The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Four Things We Learned From Saturday's Results (14/09/19)

1) Firmino is smooth af.

The Brazilian didn't enter play until just before half time as he replaced Divock Origi but he immediately made an impact for Liverpool who were drawing 1-1 at this stage. A stunning strike from Willems gave Newcastle the lead after just seven minutes but Mane had equalised just before the half hour mark. When Firmino joined, the Reds were beginning to gain control of a game which started a bit wobbly for Klopp's side.

Image via The Mirror

It was Firmino's assist though for Mo Salah in the second half that has had Kopites drooling over replays. A sublime bit of skill in the box saw him roll the ball backwards and complete a little side footed pass behind his ankle, all this while being closed down by the Newcastle defence. His assist for Salah was stunning and the Egyptian ensured he put Liverpool 3-1 up.

2) Lost without Laporte?

I wouldn't usually write about other matches on the blog but it's been a bit of a bloody weird day football-wise, all of which is a positive for Liverpool. If you didn't know cause you've been under a rock, which I apparently was for about 50 minutes of the City match, Pep's team were beaten by plucky Norwich.

It was an unbelievable display from the Canaries and some of the goals/attacks in particular have shone a light on City's defensive problems with Laporte now being out. It's an interesting one because when an injury like this happens you always presume that a top class side will find a way through but people often underestimate the power of a defender, especially in terms of their communication and organisation.

I'll be watching City more closely over the next few weeks.

3) Sadio's calmed down

After throwing a bit of a tantrum the other week, my absolute favourite player Sadio Mane seems to have calmed down. Enjoying a break after no international duties with Senegal, it was lovely to see Mane score twice and celebrate with his fellow forwards, including that Mo Salah, you know the one that never passes...

It is laughable to me that the only issue people can cling on to or try to talk about at Liverpool at the moment is the fact that we have a selfish striker. Strikers are meant to be selfish and yes he should have passed but who gives a shite when you're top of the league?

Opposition fans and the media will grasp at anything to try and bring down the Reds this season, anything so they don't have to put up with the unbearables winning the title but put your pens away folks because there's no rift at Anfield, these lads love each other.

4) Pukki for golden boot?

Pukki, what an absolute hero and did I hear somewhere he's a Liverpool fan or is that just a rumour? Either way he's already been involved in eight goals in the first five matches this season, that is some record for the 29 year old who also scored 29 goals in the Championship last season.

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Alisson Injured In Norwich Win

Liverpool made a solid start to their 2019/2020 Premier League campaign on Friday night as they opened up the season with a 4-1 win over Norwich. An own goal began proceedings but goals from Salah, van Dijk and Origi quickly followed in the first half. The Liverpool supporting Norwich forward Pukki did find a consolation in the second half but despite a valiant effort from the away side, they could only find the one goal.

Image via sports.yahoo.com

The big news from Liverpool's perspective, aside from the emphatic win, was the injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The golden glove winner went down after taking a goal kick in the first half, appearing to clutch his calf. Second choice keeper Adrian who only arrived at the club this week looked shocked that his chance to play in front of the Kop had already arrived and he received a rapturous welcome from the Anfield faithful.

Divock Origi's cross was turned into the net by Norwich's Hanley after just seven minutes and despite a bright start from the visitors, this moment did somewhat take the wind out of their sails. Klopp's side capitalised and Mo Salah found the net with a lovely angled finish, followed closely by a classic Virgil van Dijk header. Origi scored the fourth and final goal for the Reds who entered the second half with the same tempo but couldn't find the net again.

Pukki's goal was deserved for Norwich who had stuck to the football that had served them so well in the Championship. Scoring bags of goals but also conceding a lot too on their way to the Premier League, it could have been easy for the Norwich manager to attempt to play tactically but they didn't. The Canaries came to Anfield and attacked, which is more than you can say for most teams, so full credit to them.

After the Reds threw down the gauntlet, all eyes were on rivals Manchester City. Many have predicted that this season will once again be a two-horse race and Pep Guardiola's team certainly responded. A 5-0 victory over West Ham, with a load of VAR coverage thrown in, provided the Sky Blues with an immediate response to Liverpool's result.

A win produced an almost perfect start for the Reds but the Alisson injury news has added a bit of a downer. The latest seems to be that the Brazilian could be out for up to 4-8 weeks, Liverpool are apparently looking at signing Lonergan on a free transfer to play the second keeper to the promoted Adrian as our third choice keeper Kelleher has a broken wrist...

I mean what are the chances of your star goalkeeper getting a pretty bad injury on the opening day of the season? I'm not usually a downbeat person and would usually be the one saying all sorts of positive things here but I genuinely am concerned by this, Alisson is such a huge factor in our attempts to chase that elusive Premier League title.

Adrian is a top keeper and with van Dijk in front of him I don't doubt that he can assist the Reds in their hour of need but I am praying that Alisson's injury resolves itself as soon as possible.

