30 Jan 2015

LFC lineup vs. WH: £42m duo out? Mega-boost for LFC as £20m star may miss the game

With no wins in three games, Liverpool's mini-resurgence seems hit the skids over the last two weeks, but it's back to the bread-and-butter of the Premier league this weekend, and the Reds have another great chance to rise up the table towards those covered Champions League places.

In the league, Liverpool are unbeaten in six games, but Sam Allardyce's massively improved West Ham side are also on a roll, and represent a significant threat to the Reds' ability to maintain that record.

Pre-match news:

* Daniel Sturridge is expected to return from injury for this game, most probably on the bench.

* Mamadou Sakho confirmed on Thursday that he'd be back training on Friday, and in his pre-match press conference, Rodgers stated that he'd 'assess' the defender's fitness before selecting his squad.

* The only other notable absentee is Jon Flanagan, who remains on the sidelines with a long-term injury.

* West Ham are reportedly struggling with injuries, which is great news for Liverpool. According to Sky Sports today: "The Hammers...could be without a host of first-team regulars [including] Carl Jenkinson, James Tomkins, Alex Song, Joey O'Brien (hamstring) and James Collins (groin)"

'Brilliant' midfielder Alex Song is having a superb season for West Ham, so if he is out of the game then that's a massive boost for Liverpool.

Rodgers is playing a more settled team these days, and with that in mind, I expect to see the following line-up:

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

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

Johnson --- Hendo ----- Lucas --- Moreno

--------- Coutinho -- Gerrard

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

* Loven may come back into the team if Sakho of Rodgers decides to rest Sakho after his injury.

* Markovic had an ineffective game against Chelsea, so it'll be no surprise if he drops to the bench.

* It's impossible to drop Coutinho at the moment as he's arguably the club's best attacking player. Gerrard will obviously play, as will Sterling, which means £26m Lallana faces another game on the bench.

* He'll probably be joined by £16m Balotelli, who will not dislodge Sterling or Coutinho from the starting line-up.

* Hopefully, Jordon Ibe will back in the squad after being cup-tied for the last three games.

If Liverpool win and Spurs lose, the club will move into the top six for the first time this season, so there's clearly a huge incentive to get the three points.

Additionally, West Ham haven't won at Anfield since 1963, so the odds are clearly in Liverpool's favour. That said, the Hammers beat the Reds at Upton Park earlier this season, so it's not a foregone conclusion by any means.

Predicting a 2-1 win for Liverpool, Reds legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"The Hammers have got different ways of playing now, and also seem able to play poorly and win, but I am backing Liverpool to nick the points here".

Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing will be desperate to play well against Liverpool, and even though the Reds are playing at home, I have a feeling that Rodgers' team will come unstuck in the game.

My prediction: 2-2

Author:



39 comments:

  1. Song is having a great season. Whoever saw that one coming....

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  2. A crying shame he's not a red

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  3. 'Gerrard will obviously play'. Be surprised if that was the case looking at fixtures coming up. I think you will find Lallana will start. Your predictions are increasingly negative, repeated underestimations dont seem to deter you nevertheless as they say ' God loves a trier '.

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  4. I reckon Lallana will play over Gerrard. I'd personally prefer to see Manquillo than Johnson.

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  5. I'd personally prefer to see a mannequin than Johnson........a bit harsh sorry

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  6. Hope Johnson doesn't play any part of this game if he does we lose

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  7. Bit harsh to say that markovic was ineffective against Chelsea. Thought he did quite a good job defensively against one of the top players in Europe. I'm sure Rodgers warned him to help Can nullify the threat of hazard.also I don't see why Gerrard 'will obviously 'play..

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  8. we can only guess but cant choose players for BR,so lets give them d best support we can,mare wishes...

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  9. Good point.if you have the best centre backs in the world they will look very ordinary if there are players running at them from midfield with no protection in front of them.

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  10. Cant see it happening, Can, Skirts, and Sakho are doing fine.
    The fact BR chose GJ over Lovren in midweek, tells its own story.
    I hope to see Studge on at 65/70 mins, hard game to predict, just hope we find a way to beat them.

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  11. It's time to get Dejan Lovren back in the starting XI.He made a few mistakes early on when the protection from midfield was non existent.If we leave him out in the cold much longer he'll officially have the word flop stamped on his forehead and that tag is hard to shake off.
    If Lovren's given a good run of games in this formation with Lucas protecting he'll show his quality.If not and he continues to be a mistake machine 'Houston we have a problem'.

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  12. I think and hope Markovic WILL play so we don't have to worry about Manquillo or Johnson

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  13. If Daniel Sturridge plays most of the game i'm confident we'll win.He provides that extra quality in the attacking third and puts the finishing touches on good build up play.
    I hope we don't have to completely rely on our creatives to win us the match.Big Sam will most likely do a Mourinho shut the match down and park the bus.

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  14. Hold on. Coutinho is arguably the club's best attacking player? But what about the stats JK, good god what about the stats!?!?

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  15. I thought Chelsea would come at us at Anfield seeing as their team was at full strength, but it was a similar game to our title contending season.The magic of Anfield makes teams shut up shop.

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  16. I have a feeling they might come at us, with Andy and Downing out to prove a point.
    They also have a lot of injuries, but we should be putting these teams away at home.
    I doubt Sturridge will start I expect to see him late in the game.

