9 Jan 2015

LFC line-up vs. SFC: 6 players out; £20m injury boost; shock debut for 'wonderful' star?

After struggling to overcome lowly AFC Wimbledon on Monday, Liverpool face a stern Premier League test against Sunderland on Saturday, and with some tricky games elsewhere in the division, the Reds have a great chance to gain lost ground in the race for the Champions League places.

Despite failing to win 60% of league games this season, Liverpool are only seven points off a top-four place, which makes the Sunderland game another must-win encounter.

Defeat is unthinkable, though, and if that happens - and other results go against the club - Liverpool could end the weekend in 11th place, 11 points behind Man Utd, and 7/8 points adrift of Spurs/Arsenal respectively.

On the injury front, the following players are missing: Lallana, Sturridge, Allen, Johnson, Flanagan, Jones. Lovren is back, though. According to the Liverpool Echo today:

"Dejan Lovren is expected to return. He has trained this week after recovering from the groin injury which kept him out over the festive schedule".

For me, this is good news as Emre Can needs to be replaced in the back three as he had a 'mare against AFC Wimbledon. He just doesn't have the pace to be an effective centre-back, and it makes more sense to have dedicated central defenders in the back three rather than square pegs in round holes?

Lovren has had a poor start to his Liverpool career, but he's surely a better option in a back three than Can? Additionally, with Kolo Toure out due to the African Cup of Nations, Lovren is the only other option. That said, it may be problematic to have two left-sided centre-halves in a back-three, which may prompt Rodgers to stick with Can.

As such, I'd expect to see the following team:

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

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

Hendo ----- Gerrard --- Lucas ---- Moreno

----------- Coutinho - Markovic

---------------- Sterling

Jordan Rossiter trained with the first-team this week, so it's possible he may win a place on the bench, just like Sheyi Ojo has (on a couple of occasions) over the last month.

Predicting a 1-1 draw, Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson warned the Reds to expect Sunderland to 'put defence first' and be 'hard to beat'. He further added:

"We saw against Leicester and AFC Wimbledon that Liverpool's problems are still obvious - defensively, including the goalkeeper, and up front. They cannot score enough goals to be sure of making up for the issues they have at the back".

Sunderland have achieved 4 clean-sheets in the last 7 games, including one against Liverpool at Anfield, so this is going to be a tough game.

My prediction: 2-1 to Sunderland (Sorry!)

Author:



99 comments:

  1. Talksport say that Sterling is nowhere near agreeing a new deal
    i am sick of this low balling FSG , 70k a week when man utd youngsters earning 120k is a disgrace. We missed out on Salah because we offered 7m and they felt insulted i am sure Sterling feels insulted at that 70k offer.

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  2. Keeping faith - Sunderland 0-3 Liverpool

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  3. ............................................Sterling...............Balotelli
    .......................................................Coutinho
    ......................Moreno............Gerrard.........Lucas............Henderson
    ..........................................Sakho............Skrtel...........Can
    ..........................................................Mignolet


    The front three of Sterling,balotelli and Coutinho looked good vs Man utd and Balotelli looked lively vs man u and wimbelton

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  4. Shamsy, go home, you're drunk

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  5. Last year net spend 35m
    That is low a cub of Lfc size and being in cl that year should spent at least 70m net spend

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  6. The LFC transfer committee in full effect....They are so decisive, quick, get there targets, driven so on and so forth. Thank God for them, what would we do without them ?

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  7. You should have been on these boards when Jaimie decided to go STATO on Rafa and then all hell broke loose.
    Net spend of Hicks and Gillett came out in a STATOFEST

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  8. Plus you have to think why is it they got Rodgers in first place, why did they appoint a manger that had no real credentials.
    What was so attractive about Rodgers to FSG , he apparently was good at developing young players
    that si perfect for FSG who want to make us a club like Porto,Ajax,Benfica
    develop talent sell , produce again develop sell
    We will go nowhere under them

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  9. Rodgers is part of the transfer committee mate, if one goes, all have to go.

