Liverpool Swansea Preview

The Reds lost for the first time under new boss Jürgen Klopp after a 1-2 defeat against Crystal Palace on November eighth. However, Liverpool bounced back with a masterclass performance against Manchester City, winning four one at the Etihad Stadium. (Mangala OG, Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Martin Skrtel with the goals.)

Meanwhile, Swansea drew 2-2 against newly promoted side Bournemouth at the Liberty Stadium

Match Facts:
Liverpool have won five and lost none of the last seven meetings with Swansea City in all competitions.

Swansea have won just one of their last seven Premier League away matches (W1 D2 L4).

Liverpool have won eleven and lost none of their fourteen league meetings with Swansea at Anfield.

Coutinho has scored four goals in his last three league outings, the same total he managed in his previous thirty matches.

I think Liverpool can get all three points against Swansea this weekend. Confidence is high in the camp, as Liverpool progressed into the last 32 of the Europa League, after a two one win at Anfield against Bordeaux on Thursday night. James Milner and Christian Benteke with the goals. Liverpool looked sharp and performed well.

The Reds have a good record at Anfield against Swansea and with the Swans without a win in three Premier League games, I can only see a home win. Gary Monk and his Swansea side are under a lot of pressure, and a defeat at Anfield could be Monk’s last game in charge of the Swans.

Regarding team selection: Jürgen Klopp will be without the suspended Lucas Leiva, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester City.

I think Klopp will start Joe Allen alongside Emre Can holding midfield, with James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Phillipe Coutinho behind Christan Benteke.

Injury news: Daniel Sturridge missed the game on Thursday night due to a foot injury, he’ll undergo a scan before the weekend. Phillipe Coutinho picked up a slight hamstring injury against Manchester City and missed the game against Bordeaux, he will also have a late scan before the weekend, but reports suggest he should be fit to play.

Last corresponding meeting:

Liverpool 4-1 Swansea. (Moreno, Lallana x2, Shelvey OG). Gylfi Sigurdsson got the only goal for the Swans.

Form guide:
Liverpool’s current form: DDDWLW
Swansea’s current form: DLWLLD

Fancy a bet? To score and win:
Coutinho @ 5/2
Firmino @ 9/4
Via Sky Bet.

Predicted line up: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Allen, Can, Milner, Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke.

My prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Swansea.

Written by @dug_8

The Curious Case Of Dejan Lovren

I can remember the excitement distinctly when it was announced that Liverpool had signed Dejan Lovren for £20 million. Cries of celebration for in many fans eyes Liverpool now had a proven Centre Back of a high quality, 2 years on it certainly doesn’t seem like it, does it?

He started his Liverpool career with a bang, scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Borussia Dortmund in a friendly at Anfield. The passion fans had for him was almost immediately felt and Anfield could not wait to see the big man in action that season. However Lovren far from shone in a Liverpool shirt at first and soon a bad start became a terrible year for the Croatian and it now looks like a terrible year has become almost permanent. So what happened to the man many clubs were chasing following a heroic season with Southampton? When did he become such a liability? So nervous?

Lovren slips putting Bolaise through on goal

It would seem that a player can not simply lose all his ability over the course of a season but rather that it is in fact just a drop, no matter how long for, in form. In actual fact Lovren has only made thirty-one appearances for Liverpool in his time with the club and apart from maybe when he first arrived, he hasn’t been given much of a run in the team to adjust and prove himself. As much as I love Sakho his injury could be somewhat a good thing, at least for Lovren anyway, as he now has an almost certain first team position secured for the next 6 weeks which gives him the chance to repair his reputation at Anfield. He did not stand out as being great against City but mistakes on his part were kept to a minimum and I think he carried out his duty in defence well enough, although I think it’s fair to say that Sktrel was the main man in defence in that match.

I still believe Dejan can become a success at Liverpool. Klopp himself has recently jumped in to defend the Croatian against criticism saying,

“I saw his first game for Liverpool – it was against Dortmund when we lost by four. He was brilliant on that day. I’d heard not the best things about him since but during my time here he’s looked strong and everything is OK.”

I think Klopp’s right in saying this, Lovren has looked somewhat improved under his management already. A change in management probably suits Lovren as it gives him a fresh start. He hasn’t been great this season but he’s only featured 8 times in the league remember, and we wouldn’t expect any other players to adjust to quickly? So why do we assume that Lovren should just fit into the team perfectly?