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  17. I'd rather see Boris Johnson than Glen Johnson

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  18. I wouldn't be so against Manquillo myself. Markovic is optimal, but I like Manquillo. He is undoubtedly raw. I think having a bit of extra solidity could be welcome though, given there will be some tired legs. Lucas surely has to start, but looked totally on his arse the other night.

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  19. Could add some height and stability when defending set-pieces, I suppose.

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  20. It seems like Rodgers randomly dropped Manquillo. He was solid in the beginning of the season, much better option than Johnson.

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  21. There is no way under the sun that Gerrard and Johnson should play in this game. Gerrard inexplicably played 120+ minutes against Chelsea on Tuesday, while Johnson was once again culpable for the free Ivanovic header. Whenever Johnson is in the team we invariably concede headed goals most of which he should have stopped. Lallana is a more effective player than Gerrard at this point in their respective careers, and the same is true of Markovic who has been very good since he has been given a run in the team even though playing out of position. If we start Gerrard and Johnson over Lallana and Markovic then we deserve to lose - it's as simple as that.

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  22. To add to that going with Gerrard and Lucas in the middle of the park where they got completely overrun in the second half of that game with Chelsea.

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  23. As a much heralded man manager I don't quite understand how he goes about deciding his sub rotation and starting rotation. I'm sure I'm not the only one but some of his decisions are absolutely mind boggling. Even last season having Moses come on to defend the wing against city which lef to Henderson being sent off. Are you seriously trying to tell everyone that the guy you faith in to play about 8 games is the one you want to bring on to defend a led in a title race. And then freezing out Agger who for one I think would have been incredible in this new system. Sakho not getting a sniff at a starting spot last season although in Rodgers defense he did not look that good. Now this season staying with Balotelli as the lone striker, Glen Johnson who consistently loses his man on set pieces and must be one of the most frustrating players to watch out there as he dithers on the ball when in possession and makes poor passes time and time again and now wants to offer him a new 3 year deal. Are you out of your mind man!

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  24. I think it's really all about stopping West Ham from scoring. Liverpool will get goals in the game, they'll certainly create the chances. The problem has always been the defence and if West Ham score early it could really upset the balance of the game, give them supreme confidence and have Anfield in a panic. On that note it could be a real issue if Sakho is not fit.

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  25. He explains it fairly consistently: the decisions are made at training and based on what he thinks the team needs for the upcoming game. The way I understand it would go like this:
    1. Look at who you're playing in the next game
    2. Determine a team strategy, an approach for getting the result against that opposition, including some basic adjustments that might need to be made if it's not working
    3. Pick a team that best fits that strategy, based on how they are performing in training at the time and possibly based on how they performed in recent matches
    4. Pick a bench that can first of all support the execution of the plan but also offer something different if tactics need to change


    In that kind of process there isn't really much consideration for if a player gets a "run of games" or someone "deserves" a go. It's a pretty practical way of going about things. Of course there is room in there for judgement of a player not just on how they are training but also how they actually play in a competitive match. There is also some consideration for choosing different players based on a need to rest, gain competitive fitness or simply to gain experience.


    As fans there are two major aspects of that we don't really understand. First are the team tactics themselves. Unless we're an actual coach working within the club we're never going to really know what the system is. Then there is what happens at training, which we simply don't see because we're not there. I'd say not having these two sets of information, both of which are vital in determining who gets picked, makes it often impossible for us to truly understand the logic behind those decisions.

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  26. in the last two weeks or three games we have played one of the top5 teams in the world and a FA cup game (Which at 0-0 wasn't a bad result if we look at the picture as a whole) come on JK do better your forth rate reporting is starting to take the pi....

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  27. I agree. entirely. We also don't know whether certain players are carrying injuries and need others in the team to change their role to cover.

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  28. I reckon even if he doesn't play and we lose it will still be his fault. Bloody Johnson.

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  29. Yes I am not necessarily against Manquillo as I have not seen enough of him and he has youth on his side. I also think Johnson is useful as back up despite his flaws.


    I just think Markovic is a better option though in future I would like to see him in a rl;e that would allow him to make more use of his attacking skills.

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  30. They show only that LFC's transfer policy is woefully inadequate due to "gross negligence" :-)

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  31. Of course by breathing the same air he's doomed us to failure

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  32. As Ken Livingstone once described Boris as "a fairly lazy tos$er who just wants to be there", he sounds an ideal replacement for GJ.

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  33. And 'the son of John' once said of footballers- ' a bunch of ghastly oilks who drink too much and get paid too much'. Both descriptions could apply to him

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  34. You're just an apologist for BR ;-)

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  35. That made me laugh

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  36. Like for like

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  37. Brilliant analysis Adam.

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  38. I'm also guilty of typical LFC fan bias...

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  39. im unsure how you can fully judge a player on the training pitch ...a lot of spotsmen are renowned for being great trainers but freeze in front of the cameras ....im also dubious about players who get stuck into the teammates on the practise ground to impress the manager as bruce lee used to say boxes don't fight back, and a lot of players go easy on there team mates because they are there team mates.All in all it means rodgers can pick a team and say its how they have trained which means there is little point to impressing where it really matters if your face doesn't fit.

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