slipped out of the title race and are currently 15 points behind Liverpool. Even with a win for Spurs, most would argue it's too late for them trouble the Reds and City.

For Liverpool, every single point counts now, in my opinion, if Liverpool are going to win the league this season, at this stage, I honestly think we may need to win every match. I hate saying that cause it's petrifying. I still believe City will drop points somewhere but I am now at a stage where I don't think Liverpool will be able to drop any. Every match now is a cup final and to throw into the mix we also have the Champions League quarter-final matches against Porto.

It's going to be an exciting couple of months ahead for Liverpool fans I just hope that we can kick things off with a win against Spurs and pray that the international break hasn't had a dampening effect.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Thursday, 14 March 2019

Five Things We Learned At The Allianz

1. Sadio Mane is awesome

Mane is my favourite current Liverpool player and has been for a very long time. For me, he's extremely underrated and in the big games (remember the Champions League final last year) he's often one of few that turn-up. 

Yes, he makes mistakes, sometimes provides a poor ball or should pass and doesn't but watch him closely and you will see that consistently Mane is always making things happen. He's an extremely dangerous player who knows exactly where the goal is. 

Image via Liverpool FC
His first goal at the Allianz was just incredible. The first touch and then to completely take out one of the best keepers in the game and finish so calmly? Just stunning. 

Also his second of the night helped me win £100 cause I had Mane 3-1 so if I didn't already love him, I definitely do now... 

2. Don't write off the Reds in Europe 

I had some people telling me "oooo Bayern is a tough game, not sure you'll do it in Germany". Yes, Bayern are a great side but what people seem to forget is that so are we. 

Liverpool have a real European prowess and over two legs I always fancy our chances. The bonus, of course, was that if Liverpool could find an away goal relatively early on that would force Bayern into an uncomfortable position. Matip's own goal was unfortunate but I knew once Liverpool scored we'd see the game out. 

3.Virgil van Dijk, worth every penny 

I mean I'm running out of descriptions for this man he's just immense. Commanding his back four throughout the 90 minutes, he looked furious when we did concede but sensibly snapped back into reality and once again instructed his defence, at 1-1 this was still a benefit to Liverpool more so than Bayern. 

In fairness, the defence had little to deal with on Wednesday night but Virgil also popped up with a goal which also bagged me a tenner! Haha. 

4.Robertson booking unfortunate 

Andy Robertson went in for a challenge late on in the game and before he even got there I was wincing. I am gutted he will miss the quarter-final first leg but as we proved without Virgil in the first leg of this tie, we can cope. 

5.Matip strong aside from the mistake 

I thought it was worth highlighting Matip because away from his error, which to be honest he had to do something about, he was actually having and continued to have a very good game. 

I like Matip but held a few concerns, over recent matches though he seems to have settled right in alongside Virgil! 

The draw is on Friday so let's see who we get!!! 

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Monday, 4 March 2019

Reds Remain Second

Liverpool could only manage a draw against old foes Everton on Sunday afternoon, meaning the Reds remain second in the table, just a point behind Manchester City. Though, if you spend a few minutes scrolling through Twitter, anyone would think we're 20 points behind, the managers gone AWOL and Salah, Mane and Firmino are all injured...

Don't get me wrong, I felt sick to the stomach towards the end of that match on Sunday. The dawning realisation that Liverpool were in fact now going to stay behind City with nine games to go, it was a hard fact to take. However, if you're going to slate the team at this stage, actually feel it necessary to tweet that the Reds have blown it and there's no hope well what's the point? Were City fans saying that when they dropped points against Newcastle the other week? Far from it.

Image via Sky Sports
Fact is, Liverpool are still well and truly in this title race and if we ever grab hold of that elusive 19th title it is always going to be via an absolute slog, it will never be on a plate five points clear as much as we may dream of it.

For me, people need to calm down a bit. Granted we needed a win but we've drawn on numerous occasions at Goodison in recent seasons and the result shouldn't really be that much of a shock. Liverpool need the fans now more than ever and while everyone is entitled to their opinions I just can't be arsed with these doom-mongers. We're one point off, there's a long way to go, I am convinced City will drop points it's just whether we can keep our nerve.

The match on Sunday was not one to remember for Klopp's side and for me it lacked a bit of innovation in the midfield. Trent and Robbo were making some strong moves on the flanks but through the middle, it was quite lacklustre.

Mo Salah had a brilliant chance to put Liverpool ahead in the first half as he twisted and turned his way into the box, his shot was saved well by Pickford though who redeemed himself after his horrendous mistake in the derby at Anfield. 

Everton grew in confidence as the game continued and for a while I felt as though Liverpool may benefit from the extra spaces being left by the Toffees but we couldn't quite make it count. On the flip side, despite Everton's growing confidence they never really seriously troubled Alisson who had a rather quiet game between the sticks.

It was just another typical frustrating draw and it's such a shame that the Reds have picked up so many of them this season. We've lost just once the whole season yet we find ourselves now chasing down City with destiny out of our own hands. It's not a nice feeling but the Reds along with manager Jurgen Klopp just need to keep their heads, focus on our own games, don't worry about what City are doing, concentrate on winning.

Next up for the Reds is Burnley at Anfield on Sunday, followed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

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Saturday, 2 March 2019

PREVIEW: Everton v Liverpool

Liverpool make the short trip across Stanley Park on Sunday afternoon as they prepare to face rivals Everton in another huge game for the Reds. A win over Bournemouth for Man City means Pep Guardiola's side are at the top of the table at the time of writing, a win for Liverpool would put them back on top of the pile.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they will have to make a late decision on Roberto Firmino who went off injured in the United game. Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez also remain out for the Reds. For Everton, they are unable to call upon Leighton Baines who has a rib injury but Andre Gomez is expected to return.

Image via
Everton have lost four out of their last six in all competitions and currently sit 10th in the table on 36 points. It's not been a great season for the Toffees but if there's any team out there that will want to throw a spanner in the works for Jurgen Klopp it's the boys from Goodison Park.

Liverpool's form has slipped slightly over recent games but the Reds still aren't losing. Four draws in their last six games in all competitions saw the Reds' lead on the table weaken but a solid 5-0 victory over Watford during the weak hit back at any doubters out there.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year, in what is quite possibly one of the funniest games I've ever watched. A freak goal from Divock Origi on the 90th minute after a blunder from keeper Jordan Pickford left Everton fans utterly deflated. The last meeting between the two sides at Goodison Park ended in a 0-0 and in the last five trips to Everton's ground in the league, four have ended in just a point for Liverpool.

I'm not sure what to expect from this one, Liverpool needed that massive win over Watford in the week and I feel that will have helped boost confidence around the camp. However, Everton will be desperate to cause an upset and while they haven't played well all season, the Merseyside derby has a tendency to throw up some bizarre results.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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