Next up for the Reds is Chelsea in the Super Cup.

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Thursday, 8 August 2019

Reds Open The Premier League Season Against Norwich

So, we didn't sign anyone... shocker. Can people just get over it now in time for kick-off on Friday? Yes, we could have done with a couple of extra players but this team is quality and the bench looks stronger with the return of Oxlade-Chamberlain, plus I feel Brewster will get more of a chance this year. Let's look at the positives eh? Six times European Cup winners entering another Premier League season under Jurgen Klopp, it doesn't get better than that.

On paper, the Reds should be standout winners on Friday night but Norwich are no mugs and too often the "big teams" underestimate promoted sides. Especially on the first day of the season when you haven't really had chance to assess their plans for the league they have just entered.

Image via premierleague.com

For Liverpool, Sadio Mane returns which is fantastic news and James Milner is also available after recovering from a muscle problem. Norwich have a few injuries to contend with including defender Timm Klose. A familiar face who may appear for Norwich is Patrick Roberts who is on loan from Manchester City.

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke has had very kind words to say about Liverpool, in a recent interview he explained: "I had a little smile when I saw our first game is against Liverpool. For me, they might be the best team in the world right now."

In years gone by I would say that was an exaggeration but the Norwich manager has a point, Liverpool were phenomenal last season and will be desperate to go one better this time out. As Norwich enter the Anfield fortress it's good to know the Reds are unbeaten in their last 40 league matches at L4.

The last time the two sides met was that ridiculous match in 2016 which Liverpool eventually won 5-4. I watched highlights of that game on YouTube recently and it's easily one of the craziest games I've ever seen. Klopp will be hoping there isn't a repeat of that although I'm sure he'd take the points!

The last meeting at Anfield between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw and in the last five games at Anfield Liverpool have won on three occasions.

Enjoy the match folks, I will hopefully be back with a match report/opinion piece. I'm still toying with getting back into blogging more regularly at the moment and to be honest I don't think you'll see as many match previews as I used to do because I feel my writing is better post match/on a specific topic. This season I'm going to try to do more general opinion pieces I think and less previews but we'll see how it goes. Enjoy your Friday night all, up the Reds!

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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Lallana Nets In Riveting 5-4 Win

Image via theguardian.com
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. Probably just still bitter about all those Merseyside derbies he's lost playing against Lucas eh? He would later get his own back though with a great strike.

Prior to that Norwich managed to find an equaliser via Mbokani after some shambolic defending from Liverpool. The play originally began from a corner which wasn't dealt with by the back four, a ball back into the box then enabled Mbokani to score with a neatly timed back heel. Just 12 minutes later and it was Naismith's turn, the ex Evertonian broke past three Liverpool players in the box and struck low to the far left of goal, Simon Mignolet really should have done better from that angle and the Reds were now well and truly on the back foot.

Both teams came out in the second half having made zero changes and it was Norwich once again who began strongly. After eight minutes this time they'd once again found the back of the net. Alberto Moreno was at fault for this one and I don't see how he can escape any criticism because it really was just a stupid piece of play. His first challenge that brought down Naismith in the box was disregarded by the ref and Moreno should have realised he was a lucky boy there but no, he just kicked the back of Naismith again, idiotic. I really like Moreno but it was just a daft decision from him. Wes Hoolahan converted the penalty despite Simon Mignolet heading in the right direction.

After being 1-0 up and now 3-1 down after 53 minutes I was struggling to see how the Reds were going to get back into this one but just seconds after the penalty Liverpool were up the other end of the pitch. A completely unmarked Jordan Henderson was gifted the ball in the box and scored with a powerful finish to make the scoreline 3-2.

Adam Lallana then entered the fray replacing Jordon Ibe who to be honest was one of few influential players on the pitch, it seemed like a questionable substitution but would turn out to be perfect. Lallana was immediately involved in the game offering an assist to an encroaching Roberto Firmino who with a lovely finish put the Reds level in the game. This game was just ridiculous 3-3 after just an hour and there were still several signs that there were still more goals to come.

At 74 minutes it was James Milner's turn to join the party, he's been quite in several games this season but I thought he held his composure well in the one on one chance with the keeper, he remained strong and converted an important goal to put Liverpool into what looked like a final lead to obtain all three points.

When the fourth official held up the board with five minutes, Klopp and the majority of Liverpool fans appeared to be disgruntled little did we know that the extra time would be precious. It sure didn't feel like it though when Bassong sent home a beautiful strike with his left foot from outside the box. I couldn't believe it, shouting and swearing I was convinced we'd thrown away a vital three points.

With just two minutes left of the game and after watching Liverpool's performance in the 90 it just didn't feel like we'd be able to find a glorious last minute winner but we did, we bloody did! Adam Lallana, a man who also perhaps hasn't been justifying his massive price tag of late was never going to let this chance go flying. With 94 minutes on the clock the ex Southampton man scored with his left foot from the centre of the box. Phenomenal, how we had managed to win 5-4 I have no idea but I didn't care about the mishaps and dodgy performance at this point, I was too fixated on Jurgen Klopp who had made a sprint for Adam Lallana, been bombarded by the team and nearly lost his glasses in the process. Just brilliant.