Klopp embracing Lovren

I don’t think much has happened in terms of his quality. In fact I think at times it is mainly down to the way fans and pundits talk about him, analysing seemingly every single error he makes, no matter how small. Yes Lovren did not start well at Liverpool but the situation was made a million times worse by the criticism he came under by even his own fans. Now fans seem to hate him completely. Blaming him for every mistake made in defence.

In all honesty I still find it hard to understand the hatred felt for Lovren, despite his poor performances. He gives his all throughout every single minute on the pitch and loves the club with a passion. Even when he’s not on the field and Liverpool score he still celebrates like he’s part of that starting eleven. He played well on Sunday and I’m sure that will give him some much needed confidence for going into the next few games. He loves playing for us and wants to prove what he can offer but that’s made difficult when even your own fans put you down.

Written by @lfcfan00

Unforgivable

Simon Mignolet, Simon Fucking Mignolet. What a clown. He was the luckiest man on Anfield pitch tonight. What was he thinking holding onto the ball and not releasing it from his hands in the allocated time he can hold onto it for. Thankfully for him James Milner and Christan Benteke came to his rescue. I’m flabbergasted that a professional football player could have made such a goal buy error. Releasing the ball on time is goalkeeping one oh one. But thankfully for Liverpool his error this time didn’t cost them the victory. Oh and of course Bordeaux scored from the resulting indirect free kick.

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While the  back pages tomorrow will be full of the Simom Mignolet mistake and the fact that Liverpool went through to the final thirty two of the Europa League, for me the papers should be full of the performance of Jordan Ibe. He was arguably the man of the match for me. Everything he did was positive. His movement going forward, his tracking back, his movement off and all the ball was very mature tonight. He’s finally showing the potential from last season, you know the potential us fans knew he had, the potential that would see him come out of the shadows of Raheem Sterling.

As I said above, Liverpool’s blushes were spared by two quick goals, James Milner got the first from the penalty spot after Christan Benteke was fouled in the box. To me it was a soft penalty,  the ball into Benteke was going no where and he wasn’t getting anywhere near it. Then Benteke got an absolute belter of a goal as met a Nataniel Clyne cross and buried it into the back of the Bordeaux net as the first half came to a close. This was an important goal for Liverpool in more ways than one. It showed that under Jürgen Klopp Liverpool have the ability to come back from being behind, even when they’re not playing that well and tonight Bentekes goal took the wind out of the Bordeaux sails.

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Even though over all in the second half they had all the possession they were lucky not to lose the game by more, after Benteke had goals ruled out for off side and for a foul in the box. Bordeaux only had one threatening piece of play and that was from a free kick after a silly Dejan Lovren foul (Both him and Lucas were back to their normal selves tonight.) Thankfully for Liverpool, Simon Mignolet did the simple thing right and saved the ball.

Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp will breath a collective sigh of relief that they qualified for the next round of the Europa League and that they have European football to look forward to in the New Year. Also none of the players picked up any injuries during the match. And I’m refusing to speak about the injury picked up before the match by the glass man. All in all it was a decent performance from the team. Some players did themselves proud and others, well let’s just say others showed that they’re just not good enough for Liverpool.

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Onwards and upwards now to Sundays game at Anfield against Swansea. Let’s just hope that Liverpool can do something they haven’t done in the last few outings and that’s win a game after playing European football.

Liverpool v Bordeaux: Match Preview

Liverpool tackle Bordeaux on Thursday night in their fifth Europa League game this season. Last time out Liverpool were still managed by Brendan Rodgers and the scoreline 1-1 but tonight the Reds will be hoping for a win which would see them qualify for the knock out stages of the tournament with a game to spare.
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Despite a setback against Crystal Palace, Liverpool have been enjoying some great form recently. Last game the reds defeated then league leaders Manchester City 4-1 away in a dominant performance but Jürgen Klopp’s side has yet to show the same form at home. At the minute for Liverpool it doesn’t seem like the next match can come fast enough and the fans will fully be expecting another win tonight. Watching Liverpool under Klopp has been exciting, eventful and enjoyable as Liverpool take control of games and press highly when they lose the ball.

