17 Aug 2014

Confirmed LFC XI vs. So'ton: £10m midfield surprise; massive snub for 2-goal star

The Premier League is back, and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has sprung a couple of surprises for today's Anfield clash with Southampton.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Manquillo, Lovren, Skrtel, Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge

SUBS: Jones, Toure, Sakho, Allen, Ibe, Can, Lambert

SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Pelle

* It's surprising to see Rodgers select Lucas ahead of Can. I'm not as impressed by the £10m German as some fans, but he should surely be starting ahead of Lucas, especially as one of the two more advances central midfielders.

* It's also a little strange that Manquillo, who only arrived last week, is deemed ready for the game, but Can - who featured heavily in pre-season - is passed over. Rodgers seemingly trusts Manquillo more than Can at this stage.

* With Lucas in the team, does this mean that he'll be playing the Gerrard role? Having the Brazilian playing more advanced makes little sense, and doesn't enhance the team's midfield attacking options. Hopefully, Lucas won't give away too many trademark stupid free-kicks.

* Suso not even on the bench? That's a massive snub for the youngster, who scored two goals in pre-season, and generally played well. What does he have to do to be given a chance?

* Do Liverpool really need two central defenders on the bench? The probability of bringing on two centre-halves in one match is negligible, and Rodgers could've easily left out Toure and selected Suso instead.

Probable formation:

---------------- Mignolet

Manquillo -- Skrtel --- Lovren ----- Johnson

---------------- Gerrard

-------- Hendo ---------- Lucas

----- Sterling ---------- Coutinho

--------------- Sturridge

The other option is that Rodgers may be planning to try out a 4231 formation, which would explain the inclusion of Lucas:

---------------- Mignolet

Manquillo -- Skrtel --- Lovren ----- Johnson

------------- Lucas --- Gerrard

Henderson ----- Sterling ------- Coutinho

-------------- Sturridge

I doubt this will happen, but it could be worth a look at some stage.

Predicting a 2-0 win for Liverpool, Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"[Liverpool] will have too much for Saints, but just because Liverpool now have even more options in other attacking positions does not make them as strong as when they had Suarez in their team".

Jamie Carragher also sees a victory for the Reds:

"I think Liverpool will come flying out of the blocks and make a very fast start, just as they did last season at home to Stoke, and, if I’m being honest, I think this will be very difficult for Southampton"

My prediction: 3-0 to Liverpool.

Author:



385 comments:

  1. Don't know how I feel about this line up...Lucas can f*** off as far as I'm concerned.

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  2. And because I said that he'll score 3 goals

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  3. i feel rogers is playing it a little to safe ,maybe hes looked at the utd result and panicked a bit ,hopefully lucas will sit in front of the back 4 and Gerrard will be further forward just behind sturridge for me the only position he should be played in if hes played.

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  4. A few days back you were predicting a draw, so it's good to see you're going the positive way today :-)
    I wouldn't have chosen Lucas ahead of Can but we should still be too strong for Southampton, especially if we play like aganst Dortmund.

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  5. lucas has been okay pre season so may be thats what has swung it...

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  6. Spot on Re the Lucas comments. He's unequivocally not an attacking midfielder. So if he's not playing as a CDM then why is he there? Obviously one of the main reasons for Gerrard going into that holding midfield role was to save his energy somewhat, is that suddenly going ton change thi season? I doubt it. Makes no sense to me!

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  7. Really annoyed about the Suso decision. Just give him a chance!


    Also, no Enrique? Does that mean he's on the way out? Doesn't make sense in terms of squad management. No point of Toure being there either if Enrique is available and Sakho is already on the bench.

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  8. This selection really baffles me. At least we have Ibe on the bench to make an impact.

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  9. Agree that Lucas should be the deepest midfielder, but I doubt that will happen. After all the fanfare over Gerrard's new role, it seems unlikely that Rodgers will change that for the first game.

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  10. He has raised his game a notch lately hasn't he.

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  11. its a strange one jk because it makes no sense to play lucas in an attacking capacity

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  12. Seeing lucas in starting line-up has dampened my anticipation of the game. I hate watching him do nothing on the pitch. What a useless player

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  13. he s not useless for the opposing team... they know they ll have some good free kick now.

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  14. The (hardly) dynamic duo could be worth trying again if it releases Henderson high up the pitch, I see nothing but benefits from that decision. Unless we play the diamond which wouldn't make much sense. But then again, no Suso/Enrique on the bench...

