Huytonian's Posts (15)

CHELSEA, 14-08-19, EUROPEAN SUPER CUP, ISTANBUL

Not sure how much most supporters care about this one but having unluckily lost to City on penalties in the Communiity Shield I feel it would be a moral booster to get a win here and claim another trophy.  With Chelsea losing 4-0 to United on Sunday Liverpool will be strong favourites.  However, I watched the first hour of that game and Chelsea played quite well and were unlucky not to go into half time ahead.  Having said that Zouma had a nightmare and if he plays tomorrow I'm sure we will be looking to exploit his area of the pitch.  Lampard has his team playing out from the back and they are suseptable to being closed down by any well organised press, so if we get that part of our game right it should bring chances.  As far as the team is concerned I would like to see Matip get a game even though I see Gomez as a starter for league games.  I would also like to see Keita start to add a bit of attacking dynamism to midfield.  Mane should replace Origi though no doubt Divock will get time as a sub.

I am not expecting a walk over but I do expect Liverpool to win.

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CHELSEA, 14-08-19, EUROPEAN SUPER CUP, ISTANBUL

Not sure how much most supporters care about this one but having unluckily lost to City on penalties in the Communiity Shield I feel it would be a moral booster to get a win here and claim another trophy.  With Chelsea losing 4-0 to United on Sunday Liverpool will be strong favourites.  However, I watched the first hour of that game and Chelsea played quite well and were unlucky not to go into half time ahead.  Having said that Zouma had a nightmare and if he plays tomorrow I'm sure we will be looking to exploit his area of the pitch.  Lampard has his team playing out from the back and they are suseptable to being closed down by any well organised press, so if we get that part of our game right it should bring chances.  As far as the team is concerned I would like to see Matip get a game even though I see Gomez as a starter for league games.  I would also like to see Keita start to add a bit of attacking dynamism to midfield.  Mane should replace Origi though no doubt Divock will get time as a sub.

I am not expecting a walk over but I do expect Liverpool to win.

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CHELSEA, 14-08-19, EUROPEAN SUPER CUP, ISTANBUL

Not sure how much most supporters care about this one but having unluckily lost to City on penalties in the Communiity Shield I feel it would be a moral booster to get a win here and claim another trophy.  With Chelsea losing 4-0 to United on Sunday Liverpool will be strong favourites.  However, I watched the first hour of that game and Chelsea played quite well and were unlucky not to go into half time ahead.  Having said that Zouma had a nightmare and if he plays tomorrow I'm sure we will be looking to exploit his area of the pitch.  Lampard has his team playing out from the back and they are suseptable to being closed down by any well organised press, so if we get that part of our game right it should bring chances.  As far as the team is concerned I would like to see Matip get a game even though I see Gomez as a starter for league games.  I would also like to see Keita start to add a bit of attacking dynamism to midfield.  Mane should replace Origi though no doubt Divock will get time as a sub.

I am not expecting a walk over but I do expect Liverpool to win.

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LIVERPOOL'S PRE-SEASON MATCHES

Judging by the lack of comments on the Tranmere game blog I thought I would post a general blog so Kopfans can comment on all the pre-season games which are coming thick and fast, starting with Bradford City tomorrow.  I don't know much about Bradford but surely they must give Liverpool a harder game than Tranmere did.  Although more players are back in training the new arrivals will not be considered for Bradford, though Lovren who has trained for a few days should get a game.  Otherwise the first and second half teams should be similar to Tranmere though Klpp may choose to swap the line-ups around a bit.  A similar performance to Tranmere would be welcome as would a good attendance since the match is raising money for sufferers of motor neurone disease, an awful condition that has sadly struck our former player and former Bradford skipper Stephen Darby.

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LIVERPOOL'S PRE-SEASON MATCHES

Judging by the lack of comments on the Tranmere game blog I thought I would post a general blog so Kopfans can comment on all the pre-season games which are coming thick and fast, starting with Bradford City tomorrow.  I don't know much about Bradford but surely they must give Liverpool a harder game than Tranmere did.  Although more players are back in training the new arrivals will not be considered for Bradford, though Lovren who has trained for a few days should get a game.  Otherwise the first and second half teams should be similar to Tranmere though Klpp may choose to swap the line-ups around a bit.  A similar performance to Tranmere would be welcome as would a good attendance since the match is raising money for sufferers of motor neurone disease, an awful condition that has sadly struck our former player and former Bradford skipper Stephen Darby.