Next up for Liverpool is a massive game against Stoke in the league cup semi final!

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Friday, 22 January 2016

MATCH PREVIEW: Norwich V Liverpool



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 Suarez on the score sheet, he appeared to thrive off finding the net against the Canaries.

In the last 10 meetings between the two sides Liverpool have picked up eight wins with the remaining two games ending in a draw.

Form

Norwich come into this fixture having lost three out of their last five games in the league. Their two recorded wins in that period came against Aston Villa and Southampton. Liverpool have lost two of their last five games in the league, against Manchester United and West Ham. One draw was collected against Arsenal and two 1-0 wins over Leicester and Sunderland.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have scored only one goal in their last four away matches in the league.
  • Norwich have conceded 14 goals from crosses in the league this season.
  • The Reds have scored 22 goals in their last six league games against Norwich.

Betting

As always, if you fancy a bet, I'd recommend my fave bookies Paddy Power, click the image below, deposit a tenner and put it all on one bet then get £30 free, limited time offer! Any questions drop me a tweet.

So this week I'm feeling quite positive about the game so I've been having a look at some of the higher score results. 3-0 is at 16/1 while 4-0 is down as 40/1. We may not have been finding the back of the net lately but I think we'll be given plenty of chances on Saturday so hopefully this time we can convert!
Jordon Ibe had a great game against Exeter and you can get odds of 9/1 for him to be the first goalscorer on Saturday while Firmino is down as 6/1.


Finally if you think the Reds will have what it takes you can get odds of 5/1 for Liverpool to win both halves.

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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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Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Suarez Show


In stark contrast to their shocking defeat at the hands of Hull, Liverpool completely turned their fortunes around on Wednesday night in a 5-1 rout over Norwich. The magical Luis Suarez scored four times whilst Raheem Sterling netted the fifth. The game sees the Reds remain fourth in the table with West Ham at home for their next fixture.

Brendan Rodgers made some changes to the starting XI for this one, namely the reintroductions of Daniel Agger and Joe Allen. Philippe Coutinho was also given the start which was music to most fans ears.

Norwich certainly appear to have found their "bogey team" in the Premier League and after this result you have to feel sorry for goalkeeper John Ruddy who must be sick to the back teeth of Luis Suarez.

The game quickly got underway for Liverpool who had a succession of efforts blocked followed by two Jordan Henderson misses early on. Henderson didn't quite have his shooting boots on but his team mate Luis Suarez had his laces firmly tied for this fixture!

The Uruguayan had already collected 7 goals against Norwich and he was well on to his way to extending his tally when faced with an opportunity just before the 15 minute mark.

Being Luis Suarez, it's too easy to do things by halves although this goal did nearly come from the half way line its self. Very similar to his goal at Carrow Road, Suarez spotted Ruddy slightly off his line and decided to take a chance at lobbing the keeper, of course his plan worked and his effort elegantly swooped over the keeper and in to the back of the net.

The Kop End went wild and the fans were over the moon with that goal, little did they know there was even better to come.

Suarez's second goal of the night came nearly 15 minutes later after a corner from Philippe Coutinho was flicked on by Steven Gerrard. Norwich were at fault here for leaving Suarez with so much space but it was still a tidy header from Suarez and Liverpool were now 2-0 up.

Norwich by this stage already looked deflated, they posed little threat in attack and were struggling desperately to deal with the oncoming Luis Suarez.

Liverpool on the other hand looked a lot more balanced. It's perhaps a little harsh to judge because there wasn't as much to deal with but I personally feel Agger and Skrtel gelled very well together and there's no reason why that partnership should not continue to be used for the foreseeable future in my opinion.

Suarez's third goal in my opinion was easily the best. The skill required to take the ball over the defender and then hit the shot on the half volley was just immense. This goal was a real pleasure to watch and a perfect way for Luis to seal his hat trick.

Of course the Uruguayan wasn't quite done yet though, just after the 70 minute mark he lined up to take a free kick awarded to Liverpool on the edge of the box. Everybody was suspected it but nobody actually thought that he'd score again...

But he did, a fantastic free kick swirled its way into the back of the net and Liverpool were now 4-0 up. Simply brilliant.

A few minutes later Norwich managed to find themselves a consolation goal and it really was just a consolation, Chris Hughton looked very disappointed come 90 minutes. Bradley Johnson converted for the visitors.

Finally Liverpool finished their rout with an assist from... yes, you've guessed it... Luis Suarez. The star man set up Raheem Sterling who slotted home the Reds' fifth goal of the game.

It really was a brilliant result for Liverpool, just what they needed after such a dismal display against Hull. With West Ham up next at Anfield too the Reds have a chance to begin another good run here as we head into the Christmas period.