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  15. Lucas is a bit odd but I suspect we'll see a good game from him today. He'll work very hard to try and prove he's still got a place in this team and I wonder if Rodgers has tweaked a few things for this player in particular. For all that Lucas has played the holding role he's actually a much better midfielder than people give him credit for. He's not just about filling space and making tackles, I hope we see some attractive football from him this afternoon. He might surprise people with his link-up play.


    Toure and Sakho are both in the side as backup defenders, not just CBs. Having two of your subs be defenders is reasonable, I think. Ibe has gotten his place ahead of Suso and given how well Ibe has also played in the pre-season we would ask exactly the same question if he was left out.


    I'm not sure why you're querying Manquillo being selected. What other wing backs do we have who would take his place? Clearly Enrique is injured alongside Flannagan and Moreno isn't registered.

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  16. It makes no sense to play Lucas AT ALL!!!

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  17. I don't get why Lucas is playing
    As for two Cbs on the bench it I'd probably as we have no fbs on the bench.

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  18. but for me if hes playing well then Gerrard should be dropped as the only real role Lucas can play is sat in front of the back 4 a role which gerrad plays ......neither of these two players have the legs to cover back when played further forward

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  19. Enrique must be injured, there is no other explanation.

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  20. Please don't twist my words. I didn't query Manquillo being selected; I expressed surprise that he is deemed ready to start but Can isn't.

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  21. I hope so, otherwise it's back to square one (albeit with a better left back, for some).

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  22. Lucas probably playing because he makes more tackles when fit than anyone else and playing one CDM means we concede too many goals. I can only think the Lucas haters don't go to Anfield although I know JK does and he is in the anti camp. Don't understand it!

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  23. lucas is an unsung hero at liverpool.

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  24. Gerrard next o Lucas and Hendo in front of the pair, Lucas to cover Gerrard, give him the extra protection so he can do his thing... I agree though, I would have gone with Can...

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  25. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:05 pm, August 17, 2014

    jaimie
    it shows how much lfc have regressed
    that essentially lucas has replaced luis suarez in the line up






    oh,when he gives free kicks away at the edge of the box i die a thousand deaths


    i am actually crying like suarez at palace while typing this

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  26. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:06 pm, August 17, 2014

    exactly can and allen offer mobility lucas offers other teams cheap free kicks

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  27. Maybe Rodgers will try a 4231 formation. Coubtful, but if he did, the Lucas selection would make more sense.

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  28. I'm sure Can is far more ready to start than Manquillo, but the simple fact is that Manquillo has zero competition for his place in the side and is being picked as a matter of necessity, not as a reflection on his capability. His preparation or lack thereof is inconsequential and the comparison really doesn't make any sense. I share your surprise that Can isn't playing but Manquillo's selection is a different issue entirely.

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  29. That is exactly what it appears to be!
    4-2-3-1, otherwise we all know Lucas would not be playing, Can needs to be brought up to the speed of the Prem, friendlies count for nothing except to stretch the legs and hope you do not get inured along the way.
    Come on you reds!

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  30. When he's fit, he plays, I've never seen any suggestion that Rodgers doesn't fancy him. It's just that we've seen what happens to him when he has knee pain, even if the injury isn't totally debilitating. I feel bad for the guy because he's probably only 5% from being fully fit but that 5% is what you need to be effective in the PL.

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  31. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:17 pm, August 17, 2014

    great chance to scout schniderlin
    him bony
    and we should be fine
    20m and lucas sleiva will probably sign him

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  32. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:19 pm, August 17, 2014

    please all he does is give away cheap free kicks




    lucas is the worst player to have ever played for lfc!

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  33. Djimi Traore will object to that...

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  34. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:20 pm, August 17, 2014

    sky sports only talking about southampton
    the utd media

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  35. Don't really see it as a case of trusting Manquillo over Can. Their positions are unrelated. The decision of whether to field one of them doesn't influence the decision to play/not play the other.

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  36. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:24 pm, August 17, 2014

    djimi traore won us a cl
    lucas leiva cost us a title in 08-09

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  37. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:25 pm, August 17, 2014

    hope it is just a farewell game for lucas before e joins rafa at napoli!

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  38. Saints to win 2-1

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  39. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:26 pm, August 17, 2014

    i am being too harsh on lucas
    its not his fault he is being picked
    sorry man , you are a good guy!

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  40. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:26 pm, August 17, 2014

    2-2

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  41. Yeah surprised Suso isn't even on the bench. Really think BR doesn't fancy Suso. He didn't even feature against Manu in the final even tho he scored a couple of goals prior to the final.

