24 Apr 2015

LFC lineup vs. W.Brom: £59m injury nightmare; drop 'wonderful' star? Surprise start for Balotelli?

After Sunday's wretched exit from the FA Cup, Liverpool's season is on the edge of disappearing into an abyss of mediocrity, and qualification for the Champions League is now the only thing can save this year from being classified as an abject failure. With six games to go, finishing in the top four is still a mathematical possibility, but the Reds have to get back to consistently winning games again, starting with West Brom on Saturday.

Team news:

* Sakho [cost: £18m] and Lucas [£12m-rated] are definitely out of the game.

* Perpetual sick-note Daniel Sturridge [£29m-rated] is also missing *again* through injury. When asked about Sturridge on Thursday, Rodgers told reporters: "We're unsure at this moment [how long Sturridge will be out], but he's certainly not available for the weekend [and] none of the others will be fit"

* Rodgers On Adam Lallana: "He has come back into training in the last few days. We'll see how he is for the weekend"

* Rodgers On Jon Flanagan: "Flanagan is now training with the team. Obviously he's a way off fitness, but we just need to monitor his rehabilitation and we'll see how he is for the coming games."

After the constant (and ineffective) tactical changes against Aston Villa, Rodgers will hopefully choose a system, stick with it, and use aces in their places. For me, this means:

* No attacking players at right wing-back. Just use Johnson or Manquillo there, and let Ibe, Sterling et al spend most of their time in the final third of the field, where they can do the most damage. With dedicated right-back options in the squad, there's no excuse to waste the club's best attacking players in the role.

* 'Wonderful' Gerrard on the bench. As much as it pains me to say it, the captain is struggling to keep up at the moment, and after his ineffective performance against Villa, he doesn't really warrant a place in the starting line-up. If he does start, though, it has to be as part of a front three, and not in central midfield.

* Balotelli as a support striker in a front-two, or not at all. The Italian did okay against Villa, but he is not a lone striker, and should never be played there. For a start, he's constantly offside (which shows he doesn't really understand the role), and he doesn't have the pace to get in behind defenders, which is part of what makes an effective lone striker.

* Sterling up-front. With Sturridge out, and no other viable options, this is arguably the best option. If Liverpool had another half-decent striker, then Sterling could play alongside Coutinho, but unfortunately, that isn't the case.

With these things in mind, here are some formation/line-up options:

OPTION A

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

--------- Can ------- Skrtel --------- Lovren

--- Johnson ---- Hendo --- Allen ---- Moreno

-------------- Coutinho - Ibe

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

OPTION B

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

--------- Can ------- Skrtel --------- Lovren

--- Johnson ---- Hendo --- Allen ---- Moreno

-------------- Coutinho - Balotelli

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

OPTION C

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

---- Toure ---------- Skrtel --------- Lovren

--- Johnson ---- Hendo --- Can ---- Moreno

-------------- Coutinho - Ibe

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

OPTION D

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

Johnson ------- Skrtel ----- Lovren ---- Moreno

---------------------- Can

------------- Hendo -------- Ibe

------------------- Coutinho

------------- Sterling -- Balotelli

OPTION E

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

Johnson ------- Skrtel ----- Lovren ---- Moreno

------------------- Can --- Allen

------------ Hendo - Coutinho - Ibe

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

Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson is not optimistic about Liverpool's prospects of winning the game. Predicting a 1-0 victory for West Brom, he told the BBC:

"This is a tricky fixture for Liverpool because it is a while since they played well. They've lost all of the momentum they had when they were unbeaten for so long, and I think Pulis will make it very difficult for them".

A tough, physical game is always guaranteed when Liverpool play a Pulis team, and I can see the Reds being bullied out of this game.

*NEW* PREDICTION LEAGUE

Starting next season, I'll be running a prediction league on the site:

* For every game, I'll post a pre-match preview as normal containing my prediction for the result.

* To take part, simply post with your prediction for the game in the comment section of the preview article.

* I'll keep a points-based league table for the whole season, roughly based on Lawro's prediction league on the BBC.

* At the end of each season, the winner will receive a prize (yet to be determined).

Let's try it out for the last six games! My prediction: 2-1 to West Brom.