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The new season is almost upon us and is no less welcome for the fact that football never actually went away over the summer.  Liverpool are yet to sign any senior players and this gives a chance for the youngsters to make a case for their involvement.  Personally, I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of signings so far and was expecting at least a left back and a versatile forward by now.  We can't afford to stand still while others strengthen.  The injuries to Keita, Shaqiri and Kellaher are also disappointing.

The first few pre-season games are more about fitness than team rhythm for the senior players but the youngsters will be keen to impress.  I am looking forward to seeing Brewster and Ven den berg in particular.  It will also be interesting to see if Kent or Wilson can impress sufficiently to play a part in the coming season.

I won't put a predicted team here as I expect all those who began training on Saturday plus possibly Origi to get time on the pitch at some stage.  Tranmere have done well to recover from relegation into the Conference with successive promotions to reach League 1 so they will provide useful opposition.  The result isn't too important but staying injury free would be relief.

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Burnley, 10-03-19, PL (H)

As this one is getting close I thought I would initiate the discussion.  With City winning this evening and going 4 points clear we need to win to keep them in sight.  Burnley can be tricky opponents especially at Turf Moor but Liverpool should be too strong for them at Anfield.  Burnley are still in relegation trouble despite having had a decent run and some good results such as beating Spurs but they have been inconsistent. Dyche's teams are usually well organised so patience may be needed to break them down.  Klopp may have half an eye on the line-up for Wednesday against Bayern but I wouldn't change the back 5 or the front 3.  That just leaves the midfield.  It may be time to give Fabinho a rest and to bring in either Keita or Shaqiri.  I think the line-up may be as follows:

Alisson

Alexander-Arnold, Matip, VVD, Robertson

Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita

Salah, Firmino, Mane

We were poor at Goodison last week and didn't take our chances but we have had a week to prepare for this one and hopefully there will be a much better performance.

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CARDIFF CITY, 27-10-18, PL (H)

What has happened to our master poster Warrior?  There's been nothing from him since Harry Wilson's goal sunk Ireland 10 days ago!  So it looks like I'll have to step in again.  It would not surprise me if Klopp plays the same team as against Red Star.  He doesn't have to save players for mid-week as we have no game until Saturday.   However he may want to give Joe Gomez a rest and may not want to play Fabinho twice in a few days with him still reaching match fitness.  So my predicted team is:

Alisson

Trent, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson

MilnerWijnaldum

Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane

Salah

Cardiff had a good win last week and will no doubt pose a physical challenge but we should be too good for them and I predict 3-0.

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RED STAR BELGRADE, 24-10-18, CL, (H)

After the last minute defeat at Napoli this is a must win game as will be the corresponding away game in Belgrade.  I would expect a strong team as Red Star are in good form barring their capitulation in Paris.  With our current lack of offensive form we may have to be patient and cannot expect to roll over opponents like we did at times last season.  Having said that I'm confident we will re-find the goal scoring touch before too long.  As far as the team is concerned Henderson and Keita are out.  As so often happens our injuries have come in the same area of the pitch.  My team would be as follows:

Allison

Trent, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson

Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri

Salah, Firmino, Mane

This team should carry enough attacking threat to see off Red Star and I would predict a scoreline of 2-0.

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HUDDERSFIELD, 20-10-18, (A), PL

Nobody seemed interested in posting a pre-match blog on this game but now its taken place a few may wish to comment.  I thought it was our worst domestic performance of the season (Napoli was worse) and we were fortunatee to come away with the points.  Huddersfield fought really hard, which ws predicatable, and played rather well, which wasn't, but even so we should have cntrolled the game much better.  Some of our play in the final third was really sloppy and the decision making was often poor,  The goal, whuch was a brilliant move and finish, was in total contrast to much of the rest of our play.  Having said that, Salah, though not back to his best, was more of a threat than of late and Shaqiri had some good moments, while the back four were solid enough despite a few nervy moments.  Let's hope Mane is bck for Red Star as we missed his unpredictability.