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  42. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:35 pm, August 17, 2014

    would take a draw

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  43. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:42 pm, August 17, 2014

    wow we are so bad

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  44. The one thing I am looking forward to is Johnson not being in the starting eleven. He is that bad.

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  45. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:51 pm, August 17, 2014

    the main problem is the manager brendan rodgers

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  46. Our intensity from midfield just is not their I am afraid.

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  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:52 pm, August 17, 2014

    because of lucas

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  48. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:53 pm, August 17, 2014

    i love you henderson

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  49. Sterling = Striker.

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  50. that must of been a Gerard pass as no other player can pass especially hendo

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  51. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:55 pm, August 17, 2014

    sterling is so lazy

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  52. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:56 pm, August 17, 2014

    today

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  53. I think he's the most frustrating player to watch anywhere! 25 minutes of play, and he's already screwed up about 4 times

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  54. Manquillo looks made for RB. Goodbye Johnson.

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  55. Are you being sarcy?

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  56. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:58 pm, August 17, 2014

    he is not pressing

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  57. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:58 pm, August 17, 2014

    why does johnson takes shots ?


    has he ever scored from log distance

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  58. ....surely johnson can shoot better than that? he's a 7 figure earning professional for christ's sake

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  59. I'm beginning to think your account is is a wind up.  Why else would you post ridiculous one liners like this? Please cut it out.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  60. We've found our Suarez replacement

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  61. Not true - he scored once, from like 80 shots. hahaha.

    Expect more of this crap from Johson all game - he knows his number is up with Manquillo and Moreno - and is playing for his place - trying too hard, screwing up more than ever.

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  62. I thought the comment was a bit left field but isn't he/she entitled to an opinion? Just saying........

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  63. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:04 pm, August 17, 2014

    sorry i just saw him not closing clyne down and it made me really nagry

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  64. Does Johnson owe anyone money? I'm sensing some hostility. He's not the most gifted but he's by no means the worst.

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  65. I will say it again, Lovren is our most important signing this season.

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  66. Yes, but in the context of some other (now deleted) comments, it seems like a wind up. Every week there are regular saboteurs who set up accounts just to cause trouble, so I am wary when people start calling for Rodgers to be sacked, or start making deliberately antagonistic comments.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  67. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:08 pm, August 17, 2014

    when i watch a match i just get really angry and can't control my emotions

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  68. Maybe you should turn your attention to golf instead.

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  69. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:10 pm, August 17, 2014

    mignolets distribution as poor as ever

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  70. Make the changes and bring the pressing football Mr Rodgers!

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  71. What a bloody save!

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  72. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:16 pm, August 17, 2014

    morgan schniderlin i really wnat him

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  73. the midfield is to slow with lucas and gerrard they are getting to much room

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  74. ...Can Mignolet EVER hit the target with his passes?

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  75. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:18 pm, August 17, 2014

    good save though

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  76. That is why a midfield with both Lucas and Gerrard does not sit well with me. We need that spark.

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  77. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:18 pm, August 17, 2014

    exactly like first three games of the season

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  78. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:18 pm, August 17, 2014

    joe allen time

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  79. Agree about his distribution but gee hes one great shot stopper

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  80. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:20 pm, August 17, 2014

    i still think we should try our look with petr chech in my opinion he has been their most important player in last 8 years

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  81. gotta agree Can time for lucas

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  82. id actually at some point like allen and can to come on for Lucas and Gerrard..

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  83. Prefer blonde female models myself.

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  84. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:20 pm, August 17, 2014

    he has mobility
    works hard good at keeping the ball
    calm
    covers a lot of distance




    really underrated

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  85. Things I have learnt from this half
    A crippled and broken Enrique is better than a fit and healthy Johnson
    I repeat again- why Lucas- Bring on Emre please
    Too many back passes- Lovren was kicking it up vs Dortmund but is not doing that here- when he did it, we seem to attack
    Manqui has looked good against a really good player in Tadic but needs time and us not the finished article yet
    Our attack is in good hands because without doing anything we are leading
    I do not buy this more space for others with Suarez nonsense but he certainly was fouled a lot and the attackers are now facing the same treatment
    Simple for me- Bring on Emre

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  86. soooooooo quiet where's the atmosphere ?

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  87. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:21 pm, August 17, 2014

    at lfc mate instead of lucas he can defend and attack
    when wasthe last time we had a cdm like this
    new didi hamman?