Author:



72 comments:

  1. My prediction: 4-2 to Liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  2. Feels great to be the first for predictions, I think it's a great concept and hope we can sneak into top 4 ahead of City.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have never beaten a Pulis team away from home and I do not think that is going to change. We just cannot handle the physicality of his teams. If we Lovren like I am sure we will, we will struggle immensely and add Allen to that and it does not look good. But, I do not think we will lose.


    My prediction - 2-2

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1-3 Liverpool win

    ReplyDelete
  5. Key fixture right here. A loss will destroy any confidence we still have, but a win could set us back on track. I'm going to say a narrow 2-1 LFC win.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Twistadee these are obvious signings that LFC should look forward to . But unfortunately BR and team are so naive and lost to see that.
    BR is a non existent entity outside Merseyside.So not his fault.
    If we get a known manager next season - then we can possibly see these players at Anfield, else there is no chance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have no doubt that Brendon Rodgers will end up at a Hams or a Broms or a team in the lesser league within a year.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A must win game with a twitching fidgeting Rodgers wondering if he should play 5-4-1 means a 2-1 defeat

    ReplyDelete
  9. Damn you've got there first. I'll have to go 2-1 Liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  10. Could be a close league if we can edit as we go along. We'll all be equal top with code a distant second

    ReplyDelete
  11. Edit is my last hope .

    ReplyDelete
  12. He must be out there campaigning for the Jamaican Party

    ReplyDelete
  13. 1-2
    Liverpool win

    ReplyDelete
  14. Go home Stu, you're drunk!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My prediction 0-0

    ReplyDelete
  16. Option B for me and 3-1 Liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  17. very disappointed. I have a post waiting 11 hours pending post.......how strange

    ReplyDelete
  18. No chance :-) No changes after kick-off.

    ReplyDelete
  19. 1-0 west brom . When will the prediction prize be determined?

    ReplyDelete
  20. We should do one for the African Cup of Nations. Code will have Jamaica finishing 4th.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 3-1 to Liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  22. 2-0 to Liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  23. On Balotelli being constantly offside meaning he doesn't understand the role, not a fan of Inzaghi are you ?

    ReplyDelete
  24. It already has: a handshake from Aspas.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Second prize - two Corners lessons with Aspas.

    ReplyDelete
  26. are you a fan of west brom? kidding i know you just want to make a wrong prediction for LFC to win;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I like option D or E... But I would rather drop Johnson from the team fullstop.... I'd rather play an unfit Flanno...

    ReplyDelete
  28. I alway enjoy these articles and agree with MOST of them. first time poster. I like the idea of a prediction league. 1-2 liverpool and option D for me except Allen in for Ibe

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sterling can't finish ..a comfortable 2-0 win for West Brom

    ReplyDelete
  30. Interesting, cheers. I must admit FA rules around transfers seem pretty vague... Unlike the FA eh? ;-) but by all accounts a team can submit availability requests for another club's player and also make offers but nothing can be signed and sealed until the transfer window opens! Anyway, it's the media saying Liverpool have made an offer, and if you believe them then we have made offers for about 30 over the past two months! Its all fabricated because until the transfer window opens there's not a huge amount of business they can report on!

    ReplyDelete
  31. 1-2 Liverpool with a struggle to hold on at the end

    ReplyDelete
  32. A Mignolet master class:

    Goal kicks into touch

    ReplyDelete
  33. Playing 54 times for Real Madrid doesn't happen if you're not a good player

    ReplyDelete
  34. These are not the droids you're looking for...

    ReplyDelete
  35. Any chance of another point instead of just repeating that BR is no good all the time?

    He also bought Sturridge Can, Coutinho and it's too soon to label Lallana a flop after one season

    ReplyDelete
  36. A social media masterclass with Mario Balotelli......

    ReplyDelete
  37. I predict 1 - 1 to us...

    ReplyDelete
  38. One-to-one philosophy tutorial with Brendan Rodgers.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Or...


    ...like the adverts jaimie has above....


    ...the free money making system - the real way to become a millionaire by doing f*** all ...... free lecture from the LFC squad....

    ReplyDelete
  40. I reckon 2-2.

    Also JK, can we expect an article on Brendan's comments about how he can't 'rely' on Sturridge anymore?

    ReplyDelete
  41. When you mean a distant, how far? From Jamaica to Africa?