Bordeaux haven’t been very impressive this season, sitting only 13th in Ligue 1. They have been poor in the Europa Leauge as well and are yet to win a game the competition. Bordeaux are in desperate need of a win tonight and if they fail will find themselves on the verge of elimination. It looks unlikely that Bordeaux will win with both team’s recent form and will need to produce something special on the night to overcome Liverpool.
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In terms of injuries there is no need to remind you of Liverpool’s big injury list although Phillipe Coutinho now looks set to join the likes of Jordan Henderson on the sidelines for this match. Daniel Sturridge may make his first appearance under Klopp as he returns from injury however I’d be surprised if he features unless Liverpool are in desperate need of a goal. As for Bordeaux they have been hit with a wave of injuries recently. Defenders Nicolas Pallois and Pablo, midfielder Gregory Sertic and striker Thomas Toure have all been ruled out for this tie. Tunisian international Wahbi Khazri is also unavailable after being suspended following a red card in the defeat to FC Sion.

With Coutinho injured all eyes will be on Firmino to come up with the goods on the night. Himself and Coutinho were involved together in three of Liverpool’s four goals at the weekend and with Phillipe out injured, Firmino will have to take charge. Of course he’ll have Ibe and Benteke to support him and make runs but he may find himself isolated in that number ten role at times.
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I think Liverpool will win this match against a side who they really are expected to beat. The reds have been in fine form under their new manager and come into the match off the back of a 4-1 demolishing of Man City. Now the team have the job of transferring these results back to Anfield and they will be watched on by many eager fans wanting a win, who I don’t believe will be disappointed.

Predicted XI:

Bogdan Clyne Skrtel Lovren Moreno Allen Lucas Can Ibe Firmino Benteke

Prediction: 3-0 Liverpool

Written by @lfcfan00

The Importance Of Daniel Sturridge

How important is Daniel Sturridge to this current Liverpool FC squad? There has been debate amongst fans recently as to whether the club should keep him or cash in. Although I feel this is just reactionary frustration to his recent injuries. There is no doubting the quality of Daniel Sturridge, the issue has been his fitness and ability to put a run of games together. Therefore an argument is created; Is a so called ‘fragile’ striker on high wages worth having at the club?

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This argument is strengthened when you consider the recent performances from Liverpool FC, beating both Manchester City and Chelsea away impressively. The emerging Brazilian connection between Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino has flourished in recent weeks. Adam Lallana has been mightily impressive also. Generally, Liverpool’s attacking play has been technical and threatening. However, I believe popular opinion amongst fans would suggest that Daniel Sturridge would greatly enhance the clubs attacking firepower.

Daniel Sturridge has scored thirty seven Premier League goals in fifty eight games for Liverpool FC. This statistic really speaks for itself and places Sturridge in an elite band of Premier League strikers. In fact he has a higher goals to games ratio than previous stars, Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres. It is not only goals which Daniel Sturridge provides, Liverpool look a more potent and dangerous side when he is in the team. His off the ball movement, technical ability and football intelligence is outstanding. He is a player you can rely on to provide moments of brilliance and generally make positive impacts wherever he is on the pitch. He showed in the 2013/2014 season that pressing is part of his game and his versatility suits Jürgen Klopp’s adaptable systems.

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However, according to statistics from Transfermarkt.co.uk (2015), Daniel Sturridge has missed a staggering sixty seven games for Liverpool. He is in his fourth season now and this statistic is alarming. The amount of injuries has raised concern amongst fans as to his ability to consistently deliver for Liverpool. He seems to pick up regular knocks and unfortunately does not seem to shake off minor injuries very quickly. This was evident recently when a clash with Jordan Ibe in training sidelined him for a month, when initially it was thought he would only be missing for one game.

Jürgen Klopp has stated in the last few days that Liverpool cannot keep Sturridge ‘wrapped in cotton wool forever’. I believe this means that Klopp aims to cautiously push Sturridge into first team action. Klopp is a methodical thinker and a highly intelligent manager – he will have a development plan for Sturridge. In my opinion, it is just a matter of staying patient and leaving it to both the medical and coaching professionals at the club.

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Elite strikers are scarce in global football at the moment and a player with the overall attributes and character of Daniel Strurridge is going to be hard to find. I would say he is currently irreplaceable and that Liverpool fans should be patient with his injuries and remember his significant impact to the team.