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  88. I think Manquillo has a long way to go. Not sure if I trust him for a big match like City away, which is next week. Early signs are more positive than negative, though.

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  89. And goes missing for periods of time and adds little defensively and offensively.

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  90. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:22 pm, August 17, 2014

    the nbc commentator thinks it is luis suarez absence

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  91. I feel physically ill watching us defend

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  92. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:22 pm, August 17, 2014

    ward prowse is going everywhere
    joe allen will cling on to him

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  93. I will have manquillo over Johnson any day otherwise Flanagan. Sorry but Johnson is on borrowed time.

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  94. I feel Skrtel and Lovren have looked solid, the back passes are killing us

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  95. Look Schneiderlin is a very good player but enough South ham players really enough.

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  96. the defense is struggling because Gerrard and Lucas offer no energy or zip in front of them

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  97. If Lucas can't, Emre CAN

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  98. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:24 pm, August 17, 2014

    i think our right has been exposed because hendo is coming inside a lot leaving betrand and tadic a free run at manquillo

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  99. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:24 pm, August 17, 2014

    we need the best of them all

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  100. Manqui has done well. The yellow card was rubbish and might cost us. Hopefully not. A bad call might see is handicapped.

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  101. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:25 pm, August 17, 2014

    dont like rory mcalroy and woods

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  102. Really like Ward Prouse hes in a couple my fantasy teams.

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  103. Lovren is the one calling the shots. Covered Skrtel's behind a couple of times.

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  104. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:26 pm, August 17, 2014

    he has been fouled 5 times by betrand
    one foul on tadic yellow card


    looks like howard webb and fergie leaving has not changed anything

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  105. It's not because of Lucas or Gerrard, IMO. You could swap one for Can but there wouldn't be much of a difference.


    The Saints are very deep and taking up all the space, that's why Coutinho can't get into the game. It's no surprise the goal came from a long-ish ball. We need Coutinho and Henderson to get the ball through the middle, then things should quicken up.

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  106. same sh!t from last season. no dynamic back midfield. Lucas simply a lousy decision.

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  107. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:26 pm, August 17, 2014

    he is like a young david beckham

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  108. Moreno cannot come soon enough. I have had it with Johnson. We just bought a left back and he knows his place is under doubt and he does not show any fight. I do not care if he is not match fit, Moreno for Johnson for City.

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  109. it's immobile lucas and Gerrard! how long can people not see that?

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  110. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:27 pm, August 17, 2014

    sometimes rodgers makes weird decisions this is up their with playing 4 cbs vs soutampton

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  111. Theres lots of good uns out there.
    Off topic looks like Aggers gone.

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  112. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:27 pm, August 17, 2014

    wish we signed cirro immobile

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  113. All our players have been fouled so much and very few fouls. Emre has to come on.

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  114. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:28 pm, August 17, 2014

    cant think of any better then schniderlin not at a top club

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  115. Falcao will be the red bird of fire. We will win the title and he will want to stay.

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  116. Yep betting Moreno takes L.B next week.

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  117. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:29 pm, August 17, 2014

    i would rather have reus

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  118. either Lucas or Gerrard need to start making a break to make room instead just standing there ..but they havnt the legs to do it so in effect they only need to watch hendo

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  119. Me too, but it's not as if Manquillo has been outstanding thus far. Johnson will be out eventually but defensively against Man City he could be the better option.

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  120. I am assuming we will see Can soon. We need to press and force mistakes. It is not like Southampton have caused us trouble at the back. We need to finish them off. Press press press but not going to happen with both Stevie and Lucas in the same midfield.

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  121. that's true. the Referee is sh!t. I think Premier Leauge decided to direct us by force back to 4th pleae because they want Zonaited back. We'll show them! Trying to make a Tottenham out of us!

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  122. We have yet to see that. We are being bullied by Wanyama. Bring on Emre. He deserves a chance.

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  123. we invent trouble. Ya, Can should come up. Let's see if BR drags it. . .

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  124. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:32 pm, August 17, 2014

    we need to get coutinho and sterling on the ball more and sturridge needs to stop coming so deep , and finally mignolet needs to kick it out as far as possible or just pass to nearest man




    my thoughts on the game

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  125. Reus will be an never ending lake and a great poster-boy.

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  126. I feel it's just more a case of what the Saints are doing rather than what LFC are not doing. I agree about Can though, would like to see him get 30 mins or so.

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  127. For once I can agree with you :-)


    Either Lucas or Gerrard. Not both...

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  128. but he's not a striker ach so...

