5 May 2013

LFC predicted line-up vs. Everton: Reds star to be targeted/drop to the bench...?

Liverpool face Everton at Anfield this afternoon, and a win would put the Reds only two points behind their bitter rivals, and perfect position from which to mount a final charge to overtake the Toffees in the Premier League table. Can the club do it?

After the 6-0 drubbing of Newcastle last week, the team basically picks itself.

There are no new injuries to contend with (as confirmed by Brendan Rodgers on Friday), so why change a winning side?

Barring any last-minute niggles, I fully expect to see the following XI:

------------------ Reina

Johnson ----- Carra --- Agger ------ Enrique

----------------- Lucas

----------- Gerrard -- Henderson

----- Downing ----------- Coutinho

--------------- Sturridge

The only possible change Rodgers may make is Borini in for Downing, but given the physicality of Everton's team, that would be the wrong move, especially given the Italian's recent return from injury.

Rodgers could also conceivably play Shelvey instead of Coutinho to increase LFC's physical presence, but that would be a negative move IMO, and really unfair on the Brazilian, who put in a superb performance last week.

It's 14 years since Everton won at Anfield, so the odds are heavily in Liverpool's favour, but Reds legend Jan Molby has warned his old team not to expect a Newcastle-like capitulation. He told the Liverpool Echo:

"Everton certainly won’t stand off and let us play like Newcastle did. They will have noticed the problems Liverpool have had dealing with crosses into the box, and they also know that Liverpool like to play it out from the back and will press high up the pitch.

"What will be crucial is Liverpool’s ability to get the ball to their better players. If Everton fail to stop the service to the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard then I expect Liverpool to win. It will certainly be a different type of experience for Coutinho".

Given his size, Everton will probably target Coutinho and try and physically hassle him out of the game. This happened on several occasions earlier this season to Raheem Sterling and Suso, but as he showed against Newcastle, the Brazilian is capable of mixing-it physically, and I'm sure he'll be prepared.

Predicting a 2-1 win, LFC legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"From Everton's point of view, because they have to win, I think Moyes might go for it and open the game up a little. But Liverpool will be full of confidence and I think they will edge it".

Lawro and Molby rarely get their predictions right, so let's hope that changes this week (!)

Liverpool showed last week that the team can perform without Luis Suarez, and I fully expect that to continue this week with a win against Everton. Sturridge will love being the go-to guy up front, and he'll be desperate to show that he can be the main main in Suarez's absence.

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  1. i think courtino is a lot tougher than lawro thinks ...most of them brazilians are dragged up...no coincidence some of the best mma guys in the world are from there...are main problem will be high balls to fellanis chest ...coupled with pressing our back 4

  2. In complete agreement with all your points....
    Really can't see us keeping a clean sheet but I also believe the game will be quite open so will be opportunities both ends.
    If Gerrard is out we will definitely get bullied in the middle as Shelvey would no doubt have to come in and I think the occasion may just get to him a bit, resulting in some hefty challenges....
    Carra will also be emotionally bubbling, but that could work in our favour.....
    Fingers tightly crossed that we put our chances away, and am going for the home win.......3-2...?

  3. it would be good if it was an entertaining game but the derby,s or often not as long as the red team are celebrating at the game i do not care

  4. Thumbs up to that........

  5. It's so difficult to predict any result for us these days. History tells me that after such a good result there is usually a fall around the corner, as if the players stroll in thinking they only need turn up to win. We need Gerrard and Carra to perform.

  6. My fear today is carra, everybody were talking about him before playing zenit in his last cup so we should try to win it and he went and sent us out with that stupid mistake, its the same now his last derby im afraid he'll do the same by costing us the game, if he pulls fellainis shirt all the time ref might give a pen and a red card I reckon

  7. So much for Jelavic being such a great buy for Everton. Just goes to show that much of what happens in the transfer market is just pure dumb luck. The guy has one good season and then flops.

  8. Hope we give it to gollum & the bitter bluenoses, dont ruin my weekend lads!!

  9. Like i posted earlier dont get to carried with thrashing newcastle its thrashing teams in the top half which is a measure..........gerrard was my mom ....i thought johnson was average and once again our defence gifts a guy a free header with a goal that should of stood

  10. Agree on Coutinho. From watching him play for us he has held his own against everyone, and done more. I have seen him knock far bigger players off the ball. I don`t understand this whole lightweight tag he has been given. Sure he has a small frame but if anyone actually watched him play he is as strong as any other player in our team.