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LIVERPOOL'S PRE-SEASON GAMES

With Liverpool kicking off their pre-season yesterday with a 7-0 win over 6th tier Chester I thought I would post a pre-season thread, though at some stage when we come up against more serious opposition someone (Warrior?) may wish to start a blog around a particular game.  The first half team had a bit of a struggle to find any rhythm.  Harry Wilson's two goals were well taken and his movement was good.  Curtis Jones was impressive and payed a lovely pass for Wilson's second.  Fabinho hit the post but was a bit hit and miss.  Clyne and Gomez looked to be back to full fitness which was good news.

The second half team played a lot better though Chester were tiring by then and used several second string substitutes.  Sturridge looked sharp but there again he often starts pre-season like that before picking up another injury.  I was impressed by Naby Keita who looks a player who will fit well into Klopp's systems.  

These games are little more than glorified training sessions for the experienced players but for the youngsters and the new players they are a chance to catch the manager's eye.  I think Wilson. Jones and Keita will have impressed him.

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WORLD CUP

I thought I would add a World Cup thread to the site so we can comment on the action and in particular on the performance of those Liverpool players who are participating and those with whom we are linked.  So far it has been an enjoyable competition with some stunning goals and at least one brilliant game,Spain v Prtugal (or should that be Spain v Ronaldo)  I thought Lovren had a very solid first game for Croatia though Nigeria were poor and hardly tested him.  Henderson continued his good club form against Tunisia and has hopefully cemented his place in the England team,ahead of the more defensively mnded Dier. Stirling was very frustrating in that game as were Lingard and Alli.  There was lots of good build up play but you wonder if anyone other than Harry Kane is ever likely to score.

England's win should ensure they progress from the group but some of the fancied nations have a lot to do including surprisingly Germany.  I missed the first half of their game but I gather Mexico were brilliant for 45 minutes.  They certainly defended well in second half and could be the surprise package..  Brazil also struggled against Switzerland after Coutinho's trademark strike.  I was watching Shakheri with whom we have been linked.  I think he's too lazy to play for Liverpool even though he is talented.  He worked a bit harder than usual in that game but Klopp would not tolerte a player who ambles back after possession has been lost.

I'm totally confused about VAR.  I though it was working reasonably well until the England match.  In the previous game Sweden were correctly awarded a penalty through VAR but VAR failed to give England two penalties that were blatent and I am at a loss as to why.  

There is strong Liverpool interest today with Mane and Salah likely to feature for Senegal and Egypt.  Let's hope they perform well and stay free of injury.  There is a possibility of England meeting Sengal if both teams progress to the first knock out round.

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4th PLACE?

We can all agree that City have the title wrapped up bar a highly unlikely total implosion.  So who will fill the other 3 CL positions?  Even though Arsenal are 8 points behind 4th place at the moment I'm including them.  They generally finish the season strongly.  All 5 of the candidates have shown signs of weakness recently so it's very debatable which 3 will join City in the CL  next season.  Her's my assessment for what it is worth:

MAN UNITED - They have spent a lot of money recently and have brought in a class player in Sanchez though judging by his performance against Spurs he may take time to settle and United may take time to get the best out of him.  However it is their back 4 that is their weak link.  The reason they do not concede many is that they are usually well protected by Matic or Herrera in midfield and time after time they get out of jail thanks to the brilliance of DeGea.  Despite a dismal performance against Spurs I think they will make top 4 but an injury to DeGea would really hit them.

SPURS - To me they are the best all round team apart from City.  They have a decent keeper, a solid defence, a workmanlke midfield with Eriksen and Ali to give a bit of flair and of course Harry Kane to score their goals.  An injury to Kane would deal a major blow to them but he generally stays pretty fit.  With a fit Kane they should make the top 4.

ARSENAL - I think this Club is in a bit of trouble.  They have been too loyal to Wenger and although capable of outstanding performances they can also be pretty incipid.  They have brought in Hendrik (can't spell his second name!) from United and Ambamayang from Dortmund but have lost their main man Sanchez plus Walcot and Giroud.  Ambamayang may come good but overall I suspect the loss of Sanchez will outweigh any gains.  Where they needed to strengthen was their defence which is poor but they haven't done so.  8 points is a lot to make up and it will be hard for them to catch two of their rivals which they must do to get top 4.

