9 May 2015

LFC vs. Chelsea: £46m duo out? 'Sensational' starlet returns? Surprise start for Balotelli?

Last month, Brendan Rodgers wrote off Liverpool's chances of finishing in the top four, claiming that there's 'too much ground to make up'. Fast forward a month, and Rodgers has changed his tune, despite the fact that the Reds are arguably worse off than after the 4-1 humbling by Arsenal. Can Liverpool still make the top four? In my view, the chance has gone...unless, of course, something miraculous takes place over the next three weeks.

In his post-Arsenal press conference, Rodgers betrayed a stunning lack of ambition when he told reporters:

"We haven't performed and it has cost us. I very much doubt we'll be in the top four now come the end of the season, there's too much ground to make up".

On Friday, Rodgers took a different view:

"If we can win our last three games, it would certainly make it [the top four race] interesting. They are three big games for us and you might find yourself not too far away".

Can Liverpool win the last three games? It's possible, but even if that happens, the Reds will need to rely on Manchester United losing at least two of the next three games, which isn't going to happen.

The truth is, Liverpool have totally blown it over the last three games, and utterly failed to capitalise on United's late-season collapse.

1961 is the last time United lost four league games in a row, so the probability of a repeat is clearly very low.

Plus, I sincerely doubt that Jose Mourinho is going to allow his team to be beaten *at home* in their first league game as Premier League Champions. He'll probably play his strongest team, and that spells trouble for Liverpool.

As for Liverpool's team - as usual, I want Rodgers to play aces in their places, and stop making the same mistakes, i.e.

* Do not play Gerrard in central midfield.

* Do not use Balotelli as a lone striker.

* Do not play Sterling or 'sensational' Ibe etc as wing-backs.

Etc. Hoping for these things is a futile enterprise, though, as Rodgers stubbornly refuses to change his approach. As such, I expect to see the following line-up:

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

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

Ibe ---------- Gerrard ---- Hendo ------- Moreno

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

-------------------- Lambert

After his assist against QPR, it'll be a surprise if Balotelli starts ahead of Lambert, but to honest, neither option is particularly appealing.

Predicting a 1-1 draw, Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"Mourinho will want all the players who won him the title to play, but there will still be a carnival atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, though, and because of that I am backing Liverpool to nick a point".

My prediction: 2-0 to Chelsea...and the death of LFC's slim Champions League dream.

Oh, and: Come on Crystal Palace - Stuff the Mancs!

Author: Jaimie K



94 comments:

  1. Jaimie Brendan doesn't listen to anyone and there is no one at LFC who he does listen to football wise.

    Thats the problem, that and the failed Transfer Committee.

    My Friend in Italy whose a season ticket holder at Inter Milan told me today that LFC bid get this 7m for Mateo Kovacic and that they are INSULTED when other clubs like Arsenal will probably pay the asking price of £22 million.



    Ian Ayre and FSG are at it again they are not going to change the recruiting policy.
    I really want us to be in the Top 4, however whats the point if Brendan plays the same way as he did in the CL this season.


    He's not learning or adapting his tactics, I'm so fed up with this.
    Finally the player recruitment is a shambles when you leave your team so short of players.


    We should just go 4- 4- 2.


    ------------------Mingolet


    Johnson--------Skertel-----Lovern------Moreno


    Ibe--------------Henderson----Gerrard-----Countinho


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

    ReplyDelete
  2. something miraculous is happening at the moment. Come on Reds, keep the faith!

    ReplyDelete
  3. They need to lose one and draw one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 4-0 to Chelsea.

    ReplyDelete
  5. bloody DeGea.. Palace are sooo much better..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Swap Sterling with David De Gea

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fcuking thiving bastrds.

    ReplyDelete
  8. couldn't agree more, but I doubt jaimie will accept that ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I see you've found a cunning way to beat the word filter, while still use gratuitous amounts of obscenities....;-)


    Anyway I agree; bunch of cheating grassholes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. yep it's that simple, 4-4-2 would fit all our players

    ReplyDelete
  11. Even if you think it you really should keep it to yourself

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not sure playing De Gea as a wingback is the answer

    ReplyDelete
  13. Never know - especially if De Gea is allowed to use his hands ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. If he watched the game, I doubt he'll hold a grudge...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Does everyone now agree that 4th is not unattainable.. or do we need to wait until actually mathematically not possible?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Bunch of reports about lowball offers for a variety of players... 7.5M for Kovacic and 20M for Lacazette, 7M for Montoya...


    What do you guys think? Montoya will probably go for around that much, but the others seem ridiculous... Though Kovacic is apparently available for around 15M, and personally I'd think that's still worth it.


