OK so we all know that (of late) WHL hasn't been the best of happy hunting grounds for points.
A bit too much drama and concession of late goals has been the hallmark of our last 3 visits, with the dreaded 2-1 scoreline in vogue.
Is this visit going to be any different? We're obviously in far better nick than we were this time last year, and with them being without Dawson and possbily King, who we know is excellent, so is this the day we'll sort them out and get the 'free' points? They did finally get off the bottom of the table last week with a good away win over Wolves, and we in turn lost narrowly to Stoke, so is the momentum with them? Have they recovered from the Modric melodrama? Did the trip to Greece with the youngsters give 'Arry an ache in his Athens?
How should we set up? Can we cope with their pace if they select Lennon and Bale?
I think we can win the battle in the midfield, and if Messers Carra and Skerts manage to avoid scoring an oggy, we should be able to get at least a point, assuming our finishing is a lot better than last week. Having said that, we need to go for the win, and not lose heart if we do fall behind - when was the last time we came back to win from a losing position, I can't remember back that far...
They've conceded 8 in 3 games and we've looked threatening going forward in most of our games so we should have a good chance.
I can see them creating a few chances too so it depends on whether their strikers will perform better than last season. They've got Adebayor now too but it's impossible to predict how he'll play.
I'm pretty optimistic for this one, definitely more than I was for the Stoke game.
By the way, the last time we came from behind to win was nearly a year ago against Napoli.
Ah, and even longer in the league I'll wager.
I was (perhaps a bit naively) confident about our chances at Stoke, so I've been dialing back on the confidence this week...if only to avoid disappointment. Just as with last week I'll not be around for it, so I'll be putting it out of my mind until it's al over.
So how long will GJ be out this time, anyway? Is he the only casualty from last week's match?
I think they're still waiting on results to find out how long he's out for.
Technically he's our only injured player at the minute I think. As far as I know Kelly, Gerrard and Aurelio are all back in training.
Having a quick look I think the last time it happened in the league was August '09 away to Bolton! We seemed to do it every single week the season before that (apart from all the 0-0s)
Good god, that's 2 years, not so good. I used to like it when the BBC previews had that kind of info, you know, 'Liverpool have gained an unmatched 18 points from losing positions'. It gave me hope. Actually, in the Rafa years, I used to think we could always come back from a goal or two down. Not so much now, we seem to deflate a bit, especially if the goal is either a stunner (knocks the wind out of our sails) or a defensive gaffe (weighs on our collective minds).
But tomorrow will be different! (see what I did there.....)
Yes, for sure, that's what I thought on viewing the match after the fact.
I guess what I mean is that going in, I 'expected' us to score, and given that we wouldn't concede more than 1 to them in our current guise (at least that's what I think) I thought that should have given us the draw at minimum...but then now I wonder if that peno was a bit deflating - not that we gave up trying - but if in the back of their minds they thought 'here we go again, nothing at Stoke'.
Glen Johnson is out injured and Kelly has only just returned. IMO, it is a straight choice between Flanagan and Skrtel and considering Kenny's comments, I suspect it will be the latter (people that know me on here will know what I think about that particular player).
So, in answer to the "Can we cope with their pace if they select Lennon and Bale?", I'd say Enrique is more than capable of dealing with Lennon's pace but the other side is a little more questionable. Expect to see Carragher sweeping behind the right back to provide cover.
I think Carroll will play tomorrow in an attempt to take advantage of their centre back situation - Dawson, Gallas and King are missing. I expect to see Kaboul and Bassong at the back unless one of the other three recovers in time (I think it is only Gallas that as a chance though) so I think Carroll can get stuck in with Suarez picking at the holes left behind.
Skrtel - Carragher - Agger - Enrique
Henderson - Lucas - Adam - Downing
Van Der Vaart
Bale - Modric - Parker - Lennon
Ekotto - Kaboul - Bassong - Corluka
I'd like Kuyt to play rather than Henderson but suspect Kenny will stick with the youngster. Also wouldn't mind seeing Bellamy run at Corluka but we will probably have to wait until mid-way through the second half to see that. Plus, we would have to drop one of Carroll, Suarez or Downing to accommodate Bellamy and IMO, they will not and should happen.
Yes, I'd prefer Kuyt as well, since he'd also aid by tracking back and defending against Bale. Kaboul? OK, we should defo be able to score against him! I didn't realise VDV was fit - thought that thing he tore when he went off in a strop was going to keep him out for a while...too bad.
Agree that it will be Skerts over Flano b/c of the latter's sometimes naive positioning. I also forgot they had Parker - that will give them some needed grit in the m/f but nothing that Charlie and Lucas can't handle.
Your right, VDV isn't available. Swap him for Kranjcar? Or move Modric forward and bring Huddlestone in?
Flano made his full debut against Man City last season and was superb, Carragher inside him keeps him in check too. I'd prefer him over Skrtel every single second of the season!
I'd prefer him over Skrtel every single second of the season!
Really? I didn't know you had such an <erm> objection to Skerts.
Didn't used to have. It is only since he developed the 'rugby style tackling whilst not looking at the ball and forcing the opposition player out of play' approach appeared. He did this at least a dozen times last year, we were just fortunate that the ref either didn't see it or bottled the decision.
I started to dislike him and Soto when they played alongside each other, that was the worst back pairing I think I have seen! Skrtel is better alongside Carragher or Agger but needs to cut the non-defending thing out!
I know mate, was just having a laugh, I know that he's not likely to be on the back of your shirt any time soon.
I keep wavering between 'Let's get rid' and 'Maybe he'll be OK today'!