10 Jan 2015

Confirmed LFC line-up vs. SFC: £40m trio out; surprise up-front; shock debut for 'wonderful' starlet?

Despite the continued absence of Raheem Sterling, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has ignored Mario Balotelli once again for today's Premier League clash with Sunderland.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Henderson, Moreno, Lucas, Gerrard, Markovic, Coutinho, Borini.

SUBS: Ward, Enrique, Lovren, Lambert, Manquillo, Balotelli, Rossiter.

SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Vergini, van Aanholt, O’Shea, Brown, Bridcutt, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson, Giaccherini, Wickham.

* Raheem Sterling is still sunning himself on a Jamaican beach right now, so Fabio Borini is preferred to Balotelli up-front. It's another chance for Borini to prove himself, and if he can finally step-up and actually contribute in the league, it'll go a long way to appeasing the fans who are constantly on his back.

* Can retains his place in central defence ahead of Dejan Lovren; hopefully, this won't backfire.

* The big surprise is that 'wonderful' LFC starlet Jordan Rossiter makes the bench, which is great to see, though unless Liverpool are winning comfortably in the second half, I can't see him getting much pitch-time.

* If Liverpool lose this game then Rogers will inevitably be criticised for giving Sterling time off at such a crucial stage of the season, but in my view, it's the right decision. Liverpool shouldn't be relying on a 20-year old, and the team needs to learn to win without him.

Probable formation:

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

---- Can ---- Skrtel --- Sakho

Hendo -- Gerrard - Lucas ---- Moreno

------- Coutinho - Markovic

------------- Borini

My prediction: 2-1

Author:



153 comments:

  1. Hoping LFC wins 3-1. Borini has got to impress and a Stevie G special has to pop up now. Good for Sterling taking a breather, he needs it. I really want to see Rossiter play at least 20 min, if we are signing no one in Jan, then youth has to be given some chances and heck, who know they might win a few for LFC. Sad to see Sheri off the list.
    A draw or loss is beyond heart breaking.........

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  2. i can see us getting a good spanking today. that team is not going to frighten Sunderland,

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  3. Please tell me we are not playing 343 , Can at center half again?
    Playing Borini is a disgrace for a club the size of Lfc
    i predict 3-1 to sunderland

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  4. I suspect the inclusion of Borini is deliberately done with a view to heightening his motivation against his old club.

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  5. Without Stirling , Lallana , Sturridge we look venerable and boring .No one in this Jan and Stevie on his way . The glass looks half empty ....

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  6. Hope we score something i backed a 3-2 win with this line up i doubt we will do much better than 1-1 and Rossiter wont get a run.

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  7. 120m spent
    Borini up front
    now it is just funny

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  8. Caribbean vibes

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  9. Jus saw he's still on holiday

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  10. Patrick Ó Fearghasa12:15 pm, January 10, 2015

    I think Borini starting against a team he played well for last year isn't a bad idea, just glad Lambert isn't starting with him slowing everything down.

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  11. How many weekly wages will be deducted from his salary this month?!?!

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  12. we have harder games in Febuary agints big teams
    with Sturridge back by then Sterling refreshed and maybe Lallana
    Rodgers might think he can win thoose 6 pointer games

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  13. Lose the next 2 and won't matter who comes back

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  14. Hopefully Borini is only playing so he can score two goals then Sunderland buy him for 14m again.

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  15. Extra Subways- no wait that was Sturridge

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  16. We really should be able to at east compete with Sunderland with this team

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  17. I'd like to think we could but we could just as easily be 2-0 down after 20mins then bring on Lambert with 15 mins to go

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  18. this is what to expect from the game
    Sunderland will pressurize us early , they will get a set peice Conor Wickham will score
    Liverpool will attack Coutinho trying stuff ,Borini misses a sitter
    Sunderland score next move Adam Johnson
    Coutinho looks bright does some skills Borini misses sitter
    Emre Can loses his man and Wickham scores another

    Martin Skrtel scores a consilation from a corner

    Liverpool lose 3-1.