    Anyway, just because we've missed out on our "top" dream target doesn't mean everything is going down the gutter. It's one players for pete's sake. Even if we don't spend a ton this summer, there are plenty of legitimately quality players available this summer for bargains. Kovacic should be valued much closer to 20-25M. L Adriano is undervalued because he plays outside of a top league. Konoplyanka is free. Vietto has a low release clause... etc etc. If we spend big on 1 top striker, we can still get quality players to fill the rest of our needs for under 20M each.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Always the dreamer ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hope so :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm also a supporter but more a realist.. as opposed to dreamer.. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Even then I'll be hoping for some retrospective punishment from the FA

    ReplyDelete
  21. Double negative here, or...

    ReplyDelete
  22. At most it'll be a fine and slap on wrist..

    No chance of docking points..!

    ReplyDelete
  23. That is the point. My definition of a supporter is one who believes till the end. Only with that kind of a support payers of your team can do things like Istanbul, or winning FA cup while dropping out of the league.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Diego Alves just saved Ronaldo's penalty. He seems to have a great record in terms of penalty saves. Nice all round keeper.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What no relegation for being Baterds

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yeah - somehow missed that when studying the PL rule book ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I always said we shoud get Alves

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'll think of something ;

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ok. There was this rumor going on about Man Utd wanting Sterling..so thought we might just ask for their best player too.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am still writing that bit

    ReplyDelete
  31. Crayons or pictures?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Kovacic has fallen out with Inter's new coach apparently so paying that much for a 21yo who don't play that much would be naive (don't watch that much serie a to be honest so don't know a lot about him), i don't rate konoplyanka as the kind of player who'd get us top 4.

    You're right there's some smart purchase available out there but if we could make this kind of buys we would not be where we are now.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Not sure if anyone's gonna stop me posting.

    ReplyDelete
  34. That's beside the point anyway. It's still possible until it's proven otherwise by the math It's a fact. It might be UNLIKELY to a realist, but regardless if you're a dreamer, realist, supporter, fan, etc the FACT is we still do have a chance. I'm not even sure there's anything to argue here,

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yep chance now means LFC winning 3 games, and Man U losing 1 and drawing 1..

    ReplyDelete
  36. People go on and on about Rodgers playing Balotelli and Gerrard in the wrong positions. But assuming Gerrard should only play behind the striker (since central midfield is not allowed) and Balotelli plays behind the striker (since him as a lone striker is not allowed), then you are saying that Rodgers should play Gerrard and Balotelli behind the striker. This would provide us with no pace, no discipline and where would Coutinho play, assuming Sterling is the main striker.


    I'd like to see the people who defend Balotelli and Gerrard performances because they are being played in the 'wrong' position, name a line-up that includes both players in 'proper' positions. If we had another manager who picked on merit alone, these 2 players would be nowhere near the team. Blame Rodgers for trying to fit them in, not where he fits them in.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I can't see them getting a draw

    ReplyDelete
  38. if we played our player into their best position i'd be more inclined to believe that we could get top 4, but until then i'll just support the team despite the small faith i have in BR to make the right choice to get us something.

    ReplyDelete
  39. So our top 4 chances are all but over. Hopefully we can have a good start next season. All new signings must be settled now and hopefully will have a good preseason. Next year...we go again..!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. So two losses it is then ;)

    ReplyDelete
  41. No one asked to play Gerrard and Balotelli behind the striker together. if we want to play them together...diamond is the best formation.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Just did a mathematical probability calculation (not form guide or how good the opposition is).. and the probability is:

    1 in 243 chance

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sorry - a bit below the belt - even for me !!

    ReplyDelete
  44. How exactly did you calculate that? Wouldn't you need to quantify the quality gap between teams? Which isn't exactly all that possible?

    ReplyDelete
  45. And is it dreams dashed by Oct/Nov if BR still in charge?

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'll send off for my passport right away

    ReplyDelete
  47. No - no fancy mathematical models..

    simple 5 events (games) with a 1 in 3 chance of a positive outcome.. and simply multiply through. Not great logic, but provides a good sense of the odds..

    ReplyDelete
  48. Can't see us getting Lacazette for £20m, lot of clubs will be sniffing around this guy, you can't lowball in a sellers market.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just realised, Man U can afford to draw one game.. so the odds come down to

    1 in 121..

    better odds now I come to think about it ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  50. You can but you get what you deserve and that applies equally to trying to underpay wages too

    ReplyDelete
  51. I don't see us getting him either, but still, we spend 35M on him, we can save a ton of money in other areas if we go about it the right way.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Chelsea/Moanio are sniffing.. hence we have no chance no matter what we offer..