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

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Liverpool Require A Win To Get Back On Track


Liverpool welcome the Canaries to Anfield on Wednesday evening as the Reds look to redeem themselves after a terrible performance against Hull at the weekend. Brendan's side looked completely lacklustre and it is assumed the boss will this time field a different starting XI.

Liverpool are of course without Daniel Sturridge who could be out for six weeks. The Reds are also missing Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates who are out long term. Kolo Toure will be subject to a late fitness test before the game but there are many fans who believe he has earnt a seat on the bench for this match after his last performance.

For Norwich, manager Chris Hughton has quite a few bodies missing. Bunn and Wolfswinkel are both unavailable with ankle problems whilst Bennet and Snodgrass have knee injuries. Pilkington and Tettey are also out leaving Norwich in a bit of a pickle when trying to select their best XI.

Norwich currently find themselves in 14th with 14 points and it has been a mix bag of results for the Canaries so far this season. Norwich won their last match against Crystal Palace and they have also picked up all three points against West Ham, Stoke and Southampton. Their current form reads - LDLWLW.

Liverpool in case you didn't know, emphatically lost their last game against Hull. Liverpool fans find themselves hoping that this is just a blip but the Reds have also lost two other games so far this season. Current form for Liverpool reads - DWLWDL.

Liverpool have scored 10 goals in their last two meetings with Norwich. The last time the two sides met the game ended 5-0 with 4 different goalscorers and an own goal on the score sheet for Liverpool. The meeting before that saw Liverpool win 5-2 with Luis Suarez scoring that unforgettable hat trick. Steve Morison and Grant Holt scored for Norwich that day.

To find a win for Norwich at Anfield we have to go back to April 1994 when the Canaries recorded a 1-0 win over the Reds. On the whole though, Liverpool's record against Norwich is a strong one and they certainly need a win on Wednesday evening.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have only won one of their last four Premier League games.
  • Norwich have only won three of their last 25 away games in the league.
  • The last goal scored at the original Kop End was scored in Norwich's win in April 1994 by Jeremy Goss.
I asked you on twitter for your score predictions for this one but with it being midweek there wasn't as big a response to choose from so here are just a few of score predictions I received...


I must admit that I am quite concerned about this clash, it should on paper be a win for Liverpool but unless the starting XI is different and attitudes have changed then it will be more of the same I'm afraid. Philippe Coutinho for me needs to start and I also personally want to see Agger back in the defence. Suarez also hopefully will be given some more supply enabling him to remain in the danger areas more often instead of drifting out to help create attacks. My prediction for this one despite me feeling a bit worried about it being another banana skin is a 2-1 Liverpool win.

Wherever you are watching, enjoy the match folks!

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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Reds In Norwich Rout

Henderson was over the moon with his goal...
Image: guardian.co.uk
Liverpool put 4 past Norwich and accepted a gifted own goal to finish their 5-0 rout at Anfield on Saturday as the doubters of the Sturridge and Suarez partnership were hushed once again. In a game where Steven Gerrard found the back of the net and Jordan Henderson too it was a brilliant performance from the Reds who look to be finding their feet.

Liverpool were without Pepe Reina and Martin Skrtel for this one and so Brad Jones was between the sticks with Jamie Carragher brought back into the defence. Norwich were thankful to be able to start their main man Grant Holt up front as they would need the extra fire power.

Immediately for Liverpool it was clear that Sturridge and Suarez (despite the small amount of time they've been working together) had an awareness about them. Sturridge knew exactly where Suarez was and Suarez knew exactly where Sturridge was, to be playing that freely already and feeling confident in your partner is fantastic and it wasn't long until Suarez was causing problems for the Norwich defence.

Weaving in and out and closing in from tight angles as he always does, Suarez was causing havoc in the run up to Liverpool's first goal. Eventually the ball found it's way to Jordan Henderson, most who praise Henderson will still admit that he's very much a confidence player and so to see him "have a pop" with the way the ball fell to him was fantastic. Hitting it first time it was a cracking finish that flew straight into the back of the net and gave Liverpool the lead. Henderson celebrated emphatically, you could see what it meant to him.

Ten minutes later and that man Suarez was making sure everybody was talking about him again. On a break he took the ball all the way to the keeper and with typical flair, provided a classy finish to give Liverpool their second. Lucas set him up after Sturridge allowed the ball to run through his legs, knowing that the Uruguayan striker was free.

Things were going almost too well for Liverpool, you have to take into account the opposition and the fact it was at Anfield of course but we were running like a smoothly oiled machine, even with big changes to our usual line up.

Norwich were creating chances here and there and sprung Brad Jones into action very early on but the Reds had too much of a hold on the game now, it had the feel of a goal fest and it certainly turned into one.

No substitutions were made from either side for the second half. Norwich needed a spark to be honest but Hughton wasn't ready to change things yet. He'd perhaps left it too late though as Daniel Sturridge scored close to the hour mark.