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  10. Balotelli is staring down the barrel of Greek football seems to have found a new lease of life. Strange that huh

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  11. Maybe just maybe they have no where to go because FSG
    are restricting them
    Bony apparently wanted over 100k while Balotelli was happy with lower wages
    maybe that is why committee had to choose Balotelli over Bony

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  12. I agree but they're not gonna do that because the spotlight will be on them so they will keep him until the end of the season and see if they can blame it all on him ...if they can't we may get some changes

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  13. I do not habve much hope for this match. Sunderland have drawn a whopping 11 matches so far this season and have lost less than us.

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  14. Balotelli is not going anywhere
    Rafael Benitez would get best out of him like Higuain
    The problem is FSG will never appoint a manager that can challenge them
    Rodgers is so grateful he wont ever complain he knows he will never get a better job .
    If tehy sack Brendan Rodgers they will bring in Sean Dyche

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  15. It's not entirely money it's a system of moneyball.
    This method is being used by certain members on that comittee

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  16. with Rodgers as coach, we'll pretty soon be in conference league.

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  17. Bingo Sheikh..they won't go for the ginger mourinho as he's called by some.
    They will find some upcoming grateful manager with a modicum of success

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  18. How can £20m for Markovic, £25m for Lallana and £20m for Lovren be classified as moneyball?


    Moneyball left with Comolli.

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  19. Yes but if FSG sacked him who would they get


    criteria:
    1) He should be a man who wont oppose us a yes man so someone who has never been in a top job before so wont ahve a reputation or desire to speak out


    2) Developing young players he needs to be good at it because we develop like Sterling and Suarez then sell to make profit


    3)He should be a yes man




    If FSG sacked Rodgers tehy would get one of these mangers:


    Paul Lambert

    Sean Dyche
    Garry Monk

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  20. So why does he not do this to Rodgers?
    is it because he is a British manager?

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  21. gonna be a bit like newcastle a few years ago, put it about that you're in for players, but not really make any real attempts to sign them. its a joke. so 2 of our top wage earners off the tab next year with Gerrard and Johnson going thats 280k a week saved wonder who we'll get to replace them? probably fabian delph at around 50k and bring back Wisdom from loan. we are slowly becoming the Aldi of the league.

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  22. Have you ever talked to Jason Carr the guy is a genius he knows everything about FSG mishandling , most knowledgeable lfc fan i come across , no lie.

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  23. Nope it didn't go with Comolli.

    You should do some reading on this fine chap Michael Edwards, head of performance and analysis.

    Moneyball Stato to the MAX

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  24. Sterling will be sold as well
    that is why they wanted a deal for Shaqiri to go on loan to Inter and lfc sign him in summer

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  25. What I will say is that Jaimie wanted Martin O Neal as Manager in his quest to remove Rafa.
    I'll leave the rest to you to work out

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  26. 4-4-2 in any form, r 4-3.3, or 4-5-1.. Can as a DM in any case...

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  27. You mean the chap thats banned from this forum?
    Who insulted everyone and could fight himself in a telephone box ?

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  28. Moneyball: Buy what is undervalued and sell what is overvalued.

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  29. if you play in a back 3, who the hell cares whether you have 2 right footed and 1 left footed CB, or the other way round?

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  30. I dont know
    But he is very knowledgeable

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  31. As I said Logan do your homework on the chap I mentioned before getting into this.

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  32. Wait Martin O neil?
    the Irish manager?

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  33. Go do your homework on Billy Beane.

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  34. I'm not going to laugh but yes...still he kind of got his way we have a Northern Irish Manager ...just not the one Jaimie wanted.

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  35. Go do your homework on Joseph Stalin : )

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  36. *Sigh* why do do this to yourself mate we both agree you just want a p1ssing contest which I'm not gonna have with you.

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  37. I find it hard to take a site seriously, that constantly criticises and never encourages, has a photograph of a past player who was one of the best we had but is represented as a villain, slags off respected vice captain of the past to side with an opposition player, and lastly, advertises man utd shirts. The last bit says it all really

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  38. Moneyball originates from Baseball and the likes of Lallana, Markovic and Lovren have nothing to do with moneyball in any shape or form.

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  39. Really? All I get are advertisements for Russian brides.

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  40. I like how you try and sound authoritative on these things.


