16 Feb 2014

LFC vs. Arsenal: Molby urges BR to drop 'brilliant' Reds 'leader'. Harsh, or deserved...?

Liverpool go into this afternoon's game with Arsenal on the back of two outstanding Premier League victories, and although the Gunners will still be hurting after their humbling 5-1 massacre at Anfield last week, this is the FA Cup, and past performance generally count for nothing. Arsenal nullified Suarez and co at the Emirates earlier this season, and if they follow the same game plan, there's always a chance of a repeat performance.

On the injury front, Daniel Agger is back in the squad, but Enrique, Johnson, and Sakho remain on the sidelines.

Obviously, the key issue for Brendan Rodgers today is Kolo Toure: does he drop the Ivorian after his comical own goal last week (and replace him with Daniel Agger), or does he keep the ex-Arsenal man in the team?

Rodgers complained about Liverpool's defensive issues in his post-Fulham press conference, and praised Agger for making several 'crucial' interceptions during his brief spell on the pitch, so I suspect the Dane will get the nod today. On the other hand, Rodgers seems to hold Toure in very high regards, and earlier this month, he enthused:

"Kolo Toure has been brilliant since he's been here. He's been a real leader, and an outstanding professional"

Jamie Carragher scored SEVEN own goals for LFC during his career. Toure has made a couple of mistakes recently, but Agger and Skrtel have made many similar mistakes in the past, and more recently, Simon Mignolet has cost the Reds goals with his errors. He kept faith the with Belgian, so maybe he'll do the same with Toure.

Whoever is selected, Rodgers has already confirmed that he'll play a strong team. On Friday, he told reporters

"We want to win the FA Cup. Thats our objective. We have no midweek games. We can go as strong as we want to go. We wont need to rest anyone"

As such, it will probably be the same 11 ( possibly bar Toure) who started the last four games. And why not? No reason to change anything, and the more this team plays together, the more consistent is should (in theory) become. Possible line-up:

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

Flanagan ------ Skrtel --- Agger ----- Cissokho

-------------- Gerrard -- Hendo

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

------ Suarez ------------------- Sterling

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

Pre-match observations from LFC Legends:

Kenny Dalglish:

"If they’re not careful, Arsenal will get another hiding. Liverpool do not have the Champions League to worry about, so they will be strong. If Arsenal do put out a weakened side, they might struggle badly and one more chance of a trophy will have been lost"

Jan Molby

"Liverpool should...field the same side. I can see the case for bringing back Daniel Agger, in place of Kolo Toure, but I think Arsenal will be wary of Liverpool, and I think we should look to exploit that"

Mark Lawrenson (Prediction: 2-1 to LFC)

"Liverpool will arrive at Emirates Stadium at full strength thinking 'let's go for this'. They have to be. Even if they get a replay, then so what?"

Obviously, I want LFC to win, but a draw would be fine too. The prospect of another Arsenal game at Anfield is mouth-watering, and the extra game could possibly be good for the squad in terms of fitness, momentum, fringe players getting a run-out etc.

I have a feeling this will be a tougher game than many expect, even if Wenger plays a weaker side. My prediction: 2-2



  1. Hope they play their defensive line high again. Will be a walk in the park if they do.

  2. it looks a very hard game but i think the loss to them at the emirates was largely down to the good performance of Ramsey. toure was poor in that match at the Emirates and if he had just stood his ground, he would have blocked Ramsey's wondergoal. he was poor against Fulham and shouldnt come back into the side unless we need him. i'd go for your starting line-up jaimie. Texeria deserves a run-out at the Emirates, it will be good for his experience. we've got a new kaka/deco on our books waiting to be developed. texeria needs to play, and then i think we should give him a home debut at anfield.

    todays resut will be 3-1 Liverpool, Suarez, Sturridge and Gerrard the scorers. cant see LFC losing, as we usually play better on the counter, and Arsenal will play football.


  3. I think anybody expecting a game similar to the one at Anfield is going to be disappointed. Nor should we be over confident; over confidence is a killer. We caught Arsenal unawares last time but they surely won't make the same defensive mistakes again and this will be a much tighter affair. However, with the pace we have up front there's no reason to think we can't go out and win the game. We played a much more defensive game at the Emirates in the league, and we were comprehensively outplayed. This time we will be attacking from the off. The above team is the one I would hope to see; we don't need to rest players and clearly having a consistent team on the field week in, week out is benefiting the players understanding of each other. I agree that Toure will probably lose his place to Agger. Bit of a shame for him, as apart from those two mistakes he's really been quite solid.

  4. Never easy to go to Arsenal and win. Hopefully our hunger for silverware will be stronger than theirs, luis has been hitting the woodwork just recently, i think he is due a double, lol.

  5. He should rest Henderson especially if those stories that he got a wrist operation done on Thursday is true...... Allen or texeria can deputise for him or Alberto

  6. The most fantastic thing about recent performances is that although he is still our best player, Suarez is not the be all and end all

    The rest of the team are stretching to meet the standards he has set

    Bodes really well for the future, even if he did depart

  7. Finally Lord Agger coming back.That's some sort of relief.

  8. it will be a tougher game, much tougher, nevertheless.....come on the pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Agree, not going to be the same as what it was at Anfield but we can beat them again!


  10. Lawro predicted a win? Should be an error on that, check it up! Also think it will be a much tighter game, and we always seem to struggle at emirates, their pitch just doesnt suit us dont know why! I see some wanting a replay, playing arsenal 4 times in a season, really? Either win or lose for me, the squad is too small to cope with extra games, should focus on CL.