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  19. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, speaking to BT Sport: "It was always in the plan after Christmas that we would then give Raheem Sterling a break. There has to be a point you trust other players and give him a recovery period. This is the last game he misses and he will be back in training next week.

    "Fabio Borini hasn't had a lot of chances but I know him well. I know his intensity and how hard he works every day. He's done very well in training again and he gets a chance today against a club he did well for last year."

    On midfielder Lucas Leiva's future: "There will be no loan deal for Lucas. We have had nothing as of yet in writing. I have spoken to him. He has been a player who has been in the team so we will look to keep him."

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  20. Ahhhhh the smell of a last ditch effort to make money on borini....idc if balo hasnt scored in a year he will always give us a better chance to win...if this one goes south brendan shouldn't be leaving the stadium as manager and im one of those who hates midseason moves but there is no reason to be starting borini....as for sterling fantastic move absolutely needs a break from being 20 and having all our hopes pinned on him

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  21. With that starting XI we should finally get to see him in an attacking role not that lwb for us isnt attacking but u know what I mean

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  22. That bit about nothing in writing is 'slippery'

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  23. Just filling the time before kick off, going to ramble on for a bit.

    My first thought is that this is likely to be a close game. For Sunderland it's going to be all about who wins the battle to get the ball into wide areas. We have the pace and quality but Sunderland have numbers and a more energentic central midfield that might see them getting the ball out to Johnson and Giaccherini quite often. They are both unreliable and inconsistent players, but they can be creative and pose a threat.

    The worry with the 3-4-3 is that it can be exposed out wide against sides who can establish a platform and then switch play overload against one of the wing-backs. So to stop that happening, the team has to sacrifice some of its pressing and become very compact in order not to offer the opposition a chance to isolate a defender. So you can get pinned back, basically. When Sunderland step up onto Gerrard and Lucas and take the game to them, we might be looking at conceding a lot of territory and possession. With Hendo out wide, and without Lallana and Sterling -- Lallana in particular -- our pressing game is nowhere near as effective, so I think this is quite a likely scenario.

    At the same time we'll be looking to counter through Markovic, Moreno, Henderson, and Coutinho's pace. But because Sunderland will know that this is our gameplan, they will likely be somewhat cagey. If there's no goal in the first 20 minutes of either half, this could be a tight and somewhat boring game until the managers start to change things towards the end. I can't see either side making a lot of chances, unless Sunderland go gung-ho. Then again, Coutinho's form is so good at the moment, and Markovic is starting to show signs of such quality, that they could go out and conjure a comfortable win. We've seen so few match-winning performances from individual players this season, though, even when the team as a whole has played well, that it seems unrealistic to start expecting that.

    Not really looking forward to this.

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  24. Every team we play now will try extra hard to get one over on Gerrard

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  25. Interesting to see Gerrard played further forward isn't it? And the way Can or Sakho add to the numbers in midfield in order to make our platform. The space just disappears when Sunderland have the ball. Rodgers deserves a lot of credit here. Again he comes up with a variation that causes the opposition a problem and solves one of the issues in our team, in this case the long-lasting problem of Gerrard and Lucas's lack of mobility as a midfield pair. Still, early in the game yet.

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  26. What an effort from Markovic... so unlucky

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  27. Another inch and that was goal of the season

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  28. We need to score while we are on top- but that was unlucky

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  29. borini gerrard link very well

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  30. Borini looking good, he is talented enough to impress and he works his butt off. Hopefully he gets on the sheet and can build on that

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  31. I was hoping we would be 3 up by now since Sunderland will definitely bring their best in the 2nd half.

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  32. Lots of credit to both Borini and Markovic. Both are giving there all and causing Sunderland lots of problems

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  33. good 1st half lads,

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  34. Borini proving em wrong
    Can and Markovic composed
    Coutinho,Lucas,Henderson,Sakho decent




    want more from Moreno


    but otherwise thumbs up so far

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  35. 50 minutes ago you said: "Playing Borini is a disgrace for a club the size of Lfc"

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  36. Borini has been shit

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  37. Really happy to see Markovic play this well. These are the qualities he had in Portugal and it's taken a while but I think now we can see what he has to offer.