    Here's a question for you as you seem to want to play.
    How many scouts globally do Liverpool have ?


    I know the answer but if you know that Moneyball stats are not being used in transfers you'd know the answer to this question.
    Otherwise I'll just assume you don't know anything about the system at LFC

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  41. i dont think lovren is left footed. he is left sided CB but not left footed.

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  42. Lovren is a good player
    Balotelli is a good player


    But Rodgers is a weak coach and manager
    Look at his assistants Colin Pascoe

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  43. What about Sam Allerdyce or Alan Pardew?

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  44. Every club will take statistics into account but not every club will pay £25m for Lallana or £20m for Markovic which is not moneyball.


    Paying a low fee for some unknown player who for instance has a shot conversion rate of 80% but will not be touched by any other club because he plays for team that is of no importance is moneyball.

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  45. I think you are the first to state this, and you are correct.

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  46. Apparently Rodgers signings were
    Lambert,Lallana,Lovren


    Committee signings
    Balotelli,Markovic,Can,Moreno ,Manquillo

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  47. I'll huff and puff and blow your house down. Bring the proof and then we can chat again.

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  48. You sometimes have to infer
    not everything will be right in front of your face
    i read a lot of James Pearces articles and it conveys it like that but anyway

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  49. Yeah and James Pearce claimed that an agreement was reached for Origi. Well guess what, he is wrong.

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  50. To be fair he did not it was more an agreement could be reached

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  51. Yeah as I thought you don't know the scout system at LFC .

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  52. Don't know about the main guy
    but the fans on here are mostly genuine apart from some" Foulani " guy that comes here when we lose

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  53. What does the scouting system have to do with Moneyball if we have payed £12m for Moreno, £20m for Markovic, £25m for Lallana, £20m for Lovren, £16m for Balotelli, £10m for Can & £10m for Origi.


    Please explain to me what Moneyball has to do with the above.

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  54. His Internet history.

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  55. I know your internet history


    youtube Bob the builder

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  56. How the hell, and why does someone find people's internet history...

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  57. "We will go nowhere under them"


    Perhaps if we didn't finish 2nd in the league last year, your argument would have more merit. Alas, we did finish 2nd in the league last year.

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  58. You do understand the club was in debt, therefore, it would have been just as easy for FSG to use the Suarez money to get out of the debt and not spend at all.


    What would you have preferred they spend? 200m in a summer? Who were they going to spend it on? They bought several players.


    FSG is the least of our problems.

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  59. "Set to be reached". Lille want more money and I doubt FSG will pay anymore than what has been offered so "set to be reached" is a load of BS.

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  60. I wanted O'Neill back in 1994, *before* Benitez was appointed, so when you're paraphrasing my views, please do so accurately, and with the proper context.

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  61. While we're on it... Ian Holloway? He proved that he knows the words to sing YNWA!

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  62. We should definitely not play Lovren because he is not good enough and makes too many errors. In my opinion, no more of this three at the back nonsense. Play a designated back four, Lucas at DM, Can in the middle with Hendo and Coutinho, Stevie ahead and then Sterling.


    Mignolet
    Manquillo-Skrtel-Sakho-Morenno
    Lucas
    Hendo-Can-Coutinho
    Gerrard
    Sterling

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  63. This site goes back to 94?!?

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  64. Manquillo apparently done his ankle in vs wimbelton


    No Balotelli?

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  65. No, no Balotelli. It is not because he is a bad player but he is not in tune with the team. he is on his own wavelength and does things different to the rest. If Manquillo is not playing than Mclaughlin but most probably Hendo at RB. Oh, happy days.

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  66. Balotelli can do Lallanas role without the pressing
    Sterling up top

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  67. If Lovren comes back into the side I'd like to see him in the centre of the back 3

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  68. We need to go two up top. Sterling needs support and Gerrard cannot not keep up with him.


    If you had to go


    ---Gerrard---
    Borini Sterling


    or


    -----Gerrard-----
    Sterling Balotelli


    then it would be a more viable option which means either Can or Lucas need to sit out.