It's 3 in 3 for the ex Chelsea man and once again he was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, it's such a simple goal but as I've mentioned before, Downing plays that lovely cross in any other game pre - Sturridge and it's simply not scored, because no one is bloody there in the box waiting! A tap in suits me just fine.

It's a late one but my New Year's resolution is definitely to learn Sturridge's celebratory dance...

Hughton made a sub five minutes after this goal bringing on Hoolahan for Bennett who ended up having a less than favoured impact on the game. Norwich are in a bit of a rut at the moment after a good start to the season and they may have fancied their chances of getting something against us after their draw last time out at Anfield but it just wasn't to be.

Immediately after the substitution Steven Gerrard decided he'd quite like to get in on the action and with a goal that showed remnants of his glory days, his long range shot beat the keeper to the left bottom corner of the goal.

Raheem Sterling and Fabio Borini were brought into play shortly after the Gerrard goal and it makes you realise that we do have some decent options at the moment, people who can add a different element to a game.

Just to rub salt in the wounds for Norwich, Raheem Sterling created the problem that caused their man to turn the ball into the back of his own net at 75minutes. It was unfortunate for Ryan Bennett but some good work by Sterling meant his cross would have probably been met by Fabio Borini anyway even if Bennett didn't get in the way.

It was a brilliant performance from Liverpool, a real rout and to keep a clean sheet too is just fantastic. I'd never have guessed a 5-0 scoreline pre-match. It must be a hard one to take for Norwich who didn't actually play all that bad but for a change Liverpool were not wasting their chances and made nearly every one count. If we can take that kind of attitude and performance to Arsenal next in the league then we may well be on to something but before that we have to face Oldham in the FA Cup.

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Friday, 18 January 2013

Norwich At A Snowy Anfield

Pacheco in the snow at Melwood...
Image: @dani37pacheco
Liverpool are apparently ready despite the wave of snow hitting the country to face Norwich on Saturday afternoon at Anfield. With preparations well underway the main problem lies with the travel arrangements of the fans who have a long way to commute however assuming systems are still go I'll try and give you some sort of match preview!

Liverpool have no new injury worries but many are wondering whether new signing Daniel Sturridge will get a start or not after scoring in both games he's featured in so far. Norwich are in a better position too with players like Surman returning from injury and Grant Holt may also be ready to start after suffering a hamstring problem recently.

Norwich are currently 12th in the league 5 points behind Liverpool who are placed in 8th. Norwich are on a rather poor run at the moment losing 4 out of their last 5 Premier League games, Liverpool however have won 3 out of their last 5.

The last time the two sides met was in September and it ended up being a bit of a goal fest with the Reds taking all 3 points. Suarez scored a hat trick in the game that ended 5-2. The last time Norwich were at Anfield they managed to hold out a 1-1 draw and so they are capable of getting a result.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have scored at least once in their last 9 Premier League matches.
  • Norwich have kept 5 clean sheets at home this season but they aren't so successful away.
  • Daniel Sturridge was the first Liverpool player to score on his league debut since Luis Suarez.

Liverpool may have lost against Manchester United last weekend but there were certainly some positives to take from the game, namely Sturridge and the possibility of a great link up between him and Suarez being created. Also Borini was back fit and that provides us with another option from the bench and I felt the lads once they banged their heads together applied some good pressure and showed real fight.

Taking all this into account I feel Liverpool should be on to a winner tomorrow, Norwich are on a real bad run and unless something switches in the game on Saturday I can't see them getting a result at Anfield however I still expect them to find the back of the net. If the game goes ahead I'm going for a 2-1 Liverpool win.

Enjoy the match folks and the snow!

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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Suarez Sublime In Norwich Win

Suarez celebrates his second hat trick at Carrow Road...
Image: football365.com
Finally, the Reds can chalk up a victory in the Premier League under boss Brendan Rodgers and in some style too. Rodgers after clearly being impressed by some of his youngsters filtering through the side went for a rather different starting XI against Norwich on Saturday, add to this that Suarez was on song, it was a comfortable victory for Liverpool with the only downside being that they conceded.

Rodgers gave Suso and Wisdom their first Premier League starts whilst opting to play Raheem Sterling once again. Also included was Sahin who scored two against West Brom in the league cup.

Possession according to the BBC ended up 50/50 after the 90 minutes but vitally for Liverpool this time they had maintained their portion of the ball and made sure they hit the back of the net at the same time.

Luis Suarez immediately cemented his love for Carrow Road just 2 minutes in. Glen Johnson cut inside and attempted to play a ball through to Sahin but he couldn't quite collect, the defensive clearance though wasn't the best and Suarez found himself with a chance at goal. His strike to Ruddy's right put Liverpool in front.

Suarez has started with a bang and it wasn't long before he was causing hassle again in the Norwich box. In a week that saw Rodgers ring up Mike Riley you would feel a referee would be extra attentive in his decision making for this game but apparently not. Suarez was brought down by Barnett and it was a clear foul but the Uruguayan was given nothing.