    ReplyDelete
  42. If we get a new manager would that mean another 3yrs in transition ?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Liverpool 3-1

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'll have to go the same as my Super6 prediction........ 1-2 to Liverpool (ever the optomist)

    ReplyDelete
  45. 2-1 to liverpool. YNWA

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'd like to see Ibe as the front man with baltoelli behind, I don't rate sterling as a striker.

    My prediction
    West Bromwich 0 - 2 liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  47. Fair point. Not sure how to quantify that. Any top midfielder is going to cost a lot, too.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Nothing wrong with Leon Britton ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Like to see JK's Option C and D happen tonight.
    Prediction 3-1 LFC win.

    ReplyDelete
  50. if Liverpool Offer £25-£35M Bayern Munich may listen and who knows. They have Gotze, Alonso, Lahm, Schweinsteiger and Martinez also.
    Money talks mate, but its where the ambition of owners lie.
    Allen, Can and Henderson are not better than Matic, Fabregas and Oscar, Yaya, Fernandinho and Silva, Carrick, Herrera and Mata or Coquelin, Cazorla and Ramsey.
    So there is no way in hell they could match the likes of Kroos and Modric, Matuidi, Cabaye, and Verrati. Busquets, Rakitic and Iniesta, Gabi, Thiago and Koke, Pirlo, Pogba and Vidal, Alonso, Lahm and Alacantara.
    We need a world class CM : Alacantara Of B Munich
    And an athletic tall ball playing good tackling Mobile Defensive Midfielder: M Schneiderlin Of Southampton

    ReplyDelete
  51. Schneiderlin we should have brought to club last summer instead of Lovren, we needed A mobile DM badly and should have kept D Agger at club.
    Lovren struggled so badly this season as the protection in front of his is poor, it is not a coincidence Southampton have the best Defensive record in premiership. With Schneiderlin and Wanywama in front of them
    Schneiderlin is top class quality player, I know people will say no more Southampton players but he is the player we need. He is class quality at breaking up play and doing dirty work in Centre of park but also starts plays also.

    ReplyDelete
  52. The owners do not meet the ambitions of us Fans that is the problem, they talk the talk but never walk the walk. One world class player per transfer window, with 3-5 other top class quality players should not be a problem. But owners are not on same wavelength as us fans

    ReplyDelete
  53. Mike, I love my team and I am gutted to see over the years how much we have wasted on poor players when they have been top class players available for cheap. And when world class players become available, we don't go for them or if we do , we take three months to negotiate then Chelsea Or Arsenal come in day or two and sign deal and get player sorted quick. Our Transfer Committee and the owners lack of ambition is what is holding club back

    ReplyDelete
  54. So out of over 16 signings B Rodgers has made over the last three seasons. In reality only four of them can be classed as genuine successes that in itself is poor
    D Sturridge ( Injury Probe) But when is injury free and fit guarantees goals
    P Coutinho little Magician just needed to add consistency to standard of play and goals to his game and he has this season
    M Sakho tough tackling Defender who does not pleasing on eye with ball at his feet but is the best defender we have at club now
    Can is versatile player who will become top class centre midfielder has had to play at back so B Rodgers Lovechild gets a game every week in centre of park ( J clue/useless Allen)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Two haven't even played for us yet. There are some outright failures, some reasonable ones and some where the Jury is out.


    let's take a look.


    Successful: Sturridge,Coutinho Sakho Can.


    Reasonable: Mignolet, Moreno Markovic Toure


    Jury's out: Lovren. Lallana. Yesil


    Failures: Aspas. Alberto. Ballotelli. Allen.


    Yet to play: Illori. Origi
    Outstanding value(paid way under value) Coutinho (£8m) Sturridge (£12m)


    Poor value (should have paid less BEFORE hindsight): Lovren. Lallana. Markovic. Allen


    4 good 4 reasonable 3 possibly good 3 Jury's out 4 outright failures. Bet you could do that with every manger for the last 25 years

    ReplyDelete
  56. Your problem is that you think that players will come just because they are available. Players will sign for elite teams- their willingness to come means the elite team may not have to overpay in fees or even sometimes wages to get him. We could have signed an awesome group of players if we had a recent consistent history at the top but we don't.


    Their agents are paid to keep tabs on elite teams' interest. We tried to get; Mhikitaryan. Willian. Sanchez. Mata. Salah. Reus. Hazard. They ALL went to teams with a better recent history. We needed to discover nearly men cos the top ones wouldn't come. That's the reality.