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  69. But both of them need to play and so does Hendo. But, Brendan will definitely stick with the back three and then we will see Hendo at RB and Markovic at LB. Maybe Markovic could play alongside Sterling.

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  70. True he lacks pace to play left unlike Sakho
    I think this is where Wisdom becomes important next season he can play rcb or Right back
    Man utd have Rojo,Jones,Smalling
    Chelsea Ivanovic
    Arsenal Chambers


    Full backs with good pace that can play anywhere across defense

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  71. Where would you put Coutinho?

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  72. If he has to play, I'd put him beside the corner flag. Opposite from Mignolet.

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  73. But we are 8th now
    Last year was biggest fluke ever

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  74. Midfield of Coutinho Can and Henderson would do just fine for me.


    Mignolet
    Manquillo Lovren Sakho Moreno
    Coutinho Can Henderson
    Gerrard
    Sterling Balotelli or (Borini Sterling) or (Sterling Markovic)

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  75. i think this is accurately enough
    http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2010/06/lfc-need-motivator-and-martino-neill-is.html

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  76. I would like to see Skrtel get some bench duty myself.

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  77. i think your post "LFC needs a *motivator*, and MARTIN'O NEILL is the man to replace RAFA BENITEZ"

    in the article you stated:

    "On the 30th May 2004 (before Rafa Benitez was appointed), I wrote a post on ThisIsAnfield.com arguing that Martin O Neill should get the Manager's job ahead of Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho. 6 years later and my view has not changed; and now that Benitez is finally leaving, the need for a manager who is able to inspire and motivate is more pressing than ever."

    "If Liverpool miss out on O'Neill this time then he will inevitably be snapped up by Manchester United at some point, and that will signal another period of domestic dominance for them. The club cannot allow this to happen!"



    i think this is acurate enough

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  78. i think your post "LFC needs a *motivator*, and MARTIN'O NEILL is the man to replace RAFA BENITEZ"

    in the article you stated:

    "On the 30th May 2004 (before Rafa Benitez was appointed), I wrote a post on TIA arguing that Martin O Neill should get the Manager's job ahead of Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho. 6 years later and my view has not changed; and now that Benitez is finally leaving, the need for a manager who is able to inspire and motivate is more pressing than ever."

    "If Liverpool miss out on O'Neill this time then he will inevitably be snapped up by Manchester United at some point, and that will signal another period of domestic dominance for them. The club cannot allow this to happen!"

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  79. Liverpool need to start planning for the summer as Rogers is doomed. We should go all out for Simione as this project has not worked with BR. I really wanted him to succeed but he can't organise a defence to save his life and his tactics are poor. Why oh why we didn't but Bony I'll never know. He's had his chance, spent millions, been backed but he just doesn't cut it I'm afraid

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  80. You can't have it both ways.

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  81. And boom goes the dynamite

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  82. That's more moans than the local knocking shop;-)

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  83. My 3-5-2 are
    ------------------Balotelli-----Gerrad------------------------
    ----Moreno---Coutinhio---Hendo---Lucas---Sterling-----
    ------------------Sakho--------Skrtel--------Lovren
    ----------------------------Mignolet

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  84. I'd put Hendo as the wing back, and swap Gerrard and Sterling.

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  85. Is Sterling even available, I read he is chiiling in Jamaica at the moment... Brendans words......??????

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  86. Salah chose to sit on the bench at chelsea, now look at him... I would say we dodged a bullet there...

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  87. changes are fine by me as long as you are giving Gerrard an Attacking role.

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  88. but of course.

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  89. he's head footed

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  90. im sorry - overread the "in his quest to remove"
    my fault

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  91. Chelsea want to get rid of Schurrle
    I think he suits our style of play can press and is fast


    ...................................................Schurrle...............Balotelli
    ..................................................................Sterling


    wow

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  92. "Coloccini!? The player!?"

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  93. Can doesn't have great acceleration but he is faster than Lovren. He didn't do well against Wimbledon but Lovren hasn't done well against anyone.

    Having Sterling back in the team will make us better than with Lambert.

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  94. Well you also wanted Suarez out of the club. That worked out well didn't it 😉

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  95. What has Pascoe got to do with that point? Never mind I don't care.

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