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  38. Am i wrong?
    Torres,Suarez,Owen,Fowler,Sturridge


    then Borini


    but he is doing a good job so far

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  39. have to agree, couldn't say anything special about him since he's at liverpool. but he looks class today

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  40. forget it, don't wanna waste my time arguing with you

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  41. Last season this would've been over by now. We've played well though. Markovic has been excellent. Who would've thought it might take a kid a few months to adjust before he starts to perform well...

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  42. I believe this is his standard play and why he should start every match somewhere because he will always work himself into a good attacking position. It's just the way he's built.

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  43. Amazing analysis, simply breathtaking... surely with you amazing insights you should be working for Sky or BT

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  44. It was always going to take time for him to settle in, I'm not surprised, in fact I said as much when he signed. He'll get a decent run but I wouldn't depend on him being an automatic starter. When Sturridge is available and Lallana is fit there will be some serious competition for places.

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  45. The left wasn't suiting him though -- he doesn't have the balance to go outside down that side, so he was somewhat predictable. On the right he can legitimately feint to go outside, he's much more effective.

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  46. Disagree. He has been constantly on the move and creating space for others. A second's more patience and we are up 2-0.

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  47. Still better than Michael Owen..,,

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  48. Yes but yellow was scary. He let's his emotions bubble up too quickly.

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  49. Dosagree, he has spurned 3 good scorable positions and slowed down attacks.

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  50. I'd have Borini over Andy Carroll every day of the week

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  51. Gerrard off for Lovren - what?? Why not Rossiter?

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  52. For me it was but on the replay I could see home the ref could conclude Lazar' s first touch made a second touch impossible and the goal scoring chance was gone. Which doesn't mean I think he got it right.

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  53. Great running by Can

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  54. The squad's starting to look good isn't it? Still need another striker and a goalkeeper obviously, but when Rodgers came in you looked around and it seemed like every position save Suarez' was in trouble, with either a senior pro on the verge of retirement or looking for the exit (Reina, Agger, Carragher, Gerrard), a bad signing who seemed to have reached the end of the line (Downing, Carroll, Henderson, Enrique), or a crock playing out a failing career (Johnson, Lucas).

    I really think that by the end of the season the people who have been most noisily denouncing our transfers might want to take a look at themselves. Can, Lallana, Moreno, Markovic -- these are real quality players. These lads added to Sturridge and Coutinho, and it starts to look like in 2 years a lot of class has been recruited. I don't mind Sakho either at this point, he's clearly got character and courage in abundance.

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  55. Now then let's win this game sooner rather than later

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  56. Mig was nowhere near that ball!!! I know it's windy but come on!!!

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  57. FFS what is going on?

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  58. same old same old

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  59. The same thing happens every time a team goes to 10 men... they play better

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  60. We are trying so hard to lose these 3 points.

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  61. we have a mandatory 10min keystone cop phase every game where we switch off all football instinct and tactics

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  62. Doesn't help that BR has changed things with the Gerrard sub which he didn't need to do

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  63. Lovren appears and it all goes wrong.

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  64. It's more the he shifted Markovic who was having a excellent game to a more central position and put Can on the wing

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  65. How many chances do we need?

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  66. Come off it lads. Markovic will get a chance to see if he can influence the game more from a creative position and it makes us more solid, anticipating that Sunderland will come at us in the second half, and it gives Lovren some much needed game time.

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  67. But defensively ... all the panic started when he came on

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  68. We really should be at least 3 up at this stage, some very poor finishing.

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  69. Couthino should be banned from shooting hehe

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  70. If he had a shot, he'd have everything -- wouldn't be fair on the opposition :)

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  71. I expect us to give away a stupid goal

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  72. Must say I do like the idea of Markovic playing through the middle at times. He did it a few times for Benfica and Partizan, to good effect. Has a bit of the one-touch playmaker in him. He was terrific out wide earlier, though.

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  73. One minute the ref is booking everybody and now he refuses to book anybody

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  74. Repeatedly to my eye this season the team's looked better than last season -- better organised, lots of little tactical ploys, better game management. Our defence is no worse than Arsenal's, or Spurs's, or Man Utds. Only Southampton and Chelsea have proper defences this season from what I've seen. But we just don't have a finisher. When Balotelli was playing up front on his own, he had ten or twelve decent chances he really should have put away, and we'd be up there... fine lines!