Some people won't agree but I think Suarez has definitely had his reputation put against him on several occasions, we know he's not always an angel but each decision should be taken independently not on the basis that he "probably" dived. Thankfully, Liverpool would not have to dwell on this decision.

Suarez never let the decision get to him either as minutes later he played a lovely ball over the defence in an attempt to set up captain Steven Gerrard. The number 8 got a strong header to it but Ruddy had it covered.

The next moment of note, yep, you guessed it, Suarez again. This time he had a pop at goal after a great ball through from Agger, unfortunately it was a dodgy finish and the ball went wide, whilst the Norwich fans stood shouting and gesturing that Suarez may be in need of some light relief the striker had other things on his mind, seconds later he'd shut them all up.

The Norwich defence were half asleep and Suarez stole possession with ease, taking the ball behind and round the defender Suarez ended with a lovely finish on the outside of his boot and secured his second goal of the game.

The man was quite simply on fire, he wasn't only scoring he was setting people up, he was here, there and everywhere and could have been on three or four goals by this stage already.

By half time Norwich were left looking pretty dismal, some half chances supplied them with an ounce of hope but their defence was clearly struggling to deal with this fresh attacking threat from Liverpool. The likes of Suso and Sahin were weaving through far too easily and the amount of possession Liverpool held in the final third surely meant more goals were coming.

To try to combat his sides lack of threat Hughton brought on Grant Holt who is usually a prolific goalscorer but hadn't found the back of the net yet for Norwich, still this would give the Reds another angle to deal with.

A wonderful chance for Norwich to get themselves back in the game left the home fans wondering how the hell they weren't after Snodgrass put the ball over the bar from centimetres out. Norwich would seriously need to take their chances in order to gain any points from this game.

Just after the 46th minute Liverpool had found yet another goal to add to the Canaries woes.

Yet another attack involving Suarez saw Norwich miss their chance to clear the danger. Suarez was then left with another chance and decided to set up Sahin who finished with a tap in. Liverpool were storming this now.

Ten minutes later and the Reds were at it again. Luis Suarez clearly wasn't content with his hat trick from last season at Carrow Road, he wanted a repeat. A lovely curled effort caught the defence and goalkeeper off guard and sent Liverpool 4-0 up. Ruddy marvellous.

You can get on Suarez's back all you want as a neutral but you'd have to agree that it was a masterclass from him on Saturday.

The game wasn't over yet though and with 4 goals already under their belts Liverpool felt like they might be able to grab some more. On the hour mark though Norwich finally managed to find a return.

A stinging effort from Martin left Reina unable to keep hold of the ball, as he parried it away it fell to the feet of Steve Morison who wasn't going to miss his chance to get Norwich a consolation goal. The Canaries had found the back of the net.

As quickly as they'd found it though Liverpool were rubbing salt in the wounds again. Raheem Sterling took a lovely touch on the wing to give himself acres of space, spotting Gerrard he played a lovely pass for the captain who's deflected strike eventually found the back of the net. It was now 5-1 to Liverpool.

With five minutes left of the game to go Norwich grabbed themselves another goal and perhaps a glimmer of hope for the fans because it was Grant Holt who got himself off the mark and gave his side a second goal.

This match was just fantastic, obviously we have to take into account that the calibre of the opposition wasn't as good as recent games and so that could reflect on the scoreline but I honestly feel that the inclusion of Suso and Sahin had a massive effect. Wisdom in defence also had a good game and Sterling was brilliant as always.

I don't care if it does sound harsh when I say this, Suso and Sterling are ten times better than the likes of Stewart Downing who for me should of been flogged anyway. The youngsters aren't only a positive addition, the majority of them are pretty versatile as we have seen with the example of Sterling. This versatility for me has also had an encouraging effect on Steven Gerrard who looked at lot more comfortable and free on Saturday in this version of the managers set up.

Extremely happy with that performance and extremely happy that Brendan has been brave enough to include youth. With some of the regular starters we were running out of ideas and seemed an easy side to read. Here's hoping for more success, I'd love for Liverpool to be praised for their youthful XI this season even if we don't finish high up in the league.

If you're good enough, you're old enough.

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Friday, 28 September 2012

Reds Really Need A Win

Suarez scored all three against Norwich last season...
Image: Link
Liverpool are at Carrow Road for Saturday's fixture as Brendan's boys look to carry their momentum through from their win in the league cup. The game against West Brom included several of Liverpool's youngsters and it will be interesting to see if any of them feature at the weekend.

Norwich are without Kane who broke his foot midweek and they also have doubts hanging over Pilkington and Bassong. Liverpool are still without Shelvey who is serving a ban and Borini is also a doubt. Daniel Agger however could make a return after he picked up a knock in a collision during the United game.

Nobody will have forgotten the last meeting between the two sides because it included that rather special Luis Suarez hat trick! Norwich haven't played us as regularly as some teams and so they have to go back to 1993 to find a win for themselves.