CHELSEA - After last season I thought they were certainties for top 4 and with Morata slipping easily into Costa's role early season it seemed they were possibly well set to challenge City.  However, Morata has lost form and they now rely almost totally on Hazard to get them through matches.  An injury to him would be  a real blow to their chances.  I think teams have worked out their 3-5-1-1 formation and they don't look as solid at the back as last season.  They do however have an excellent keeper even if he did let one through his legs against Bournemouth.  With the likelihood that Conte will be off in the summer there is a danger of the team drifting through the second half of the season though they still have some excellent players and I wouldn't expect many repeats of their Bournemouth disaster.

LIVERPOOL - We all know Liverpool's good and bad areas.  Brilliant at times going forward even without Coutinho but not the best at breaking down park the bus teams.  A hard working midfield but one that lacks creativity without Coutinho and also one that often fails to give adequate protection to the back 4.  A back 4 that tends to panic when things go wrong.  A lack of a top class goalkeeper.  Van Dijl should improve the back 4 but it could take him time to integrate while Karius must improve on what we have seen of him so far. 

If I was to look objectively at the 5 clubs above I would have to say that Liverpool and Arsenal will miss out but a lot depends on injuries.  If Liverpool can keep the front 3 fit and Salah and Firmino keep scoring then there is no reason why we should not have Chamion's League football next season.

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WEST BROM 27-1-18 (H) FAC

As no one wlse has started this game's blog and it's tomorrow I thought I would get it rollling.  The importance of this game has increased since the poor defeat at Swansea.  Its vital that we don't go into a slump and that we can look back on Sansea as a one off bad night.  It's also our best chance of silverware this season so even though a few changes are expected a strong team is important.  West Brom may be in the relegation zone but like the Swans thay have improved recently and they already have a draw at Anfield to boost their confidence.  All in all we can expect a close game but with the Reds players keen to put Monday behind them I would expect a much improved performance.

As far as the team is concerned we know Henderson, Lovren, Sturridge and Moreno are available while Lallana, Klavan and Milner are out.  Some rotation will be in order given we meet Huddersfield away on Tuesday but hopefully not too much.  The team may look like this:

Mignolet

Alexander-Arnold     Lovren    Van Dijk    Moreno

Ox-Chamberlain    Can   Henderson

Salah    Sturridge    Mane

Harry Wison and Ben Woodburn are training with the First Team and I would expect them to be on the bench.  It would be good to see one or both of them come on in the second half if we are comfortable (which admittedly is a big if).  We don't know what sort of team the Baggies will put out but we can guess that their tactics will not be a million miles away from Swansea's so it will be a test to see if we have learnt anything from Monday.  A bit more speed of  passing and agression early one would be welcome.  One thing is for certain - neither team will want a replay so if the game is level on 75 minutes it may open up for the last 15 or so.  I'm predicting a Liverpool win but by a narrow margin.

(Jamie - I'm hoping this goes into Match Blogs but I'm not sure how to do that so apologies if I get it wrong)

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Tommy Lawrence RIP

Very sorry to hear former Liverpool goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence had died aged 77.  He was a key member of Shankly's great 1960's team and his claim to fame was that he was the first sweeper-keeper.  Shankly encouraged him to come out of his box to tidy up opposition attacks which made a lot of sense as that team played a very high defensive line and could sometimes be caught square.  Not all fans rated him highly and Shankly was rumoured to want to replace him with Gordon Banks at one stage but that never happened.  My memory is of a reliable if rarely spectacular keeper who never let us down in big matches.  His best save that I remember was in the penultimate game of  the 1963-4 season at home to Arsenal when we needed to win to claim the title.  We raced into a 2-0 lead but then Ron Yeats handled in the box.  George Eastham stepped up and hit his shot into the corner but Tommy dived to his right showing an agility some suspected he lacked and made a brilliant stop.  Arsenal heads went down and we won the game 5-0.  I was right behind the Anfield Road goal and it was an absolutely brilliant save. Most of the members of that great team are in their late 70's or early 80's now so a loss comes as little surprise but it is always sad to lose one of your own and Tommy was someone for whom fans from that era will look back with affection.

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