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  75. Can't we just keep the ball for a couple of minutes?

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  76. Sunderland have been very poor tonight, only one shot off target, none on goal. We have been super wasteful too showing we an established goal scorer in January. Still a needed win.

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  77. To be fair we restricted and contained them very well. Yes we should of scored more but credit were credit is due

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  78. Not the most convincing in the end, really should have put a few more in the back of the net. A lot more improvement to make.

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  79. Good win , Balotelli looking sharp

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  80. Nice. Good win. Sakho and Markovic are certainly enjoying it :-)

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  81. As sharp as a club hammer

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  82. Hopefully Rodgers signings come good now
    Markovic,Lallana,Can,Moreno,Manquillo,Sakho look decent
    There were signs today Balotelli and Lovren may follow suit

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  83. It makes me crazy. It's like every team knows we can t handle chaos and manufactures it late in the game. That's when the dms should be grabbing the ball and calming the field. We should have won 3-0 easy.

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  84. regardless of what people think of him we concede less with sako in the team...good 3 points from a tough fixture although we looked far from convincing at times

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  85. 8 points away from safety

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  86. Good, nervy away win lads. Good line -up as well.

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  87. ive just accepted now that there will be a period where we go to pieces.....it almost makes things interesting waiting for it ..perhaps they should make it a bet ...3 to one that liverpool will collapse for 10mins on 65mins

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  88. Fine lines indeed. I think if Sturridge had stayed fit or we'd signed Remy, this season would've been very different. Balotelli was never the right buy for us.
    This formation has dramatically improved performances and with the imminent return of Sturridge, I'm almost verging on optimistic for the second half of the season

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  89. No way can we get rid of Lucas right now
    he was fantastic

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  90. Don't give up the day job

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  91. He would be Messi if he could score.

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  92. So is the mute button

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  93. You're losing the plot mate - chill out a bit :-)

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  94. Sakho's been better since he came back, hasn't he. Calmer. Playing with more authority. And he looks to have bulked up a little as well -- or perhaps he's just carrying himself slightly differently, because he seems better balanced. Or maybe it's just the aspect ratio of my tv that's changed. Hard to say.

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  95. Great shout! I hoped he'd play on the right, but wouldn't have predicted MOTM 😄

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  96. So much for my 2-0 to Sunderland - GOOD OLD MARKO - GOOD OLD LIVERPOOL - MASSIVE MASSIVE RESULT FOR GOOD OLD B R - Hooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

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  97. So why is Sterling in Jamaica? Anything to do with the new contract?

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  98. Well said mate. The bad signings argument is out of date. Would be nice if the moaning about Rodgers was toned down a bit. He's made mistakes this season sure, but he gets a lot more things right.

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  99. BR trying to show he cares and can be trusted to look after him.

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  100. Right fatherly of him.

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  101. Danny Ings will be a good buy for lfc
    Lots of pace , good hold up play and very smart footballer
    Ajax are also interested in him if Ajax are he is a good talent
    Plus 4 months left on his contract so he will be quite cheap

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  102. I like Ings. He is an explosive type of player and has a winning swagger about him. But, not sure how he will adapt and handle playing for us.

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  103. He has pace to get in behind which is key
    a much better option then Berahino as he has more skill

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  104. i agree i should of added lucas to the comment as well

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  105. And Gerrard out of that cdm role

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  106. Who do you rate more Danny Ings or Saido Berahino?

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  107. theres mot much in it but i would prefere ings...the money mooted for saido is crazy but im not sure if or they are any better than balo who for ne should only be judges when hes had a run with danny

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  108. I think Ings as well
    he is faster , a lot more skillful reminds me of Suarez way eh shields the ball and looks to make stuff happen


    also Berahino has discipline problems

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  109. Yes. I particularly enjoyed when he was pretty much clear on goal and lost his footing. Looking especially sharp.

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  110. Someone also mentioned the run of games coming up. Rfreshed Sterling or tired Sterling for those games? If top four is possible those six pointers need to be ours.

