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Arsenal, 29-12-18, PL (H)

Almost forgot this one the games are coming so fast now. Another big test for the boys but one i think we'll manage as we're so good at home this season, win for the reds i feel. I'll get straight onto my team.

4 of the back 5 picks itself as does the front 3, RB is difficult to choose between Clyne and Arnold, Clyne has done very well since he's come back so as Arnold played our last game i'll go for Clyne here. Midfield is always tricky but mine would be Fabinho, Hendo and keita, i know Keita has been hot and cold but i feel more game time will benefit him. 

                                                                Alisson

                                              Clyne   Lovren   VVD    Robertson

                                                    Hendo     Fabinho    Keita

                                                    Salah    Firmino   Shaqiri

I've gone for Shaqiri upfront to give a misfiring Mane a rest, yes he's working hard and getting a lot of chances but he's not putting them away whereas Shaqiri is so i thought just take him out for a game but deffo have him on the bench. Best of luck RedMen.

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  • Update: Mane will not face retrospective action from the FA following a clash with Stephan Lichtsteiner over having his hands wrapped around his neck. I don't think Lichtsteiner will face a hearing for a dangerous elbow challenge towards Mane. This is really messed up.
  • This was a game should have at least had 2 Arsenal players sent off 1) Lichtsteiner’s elbow on Mane outside the box in the seventh minute and that to me is a straight red for a nasty strike. Lichtsteiner may get punished by the FA and hopefully he does because it was a dangerous challenge towards Mane. 2) Xhaka should have been given a second yellow card for kicking the ball away after the first yellow with his challenge on Robertson.

    The penalties, the first one on Salah... definitely a penalty because there was pushing and it was given which was a correct decision. The second penalty on Lovern was also correct even though it was a soft one and it was an elbow. Rules of the game forbid elbow challenges. This also brings a debate over Salah’s dive against Newcastle a few days ago. The replay shows that he was being dragged by the shoulder and lost balance and to me that was a correct decision.

    The overall game we were in control and at times we were sloppy with passes and getting into positions. Their goal certainly woke us up and we responded with 2 great goals from Bobby a few minutes later. All goals were taken very well and I was delighted for Bobby to get his hat-trick and it was a kind gesture from Salah to allow Bobby to complete his treble from the penalty spot. We were the better team overall with the result and we deserved the victory.

    What a successful month of December we had with 7 straight wins in the PL and we clawed back and overtook City’s goal difference. For sure the Gaffer should win Manager of the Month. Should City drop at least 2 points on Sunday? At the moment it’s a 9 point lead over Tottenham and 10 over City. 20 games, W17 D3-L0 and we haven’t gotten out of third gear yet and hopefully we can shift another 2 to make the final push for the league title in 2019. Hope the front three will start firing all cylinders for the remaining of the season and meanwhile I am keeping myself grounded.

    Anyway, Happy 2019 and I look forward watching more LFC games and the posts from you folks in the New Year. YNWA!
  • What made that game, for me, was how quickly and hard we hit back when we went a goal down. We haven't always done that in previous seasons but there looks to be a resilience about us at the moment. After we scored the mistakes we were making reduced and we controlled the game, we look like a title winning team whether we win the trophy or not. I like the fact all the compartments of the team look complete - defence, midfield and attack - with players old and new contributing to the performance. Technically, we can afford to lose against City and still stay top but what a message it would send out if we beat them, it could be a massive game psychologically.
    • The key for me this season has been our ability to rotate the midfield so we get energetic performances every game. Once Keita gets fully integrated and Ox returns this area should be even stronger. Wijnaldum was superb yesterday and Arsenal could not cope with Shaqiri's link up play.
      • Yes, I agree the way the players have been changing so fluidly in midfield has been vital to our success. I can think of only one or two instances this season where the midfield mix hasn't worked for one reason or another.
    • We have a completely different mindset now compared to years ago, similar to the fergie era, never give up and don't panic. There's so much confidence in this team now that I haven't felt nervous I certainly this season going into a game and we're just getting better and better by the week. Klopp has done an amazing job since he came in, he had all the player's and supporters believing and that's what he said we need to do 3 years ago, believe. I think of we beat city we win the lge, even a draw, I know we can afford to lose as well but like you say, we win and what a statement to send out. I feel we'll at worst draw and that could very well be enough to win the title please god.
      • I don't think we're far enough ahead yet to say we couldn't fall victim to a comeback from City or Spurs but we're certainly on the right track at the moment. I couldn't see us reeling in City's goal difference but we managed to do it so anything is possible. After playing City we have United, Spurs and Chelsea left to play - that's just 4 matches left in the league that involve 'big' clubs. As long as we keep getting results against the sub-top six clubs, as we have been doing, it would appear we're probably past the worst with regard to league fixtures. There's definately cause for cautious optimism.
        • I think we'll beat Chelsea, spurs will be tough and united have the wind in their sails but still think we'll beat them. I think we'll draw at city so it's pretty much in our hands I feel, we need to have a major collapse to lose it now and I simply can't see that happening at this moment in time.
  • Don't know about you guy's but i'm starting to get really excited about this season, early day's i know but it's a 9 point gap now going into the new year, how good does that sound!
    • It will still be a 4 point gap even if we lose at City. That was a terrific response to going behind. We were a bit sloppy at times in mid-field today, especially early on, but going forward we were irresistible. Shaqiri definitely adds something to our attacking play. We were able to take it easy in the second half which was good with the City game coming up on Thursday.
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