    ReplyDelete
  53. Read something somewhere that Vietto has agreed terms with Atletico Madrid

    ReplyDelete
  54. Careful... odds is not the same as probability (I don't know which one you calculated, I'm too lazy to check right now :P), but yes point made :D

    ReplyDelete
  55. Reading a lot about Chelsea going for De Greizmann

    ReplyDelete
  56. Yeah pls don't check my maths.. way past the time for being told I've got my sums wrong Sir..!!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. 442. balo and a striker, steven behind, couts on a flank of a diamond.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Chelsea have a policy now of buying 1/2 players to improve the team..

    .. and then buying 3/4 players to wreck the competition ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hazard and Griezmann on flanks. Title won again.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Really getting jealous of their ability to get anyone they want.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Remember way back when Moores sold out, there was DIC...?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Your point?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Don't you wonder if we had got the Dubai money instead of the two crooks would it have made a difference?

    ReplyDelete
  64. I don't think our problem is low balling, in fact we have matched teams bids in the past, its more that we simply can not offer the wages that the likes of Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea can, let alone they are all in the CL year in year out.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I think with the current transfer rumours we are linked with ie Ings, Austin, Milner the team seems to be going for a British identity to compliment Sturridge, Henderson, Ibe, (Sterling maybe), Lallana. Maybe that's what's needed for us to have an identity among the top clubs, the other teams will attract the cream of world club talent and we'll get the best of British? grasping at straws here I know.


    Whoever they get for next year, I just want the team to give everything on the pitch, that's been the biggest disappointment for me this year, that it's been lacking everything all round the pitch, no urgency or sense that anyone cares. even when we've been behind in matches in the last 5 minutes we've barely had a shot on target.


    it feels rotten at the club with so many questions going unanswered or being answered by different people giving so many different answers and if our transfer strategy is to deliberately go low for players so we don't get them just to say we tried then we are in Mike Ashley territory, which is going to go down well with the support.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Coutinho gets pushed out to the left and I'm guessing Henderson on the right and Lucas on the base of the diamond? And you think this is the way forward? We take away any flexibility we have to accomodate a player who won't move (Balo) and a player who doesn't have the legs anymore to play off the striker(s) (the semi-final against Villa springs to mind.


    All I'm saying is that people should acknowledge that Gerrard/Balotelli should be held accountable for their own performances this season. There a lot of other ways to fault Rodgers this season, but I find this one so tedious.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hopefully it's 'we go again' and not, here we go again...

    ReplyDelete
  68. Yes it's "we go again" and you can carve that in stone ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  69. For Liverpool's sake let's hope that your 'bark' is as good as your bite Stuart...

    ReplyDelete
  70. I agree a lot with your second paragraph, we need to restore and maintain the Liverpool mentality at all costs, although I think a lot of what you describe has happened this season as a result of our ever changing formation and tactics.
    One minute we seem to be going the chelski route and trying for 1-0 wins and the other we're back in last season's 'outscore the opponent and to hell with the defence' style.
    Possibly the above brought about by BR not having the players he wants to settle with a system and then insisting, on that much used cliché to fit everyone in. Think that's left some of the players a little perplexed and that's come across as a lack of effort at times.

    ReplyDelete
  71. If they played those positions, for amount of time suited to their abilities, it would've worked. Couts said last season that is his position I think..

    ReplyDelete
  72. I think Pirlo would be a fantastic signing. Would bring serious experience and hopefully help Mario. Maybe also help get some other good names in.

    ReplyDelete
  73. How insanely awesome would Pirlo be!

    ReplyDelete
  74. IMO Sterling definitely not our best player.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I upvoted this comment...

    ...now never mention what life would have been like with the Dubai money again ; )

    ReplyDelete
  76. If we get Pirlo it HAS to be accompanied by another "Hendo" player. As great as he is, he has no legs. Playing him with Lucas will be even worse than Lucas with Gerrard. Nainggolan would be ideal, but expensive.


    Personally, I'd rather we got Kovacic and built up our core of young stars (Coutinho, Ibe/Sterling, Can, Sakho, Sturridge, Henderson). It's cheaper, and with the same amount of risk.

    ReplyDelete
  77. If I said 'I doubt we will make top four but if we win our remaining games it would make things interesting' notice I didn't suddenly change my tune halfway through a sentence like as described in this artical, and it's funny how BR gets critised for praising his team and not telling it like it is, and when he does say anything to do with the team not performing, he gets critised for that too, 'showing a stunning lack of ambition' as said in this artical, the man can do no right

    ReplyDelete
  78. solitaryreaper3:31 pm, May 10, 2015

    and you stay in your dreamland

    ReplyDelete
  79. solitaryreaper3:33 pm, May 10, 2015

    i can see a real nice thrashing to BR and his shabby tactics

    ReplyDelete
  80. and you are welcome to your nightmare world that you have created for yourself

    ReplyDelete
  81. Fortunately Liverpool don't give in that easily

    ReplyDelete