Norwich only recorded their first league win this season in their last match and Liverpool are still waiting for their own. Whilst Norwich haven't lost by very big margins (aside from the Fulham game) they have still conceded in 5 out of 7 league games. Liverpool however have also conceded a load of goals too.

Stat Sandwich

  • If Suarez features it will be his 50th Premier League appearance.
  • Norwich have the lowest conversion rate so far this season.
  • Liverpool have only one clean sheet from their last 15 league games.

I really hope the Reds can find that win they desperately need on Saturday. It seems as though this is the stage where our season should start. We haven't necessarily played that badly it's just good opposition and sometimes decisions have got in the way. 

No offence to Norwich but Liverpool have to be looking at this as their chance for three points. I get the feeling too that after the West Brom game some younger faces might get a chance to come on as a sub. Also Assaidi and Sahin who haven't really been given game time could also feature.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Suarez Sinks Stunning Hat-Trick Against Canaries

Suarez celebrates...
Liverpool put three past Norwich at Carew Road on Saturday as the Reds got themselves back to winning ways in the League. A stunning hat-trick from Luis Suarez sent the away fans wild and with little left to play for in the League other than perhaps topping Everton, it was an exciting and refreshing 90 minutes from the Reds.

Dalglish opted for a slightly different starting line up, perhaps due to having one eye on next weekends fixture. Carragher was in the defence and Downing and Shelvey also made the start.

Norwich had to make a substitution early on in the game when Adam Drury went down injured. Russell Martin took his place.

It didn't take Liverpool long to find their first goal and after some good pressure from the Reds Luis Suarez found the back of the net. Set up by Steven Gerrard the Uruguayan with a lovely finish curled the ball past Ruddy, it looked like it was about to go wide but it slotted itself in and put the Reds 1-0 up.

Many feared Gerrard was actually injured heavily after he disappeared last match but thankfully he started and had a fantastic game. Everyone seems to agree that when Gerrard is freed up and closer to the forwards, especially Suarez, it creates wonderful play. The captain has certainly got a connection with Suarez and this is always stronger when Gerrard is pushed forward.

Just 4 minutes after his first stylish finish Suarez found himself a second. Play was intercepted after a Norwich throw in and the number 7 took full advantage. With such a tight angle to score from, the goal looked a hard option but Suarez appears to like scoring the harder goals and with a sweet finish he slipped the ball passed Ruddy again.

Norwich to be honest, considering how threatening they were the last time we played them had very few chances. Liverpool have been a different side though away from home this season and this showed on Saturday.

Suarez's third and final goal in Liverpool's confident win came with 10 minutes left to go. If you thought the first two goals from the forward were sublime then you must have been knocked for six when he netted this one!

He picked up the ball just past the half way line and decided to ignore a completely free Gerrard on his left. Similar to the Xabi Alonso goal when Gerrard was actually annoyed but then elated, Suarez went for it!

His chip from 50 metres was nothing short of genius. Ruddy tried his best but he'd been well and truly lobbed. This could well be a bit of bias creeping in but you won't see another hat trick as good as that for a long while!

Norwich with the little time left that they had could not find any consolation and Liverpool's defence deserved to be credited despite a quiet game for keeping a clean sheet.

With Fulham up next and then the FA Cup final this is exactly the sort of form we need to be in.

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Friday, 27 April 2012

Reds To Face Canaries

Kuyt in action last year against Norwich...
Liverpool face the Canaries on Saturday as they look to end April on a high. Norwich have lost their last two league games but they have been a breath of fresh air since they were promoted from the Championship last year.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are without Charlie Adam but captain Steven Gerrard was back in training and is expected to be available for Saturday's game. Norwich are without ex Reds man Daniel Ayala who is suffering from a knee injury and also unavailable is Marc Tierney.

The last time the two sides met was in October. A 1-1 draw in which Liverpool played quite well was a string of many poor results at Anfield for the Reds this season.

The last time Norwich beat Liverpool at Carew Road was in 1993 which to be fair isn't that long ago considering how infrequently the sides have met.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have won 7 away league games this season.
  • Norwich have only kept two clean sheets this season in the league.
  • The Reds have only converted 9% of shots into goals in the Premier League this season.

With the FA Cup final pretty much just around the corner and another league game against Fulham before that it will be interesting to see who Dalglish starts. I personally would go for a strong line up, we could do with a win in the league and I don't really think the game play will be detrimental to the lads chances in the FA Cup.

However with most players fit and a pretty large squad, the boss could easily mix and match and still have a pretty strong side out against Norwich.

With rumours flying around that Dirk Kuyt could be off in the summer I'd love to see some more of the Dutchman and would like to see him start on Saturday. I also assume Henderson will start and I must admit I'm not his greatest fan but in the last couple of matches (considering the games on a whole were poor) i think he's done quite well.

