30 Mar 2014

LFC vs. Spurs: BR to drop £15m star? Plus, check out these 8 amazing coincidences

With Seven games to go, and amazingly, Liverpool's Premier League fate is entirely in the club's own hands. Quite simple, if the Reds win all their remaining games, the league title will return to Anfield for the first time in 24 years, and after Saturday's set of dream results, the opportunity is there for LFC to well and truly take control of the title race. Can the team do it?

On paper, the answer is a resounding 'Yes'. Liverpool have the players, the confidence, and the momentum to win today's game, and having already hammered Spurs 5-0 this season, the club has proven its superiority over the North London club.

That result means nothing today, though. It's a totally different ball-game now, and for the first time in years, the pressure is will and truly on Liverpool to deliver.

The Reds struggled against Sunderland on Wednesday, another game that - on paper - should've been relatively straightforward, but it was a timely warning that nothing is to be taken for granted, and I'm sure Brendan Rodgers will have relayed that to the players.

In the 5-0 White Hart Lane annihilation, Spurs were severely punished for choosing to play a high defensive line, and it seems unlikely that Sherwood will make the same mistake as AVB, especially with Daniel Sturridge in the team. Having said that, Sherwood has instilled an attacking philosophy into Spurs, and I can't see them parking the bus for ninety minutes.

The Londoners still have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the Champions League, so playing for a draw must be out of the question. Additionally, Sherwood's job is on the line, and a victory over Liverpool would give him a massive boost.

LFC's team selection will be pivotal for today's game, and the key questions once again centre around Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, and Joe Allen. For me, Allen should make way for Sterling, which would give the Reds their strongest possible attacking line-up.

What exactly for LFC lose by making this change? The team has conceded 4 goals in the last two games, so I fail to see how Allen is making a difference defensively. He also adds nothing in an attacking sense, whereas Sterling is good defensively AND in attack.

Liverpool are playing at home, so why not go with the strongest attacking line-up? If it's not working, then change it around, but Sterling/Suarez/Coutinho/Sturridge has worked effectively plenty of times this season, most memorably in the 4-0/5-1 thrashings of Everton and Arsenal. If it's good enough for those games, it should be good enough for today's match. As such, I hope to see the following line-up:

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

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

----------------- Gerrard

--------- Henderson -- Coutinho

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

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

Liverpool are Champions-elect, and I personally want to see the club putting out its most exciting team. Back in the late-1980s, you wouldn't see Kenny Dalglish replacing Peter Beardsley with Nigel Spackman for a crunch game at the business end of the season. Dalglish almost always went with Barnes, Beardsley, Aldridge, McMahon, and Houghton, which broadly corresponds to Suarez, Coutinho, Sturridge, Sterling, and Gerrard.

The argument that Sterling/Coutinho/Suarez/Sturridge is not defensively solid enough is nonsense (IMO). As noted above, it's worked extremely well in some of this season's toughest games, and there's no reason why it can't work again today.

Pre match analysis:

Jan Molby

"I’ve seen quite a lot of Spurs recently and they will play right into Liverpool’s hands. They are not a particularly good team. They don’t defend well and are not scoring many goals. Christian Eriksen is playing well at the moment but that’s about your lot".

John Aldridge

"I'm quietly confident but Tottenham have got very good players and their away form is better than their home form so you take nothing for granted. It'll be a difficult game because Tottenham need points as badly as we do to get into the Champions League"

Mark Lawrenson (Predicts a 2-0 LFC win)

"Liverpool's games get tougher now. I think they're starting to believe they can win the league - and that belief grows game by game. I don't think Tottenham will go to Anfield and try to defend. In fact, I don't think they can defend".

Christian Eriksen

"Everybody wants a nice cold revenge [for the 5-0 defeat]. That's certainly a distinctive response."

Jamie Redknapp

"It'll be an open game. I think Spurs will come and try to play due to the expectations of the club, and if they do that, Liverpool will absolutely breeze through this game"

Some food for thought: As someone in the comment section pointed out yesterday:

* On the 30 March 1964 - exactly 50 years ago today - Liverpool beat Spurs 3-1 at Anfield, and then went on to win the league title.

Some other parallels between the 1963-64 season, and 2013-14:

* The victory over Spurs took LFC from 2nd to 1st in the table.
* LFC did the league double over Man United, beating them 1-0, and 3-0 (like this season)
* Liverpool smashed 5 goals past Arsenal at Anfield.
* Liverpool played Arsenal in the FA Cup 5th round.
* LFC had an amazing strike duo (Ian St. John/Roger Hunt), who smashed in 50+ goals.
* After a long title-drought, LFC won the league for first time in 17 years.
* Like Rodgers, Bill Shankly was in the process of rebuilding LFC.