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  111. but that turn was awesome when he was on edge of box

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  112. I don't think there is all that much between those players but Berahino is better. Neither would be anything like value for money though so neither should be considered.

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  113. ings has 4 months left on contract

    a 12m offer with lambert seems fair

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  114. 12 million for Ings would not be value but the market has been mad this season so who knows what's value. I think if we are spending we should be looking at a different league as value between premium.teams can be hard to sort.

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  115. You're stupid. The laughing stock of this site.

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  116. Your mum is stupid.

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  117. Point proven.

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  118. its probably a clause in his new contract mid season holiday in Jamaica ;) yay

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  119. *Attack the argument not the person *
    ..... I got moderated just for saying out team selection looked venerable and boring !

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  120. Agree and I would like to think that was his real motivation but I have my doubts

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  121. Swansea did us a favour Spurs draw tonite and 2 draws tomorrow and things will look better

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  122. Attack the argument not the parent

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  123. Resting players can either make or break a manager. I remember when Fergie rested Schmeichel for a month over Christmas and he was slated by all... Utd won the treble that season and Schmeichel played a massive part of that.

    No offence to our opposition but we should be being them without Stirling. I would much prefer a rested and fit Stirling for the last part of the season the a tired and leggy Stirling.

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  124. No offense to Danny Inc's or Ajar but we should be looking at much better players.

    Please remember that Ajax are in a poor league and many players who have done well in Holland have failed in the Premiership

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  125. You sound like Jaimie

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  126. Isn't he back next game anyway? It's all good

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  127. Wow I'm looking forward to the treble now

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  128. Excellent? Hmph. I'd say par for the price. Your expectations are not unrealistic enough. His wage makes him a non-kid and means he immediately knows the language, has friends, has respect in the dressing room, knows his way around town and has mastered his new coach's tactics.


    Next you'll tell me that in days gone by new LFC players used to spend six months in the reserves to get attuned to the club before breaking into the first team.

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  129. To be fair we could do a treble.. League Cup, FA Cup and Europa Cup

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  130. Damn I was thinking Premiership, Champions League and Super cup after a dream shower scene......

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  131. We'rrrrrre doooomed

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  132. It's BR's own version of Fergie time...except, ya know, not beneficial...

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  133. Palace about to do us a big favor

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  134. sheiky shaky, hold your tongue next time, all your sh is wrong, whats the point to support a team if you dont believe in it, yr pathetic or mabe mu sh

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  135. Borini has to start ahead of Balotelli and Lambert. End of the story.

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  136. An expected win today but tailed off second half. Not going to rave just yet as it was against a team that has only won 3 games in 21 in the prem.

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  137. And we could not finish them off when they went down to 10 men. They had us pinned back for a large portion of the second half.

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  138. Quite a few of them are regulars on here, knowledgeable knee jerkers ......

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  139. Cheers Phil. The moaning is over the top, I agree. I hope we don't waste the opportunity to keep him at the club for years to come. He's a builder, if you know what I mean -- a rare type in football.

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  140. Come on Logan, that was as dominant a performance as you'd ever see by a premier league team away from home.

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  141. Quite a few regular commenters missing today, the we hate Rodgers brigade and every signing was a waste of money people will be back soon enough ! LFC are moving in the right direction at a decent pace. Love hearing the faithful sing Rodgers name.

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  142. When I've seen them both playing for the England U21s, I must say I've preferred Ings. His movement is much cleverer and more direct; the other attackers can feed off his runs and clever link play; he has all the little finishes and close skills you'd want from a player of his type. I rate him, actually.

    He reminds me of the wonderful Max Kruse of Eintracht Frankfurt, a player I'd have loved to see us pursue more intensively last summer.

    Berahino is a good player, for sure, but Ings has something unusual, what Sid called swagger -- charisma, cojones, whatever. Tell you what, let's have both, eh?

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  143. Markovic had a 91% pass accuracy, so I presume you are not referring to him.

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  144. Zaha is still a Manu player, on loan at CP.

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  145. Looked like 50 to me... Or I just wanted more from him...

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