    You post like it's FIFA 15.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Nice touch with the prediction league.


    I reckon Liverpool win 1-1.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Are you drunk?
    Reasonable Mignolet and Moreno?
    How many points and games would you say they cost us this season?
    Markovic is too lightweight we wasted £20M on him, when we had much better player we loaned out instead. And is now showing everyone he is head and shoulders better than Markovic in every aspect of attacking and defending for team. ( IBE) That £20M should have been spent on Schneiderlin DM
    Allen is clueless and useless, he does nothing in side better than Can, Lucas or Henderson but as he is B Rodgers L Child he plays every time he is fit.
    He does not create enough, he does not score enough goals, he does not protect back four well enough so how he gets to start every week shows shocking bad management and favouritism. And if you believe the bollocks L Leiva is injured, it was just excuse to justify his Lovechild plays and L Leiva did not.
    And to show its not lie play it some more and say he is injured now, well lets be real. L Leiva is best player in squad we have at winning ball back and breaking up play and protecting back four and yet Rodgers played Gerrard and Allen there ahead of L Leiva most of this season.
    The time we got run together L Leiva was in side.
    Toure is shambles always waiting to happen, he is 8 years past his best and we should never of touched him. How we kept G Johnson and K Toure and sold D Agger real and true Liverpool fans will never ever know

    ReplyDelete
  59. Confirmed LFC team: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Can, Ibe, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Balotelli

    Confirmed LFC subs : Jones, Toure, Manquillo, Lallana, Allen, Borini, Markovic

    ReplyDelete
  60. Mike, the owners and the transfer committee have tried to fool us fans by saying we are after that player and that knowing full well they have no chance in hell of signing them to get us fans excited and then after haggling over things for months or weeks a Chelsea or Arsenal or another club does deal in day or two and we lose signing.
    Its not fifa at all
    But the owners do not match the fans ambitions, we have not won the league title for over two decades for a reason.
    As we do not bring in world class top class players no more, the great Liverpool sides of 80's had top class players from 1-18 and the class and quality for competition was fierce and tough and that's why we were so successful.
    Our club now has some top class potential but that is not good enough to compete year in year out with the best sides in world and never ever will.
    The best sides in world : A Madrid, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea. Juventus, Man City, Man united, PSG and Real Madrid will all strengthen and refresh their squads in summer with more world class players to stay ahead of competition its how you keep players on their toes and keep side ambitious

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm going 2-1 to Liverpool even if I've got a bad feeling. Balotelli to score both......

    ReplyDelete
  62. Brilliantly put together !

    Do i need to say more?
    Mr. Aitcheson, there is non sense in talking about Marquee signings when it's a fact that they are not going to sign for Sir Rodgers.

    Mr. Rodgers has been ditched by every A - class player he has tried to sign. Sanchez, Salah, Willian, Mkhitaryan etc. - list is endless. There is no point in talking about mere speculation where they say a R. Madrid top talent will sign for Liverpool when LFC has nothing to offer - Wages, CL ,a reputed manager or trophies.

    Are you living in a dreamland ? Do you think Illaramendi will ever think of signing for LFC under current circumstances when Europe's top Elite would be willing to get his services.



    IMO - only chase that LFC can pull such deal is when they have reputed Manager. If for an instance we get Klopp?
    then Yes it makes sense to talk about Marquee signings or silverwares.


    Otherwise it's a wishful thinking and a harsh reality the club is facing right now.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Brilliantly put together Twistadee !

    Do i need to say more?
    Mr. Aitcheson, there is non sense in talking about Marquee signings when it's a fact that they are not going to sign for Sir Rodgers.

    Mr. Rodgers has been ditched by every A - class player he has tried to sign. Sanchez, Salah, Willian, Mkhitaryan etc. - list is endless. There is no point in talking about mere speculation where they say a R. Madrid top talent will sign for Liverpool when LFC has nothing to offer - Wages, CL ,a reputed manager or trophies.

    Are you living in a dreamland ? Do you think Illaramendi will ever think of signing for LFC under current circumstances when Europe's top Elite would be willing to get his services.

    IMO - only chance that LFC can pull such a deal is when they have reputed Manager. If for an instance we get Klopp?
    then Yes it makes sense to talk about Marquee signings or silverwares.

    Otherwise it's a wishful thinking , and a harsh reality that the club is facing right now.

    ReplyDelete