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  129. We need to press up high. That will require either Lucas or Gerrard being subbed.

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  130. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:34 pm, August 17, 2014

    johnson,johnson , johnson!

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  131. theres just no spark when they both play it just looks so pedestrian

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  132. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:36 pm, August 17, 2014

    lucas being sloppy !

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  133. Can Lucas just f*** off already?

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  134. If we do not make changes to our midfield then IMO it is going to end in tears.

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  135. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:38 pm, August 17, 2014

    end the pain rodgers get lucas off

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  136. You beat me to it. Lucas is looking pedestrian.

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  137. WTF is going on?

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  138. lucas, get off. get the f*** off.

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  139. that has been coming get lucas and gerrad off

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  140. Please make the freaking change. Since when do we sit back and let the opposition come to us???

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  141. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:45 pm, August 17, 2014

    draw is not bad

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  142. our defence gets zero protection from the two players in front they are just walking

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  143. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:45 pm, August 17, 2014

    we lost their last season

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  144. BR PLEASE WAKE UP AND GET LUCAS OFF. THAT GOAL WAS COMING....

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  145. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:46 pm, August 17, 2014

    lfc fans are non existant

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  146. Desperate. Lucas and Gerrard dire.Johnson abysmally woeful. Lovren our on saviour.

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  147. we tore this club to shreds in the transfer window and a draw against them is satisfactory?

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  148. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:46 pm, August 17, 2014

    allen on for lucas now rodgers always waits till it is too late

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  149. I feel sick watching Lucas ffs

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  150. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:47 pm, August 17, 2014

    guys dont worry lambert is coming on !

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  151. with this system all 3 midfielders have to play a high tempo pressing game or you will be over run..its rogers system and he doesnt understand it

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  152. We're at Anfield.

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  153. We won too last season against a better Sth ham team

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  154. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:50 pm, August 17, 2014

    sturridge 100% needs help
    even if it is bony

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  155. Mignolet well done son!

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  156. That is why a 1-2 midfield is so much more pleasing to the eye. I prefer pressing and attacking football. Now we have 2 midfielders sitting back and watching the ball instead of two chasing it.


    Rodgers will learn from this match :-)

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  157. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:50 pm, August 17, 2014

    is rodgers even at anfield
    lucas is awful

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  158. THANK GOD. PLEASE, LUCAS, GO TO NAPOLI.

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  159. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:51 pm, August 17, 2014

    finally

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  160. this defence is still horrible.

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  161. the saints are completely out playing us

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  162. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:51 pm, August 17, 2014

    now ibe for gerrard

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  163. The Elephant must leave the room.Past glory counts for nothing.

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  164. Gerrard is having zero influence

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  165. Lucas and Gerrard did not work last season and it has blow up in the face again. We cannot under any circumstances have both in the same midfield. Now we are chasing the game...

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  166. Too right & we can't wait till January

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  167. it wont happen gerrard has done nothing

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  168. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:55 pm, August 17, 2014

    the fans are giving no extra motivation


    they think this is golf

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  169. it doesn't matter who we sign up front if the midfield is set up wrong ...we will leak gaols like we did last year only differance is that with out suarez we wont score.....we cant find another suarez hes a one off but we can shore up the midfield

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  170. thats why the midfield needs to offer more

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  171. Come on boys. There are 20 minutes to take the win. Just do it!!!

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  172. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:01 pm, August 17, 2014

    morgan schniderlin
    is what we need

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  173. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:01 pm, August 17, 2014

    lallana

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  174. unfortunately we have nothing to bring on to change the game

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  175. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:03 pm, August 17, 2014

    where is the atmosphere from man city at home

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  176. Okay. Gerrard needs to go on holiday somewhere every new season until January. He may as well since he's always totally switched off until then...

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  177. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:03 pm, August 17, 2014

    can onlyhere saints go marching in

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  178. Lovren aside, Liverpool just haven't significantly improved the first team. That's the problem. The overall squad is stronger, but the first XI has stagnated.

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  179. Mate if Rodgers had got the starting eleven right from the start there would not have been any issues.

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  180. thats great take off tino...why not take Gerrard off

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  181. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:04 pm, August 17, 2014

    rodgers is scared of gerrard

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  182. ive been posting that all pre season jk

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  183. To be fair Lallana & Markovich would a difference

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  184. At least now there is some energy...

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  185. at whose expense sterling and tino

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  186. Yes, let me guess: if Can had started, Liverpool would be 6-0 up by now. He would not have made much difference.

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