23 Feb 2014

LFC vs. SCFC: Swansea 'steamrolled'? BR to drop £15m star? Another injury gamble...?

SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL TEAM. Liverpool may be out of the FA Cup, but there's still everything to play for in the Premier League, and a win against Swansea City this afternoon will take the Reds to within four points of Chelsea at the top of the league. That's a massive incentive for the players to deliver the goods, and given LFC's form at Anfield this season, a win is very much on the cards.

Injury-wise, Glen Johnson is back in the squad, but Jose Enrique, Mamadou Sakho, and Lucas Leiva remain on the sidelines.

As I see it, Brendan Rodgers has two main issues to consider:

* Kolo Toure vs. Daniel Agger: Does the Dane keep his place?
* Hendo vs. Allen: Who starts the game?

Toure vs Agger

I would bring Toure back into the side. Many will disagree with that, but his two mistakes aside, Toure is (IMO) a more reliable defender than Agger this season. The Dane got done for pace several times against Arsenal, and he also got shrugged off the ball too easily. Toure is a physically strong, solid defender, and he works fairly well with Martin Skrtel.

Hendo vs. Allen

This is a no-brainer. Henderson will almost certainly come back into the team, with Allen dropping to the bench, and that's the right decision. Having said that, Hendo has now gone 13 games without a goal, and he has only one assist in the last 12 games. For me, that's just not acceptable for an attack-minded midfielder, and he's lucky there's no one in the squad to seriously challenge for his position.

Rodgers will probably go for the following team:

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

Johnson ---- Skrtel --- Agger ----- Flanagan

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

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

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

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

EDIT: 12.30PM - FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Johnson, Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge

SUBS: Jones, Teixeira, Toure, Moses, Allen, Aspas, Cissokho

SWANSEA: Vorm, Rangel, Chico Flores, Williams, Taylor, Britton, de Guzman, Shelvey, Dyer, Routledge, Bony

* Is starting Johnson a good idea? He's just recovered from injury, and won't be fully match-fit. Plus, there's always a chance of an injury relapse, which happened to Daniel Agger earlier this season.

* No Alberto on the bench *again*. That's three games in a row he's been out of the squad.

Pre-match analysis from ex-Reds:

Jan Molby.

“Swansea at home will be a special game for Rodgers but three points are vital if Liverpool are going to maintain their grip on a Champions League spot. “They will be wary about what Liverpool did to Arsenal at Anfield when they tried to play it out.”

Jamie Redknapp

"Swansea had a difficult game against Napoli, and there will probably be some fatigue there. Liverpool are in fantastic form, I expect them to win this one".

Mark Lawrenson

"At home, the Reds have steamrolled teams this season and, if they make another fast start, I think the same could happen against Swansea".

I think Lawro is right about this one; it Liverpool attack this game with same intensity shown against Arsenal, it could be another big scoreline. There's no excuse for the Reds not to come out flying; the players have had an entire week of recovery time/preparation, whereas Swansea played midweek.

My prediction: 4-0



  1. Does not really matter who we have in midfield today, whether it be a midfield three of Gerrard-Allen-Hendo or Gerrard-Hendo-Coutinho, the key will be to press and make sure that Swansea are not allowed to play their passing game.

    Do not think this is going to be an easy match. Counter attacking football will be the order of the day for both teams and there will be no room for error if we are planning on walking away with the 3 points.

  2. I will prefer Toure over Agger apart from his costly errors. Agger doesn't have the speed to recover after speedy winger nor he have that good reading of the game to provide that accuracy pass as Hyypia has! As for Hendo and Allen, both should take part by benching Sturridge!

  3. Daniel Agger is best!!

  4. Like that team JK!!, we cannot blow it today after Everton lost at Chelsea, If Spurs drop points and we win....................HAPPY DAYS!!!

  5. Bony will be a handful if he plays ,however the team is well rested so its a much needed three points to keep the gap between us and Spuds

  6. Nice team and I love the result prediction! I don't think he'll drop cissokho though - he's the only defender we have who doesn't make costly mistakes

  7. Steamrolled? Dont think so. Swansea had a brilliant performance vs napoli and were really unlucky not to win. There are playing way better under Gary Monk and getting some results lately. But they played on thursday and we had a week off, were at home, so no option but a win here. Dont wanna say a must win because we say that every week now and its true indeed. It was a bad week for us as no one of top teams dropped points and if we lose some today, season might get even harder, the only positive was everton losing even though it was better to get a draw from that game, but they were not any contenders for top 4 anyway in my eyes, so lets win. Hopefully suarez turns on today, its been a while!

  8. Bench 10, 15, 7 and 8 to prove without them we still a solid team hahahahahaaa

  9. I agree, tricky game today. Swansea have a new manager, players coming into form, and some good recent team displays. We have our strikers looking less sharp than they were a month or so ago, an unsettled defence with returning players who won't be match sharp yet. We are also playing catch up in the league which is psychologically draining; we could get within 3 or 4 points of the leaders or be stranded 7 behind with Spurs coming up on our shoulder... a tense, in-between situation.

    Now, if we were playing Man City or Chelsea in a way I'd be more confident than against Swansea, because we could afford to be reckless, which is when we're at our best I think. But I can see Swansea scraping a draw today, for sure.

  10. Nice! Good to hear some respect for Cissokho, however qualified :)

  11. Johnson has come in for Cissokho, Henderson in for Allen and Agger for Toure.

  12. Nothing wrong with the team, just a bit worried for johnson going straight back into the field but I understand BR, no one can watch cissokho anymore, hoping tex to get some mins..