I love these coincidences :-)

My prediction: 3-1 LFC.



  1. Was there also a manager running around that year talking bulls*** every week?

  2. Expect a more open game than Weds. Spurs won't look to sit back like Sunderland which will give us more space and their defence has been shocking at times. But like last year I'm expecting a really difficult match possibly 3-2 again. All that matters now is 3pts whatever the score or performance.

  3. Yep Stirling to start for me and every game now a cup final ......... Anfield this pm will be on fire !

  4. Their was also a new pope in 1963 and 2013

  5. We have scored 13 goals since Rodgers has changed to the diamond formation 4 games ago and we are unbeaten in this period too. That is 3.25 goals a game which is more than our average over the 31 games - 2.71 goals per game. It seems attacking wise there is actually nothing wrong with the diamond formation.

  6. Liverpool drew 2 2 with aston villa that season and beat manu 3 0. One difference is that was at Villa home and Manu 3 0 was in our homeground

  7. Allen definitely must be dropped. Sterling lost his place due him and now you can see hes not the same player he was weeks ago. I just cant see a single good thing on allen, it would be a huge mistake to play him today or any game now on. Gerrard gotta be careful now, he didnt take the yellow last game, shouldnt get it now either but I fear he will get it today, he would miss city clash. What a chance to go top, probably the biggest game so far.

  8. I would definitely like to see both Coutinho and Sterling on the team sheet, but I have a sneaking feeling he will stick with Allen and play Sterling over Coutinho. Regardless, I'm expecting goals. We may have obliterated Spurs before, but it's such an important time now and there is no room for complacency on any level. As the great Bobby Robson once said,"if you count your chickens before they've hatched, they won't lay an egg in the basket".

  9. Oh Jesus. Renowned footballing soothsayer and X Factor reject (or did she win it?) Sam Bailey predicts a 2-1 victory for Spurs on the BBC sport website.

  10. Bennett Williams1:59 pm, March 30, 2014

    Total bollocks!

  11. I'm no massive fan of Allen but even I'd say that's a little harsh on him as he's been really very good in the last few games. I'd rather see Coutinho AND Sterling on myself but Allen's style does help with greater ball retention where say, Coutinho, will naturally concede possession more often.

  12. Confirmed #LFC team v @SpursOfficial: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge, Suarez

    Confirmed #LFC subs v @SpursOfficial: Jones, Allen, Aspas, Sakho, Lucas, Cissokho, Moses

  13. Let's get the 3 points and take one step closer to winning the league!

  14. Coutinho and Sterling both start, that's excellent news.

  15. Poor Fulham...it must just suck to have good players, but as team just suck.

  16. That is what happens when you have 3 different manager in one season.

  17. doncha wish Mirrallas was a Liverpool player

  18. get a lead bring on Allen last 20 or 30

  19. where i come from we call children who not quite all there special ones

  20. Jones
    Kelly - Kolo - Sakho- Cissokoho
    Aspas - Texeira.

    Not that they should play, but they still could win.

    Spurrs to implode, Sherwood to seal his fate, 6-0, SSS all to score.

  21. I thought there was a saying " if it ain't broke don't fix it",yes we can win this ,i just hope Yoga helps i hate sweaty palms ;)

  22. I want to see the smirk being wiped off of Sherwood's face. He likes talking about whether LFC can cope. I want to see his defence cope today vs SSS.

  23. just can't wait ,who's the ref mate

  24. wooooooooooo hooooooooooooo 1-0

  25. I was thinking the same thing. He's a rough one but he knows how to win.

  26. Liverpool were in for him when he ended up at Everton but we didn't commit just toyed with the idea....I like him he's a tough nut no compromise....rather have him than Allen....straight swap..

  27. SSSS now mate include Skyrtel in that please he's a mountain

  28. A typical Suarez performance the man is a mean machine one more goal and its game over .Eriksen almost got away twice in that pocket who's watching him ?

  29. game over ........Sterling was " BOSS "

  30. The 1970s then?

  31. Those coincidences are amazing, but to me it's not luck...it is God's will to return Liverpool back to glory. I've been praying it for this to happen since Christmas time, thank you Lord Jesus for answering the desire of our hearts.....it's been 24 years...glory!

  32. Hehe not a big fan of Lawro the pundit but "In fact, I don't think they can defend" is funny stuff.