I predict a 1-0 win for Liverpool, I can't see anything spectacular happening but here's hoping I'm wrong.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Missed Chances Leave Liverpool Disappointed

Grant Holt celebrates the Norwich equaliser...
Similar to the Stoke game and the draw with Manchester United, it was yet again a story of missed chances for a frustrated Liverpool side. Norwich fought hard, particularly in the second half and were spurred on by their goal but despite over 20 attempts at goal and 11 shots from Suarez alone, Liverpool couldn't find a winner.

A starting line up which saw Bellamy start and Carroll left on the bench was an interesting selection from manager Kenny Dalglish. Many fans were excited to see how this set up would work and why not try it against Norwich at home?

It didn't take long for Dalglish's decision to pay dividends after Craig Bellamy got Liverpool a goal just before the half time whistle. The Welshman had a bit of luck after his effort took a deflection before hitting the back of the net.

The goal was deserved looking back on a decent first half performance from Liverpool with two attempts hitting the woodwork. We couldn't get comfortable though as Norwich proved to have different plans for the second half.

An important substitution for Norwich just before the hour mark would change the game for the Canaries. Paul Lambert who has done a fantastic job with his side could see there was some confidence building and his decision to bring Grant Holt into the mix was a good one.

Just a couple of minutes later the striker had found an equaliser for his team. A bullet header whilst being contested by two defenders and Pepe Reina was the factor that found Norwich their goal. I'd struggle to find a scenario where that goal would have been prevented.

If it wasn't for Pepe Reina soon afterwards, Liverpool could have found themselves a goal down, the Spaniard made a superb save to keep the Reds in the game.

The dying moments saw Norwich just slightly lose their concentration, as Liverpool were awarded several corners on the bounce.

Andy Carroll could do nothing but plant his face in the grass after missing what appeared to be a brilliant chance to turn in a header and sending the ball wide, followed by a brilliant stop from John Ruddy to keep out a very lively Suarez, it just didn't appear to be Liverpool's three points to take.

An extremely disappointing result and everybody knows we shouldn't be drawing with Norwich at home but the feel in the air that it's the end of the world just has to stop. There's people already throwing away the hopes of fourth place and because of what? 29 missed chances against Norwich to get three points?

People just need to calm down i feel, no it's not acceptable but there were plenty of positives to take from that game and namely the fact that we are creating so many chances game in, game out. If we converted a higher percentage, we'd be laughing. I'd rather be faced with the rather difficult problem of ensuring we begin to take our chances compared to the immense problem of having to figure out how exactly to create attacking threats.

The chalkboard below presents what i am trying to point out. We all know Manchester United can make something out of nothing. They too were under the cosh against Norwich at home, but as we all know, after years under Fergie, that side have learnt how to take their chances.

Less chances in the match but still a large sum, United managed to convert two of their shots. Liverpool however with more attempts only converted one. The basis of a quality side is there, all that's required i feel is hard work, to make this chalkboard into one with more goal events on for the Reds.


 

Next up for Liverpool is a tie in the cup against Stoke, which i am expecting to be a difficult one, then it's West Bromwich Albion.

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Friday, 21 October 2011

Canaries Come To Anfield

Grant Holt is a goal threat for Norwich...
Liverpool welcome promoted side Norwich City to Anfield this weekend as the Canaries look to continue their  decent start to the season. Norwich are currently 9th in the table whilst the Reds are in 5th.

There aren't many injury worries for either side but there is a doubt hanging over Zak Whitbread for Norwich. The defender is back in training but has only just recovered from a hamstring injury. For Liverpool we have no injuries at all but Lucas Leiva after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester United will have to sit this one out.

The last time the two clubs faced each other was in 2005. Liverpool came away from Carrow Road with a 2-1 victory. The last time Norwich notched up a win at Anfield was in 1994, a slim 1-0 win saw the Canaries walk away with all three points.

Liverpool i think most will admit have been looking very lively of late. The draw with Manchester United didn't reflect the efforts of Dalglish's side in a game where if chances were taken it could have been a totally different scoreline. The win over Everton was an important one and Luis Suarez was able to show off his skills against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

I think if this fixture was at Carrow Road at this point of the season then Norwich might be able to give us a run for our money but with us being at Anfield i can only feel condfident.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have only let 27 shots on target from the opposition so far this season, that's the joint best in the league.
  • Norwich have conceded in every league game so far this season.
  • If Liverpool win, it will be their fifth in a row against Norwich.

Enjoy the match folks!

P.s. Completely off topic, and if you follow me on Twitter you'll already know. Basically i've had fantastic news about a second job! I'm not guaranteed hours but have been called in to start after half term, this added to my job at the Molineux, plus all my college work that is slowly starting to come in will mean that posts could and probably will appear at strange times.

I will try my utmost to keep to my usual schedule of the previews at least a day before or earlier and the reports being no later than a day after but i am just apologising in advance for any of the events that may unfold now that i am an even busier bunny! Haha. YNWA.

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