Written by Ben Wade

Twitter: @brwade123

References:

http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk – Accessed 22/11/2015 at 21.20

What it is like to be a Liverpool Fan

It is no secret that we are not the most loved fans in the country. It only takes asking a few opposition fans about their opinions of us and they are either neutral or full of dislike. Below are 14 things of what it is like to be a Liverpool fan.

1. You dream day and night about winning the Premier League title.

Whilst it hurts when oppositions fans claim that we shall never win the Premier League title, we do dream about this constantly every day. Nothing would make us happier than seeing the reds lift the title at Anfield. We refuse to believe otherwise that this day may not happen even though at present the odds are stacked against us.

2. You understand that history is now irrelevant but still use it.

We are known to constantly regurgitate our successful history to any football fan that tries to offend us and although you know very well that history counts for nothing in the present day, you still use it as a defensive mechanism to get people off your back. Unfortunately, it only adds to the stigma of an average ‘Liverpool Fan’.

3. You either really wanted Rafa back or you didn’t.

This point is probably more relevant to the Brendan Rodgers era, but if you had asked any Liverpool fan back then if they would take back Rafa Benitez you would have either got an enthusiastic description of what his return would mean or an in-depth analysis of why he should return to Anfield. The truth of the matter is there is no right answer to the question if he should go back to Liverpool. The man is at Real Madrid now after all.

4. You have probably sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” randomly.

So you’ve gone out with your friends and had a good few drinks… next minute you find yourself singing the famous Anfield anthem for no apparent reason. Or you sing it in the shower. Do not deny it. And when you hear it at Anfield you sing it off tune at the top of your voice.

5. You have become embroiled in a Twitter/Facebook argument.

There are n**heads out there and you should probably just ignore them. 99% of the time you do but there is always one either on Twitter or Facebook who shows no true knowledge of Liverpool Football Club and you find yourself in an argument for at least an hour defending your points.

6. You think you can manage the club better than the current manager.

We can sometimes be fickle can’t we? As soon as Liverpool start going on a bad run of results we become expert managers or… worse again pundits. ‘WHY THE HELL IS ALLEN STARTING? HE WOULDN’T EVEN MAKE MY RESERVE TEAM’ ‘AT THIS RATE WE WILL FINISH 16TH” “BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER LOANING OUT MARKOVIC. HE WOULD BE IN MY FIRST 11 EVERY WEEKEND”.

We get the drift.

7. You really want to give Mignolet a good shake and tell him to man up.

Now and again there are times when Mignolet saves the game for Liverpool and then there are those shaky moments where you just want to walk on to the pitch and tell him to grow a pair!

8. You still think about the 2013/14 season.

Regardless of the fact that Manchester City won the league that season by winning the most points. It bugs the hell out of you how good we were and you know for a fact that season should have been ours. You know it, pundits know it and every opposition fan in the world knows it. It hurts you every time you remind yourself of the downfall.

9. That slip still haunts you…

Yes, the slip. You know what I mean when I say the slip. And it hurts like hell. Let’s leave it at that, please.

10. Losing ruins your week.

Every time Liverpool lose it ruins your week. You have to go into work on Monday and face the music and you absolutely hate it. Nothing can alter your mood but by Wednesday you are back to normal. You, of course, pretend not to care to others and keep a smile on your face whilst thinking of a plan for Jürgen Klopp to bring back the glory days.

11. But at the same time when Liverpool win you feel like God.

When we win of course you enter work with swagger and confidence like that scene out of the Wolf On Wall Street. You know the scene, it’s been used as a GIF a million times, yes that feeling. No one can bring down your mood is in the clouds and if anyone asks about the game you downplay the result but add in a few key points about players and the tactics deployed.

12. Losing is bad but losing to Manchester United brings you down to a whole new level.

‘Do not talk to me. Do not go anywhere near me. Do not touch me. I am not interested. I just want a drink’.

Yeah. that.

13. You’ve lied in an important job interview about who you support.

Have you ever gone to a really important job interview. You desperately want the job and the topic goes to football and you feel like you have to lie? Just in case they hate Liverpool? Shameful right?

14. Your opinion is ‘we are Liverpool’ and we do not care.

Regardless of what anyone thinks about the club you love it and you would not trade it for any club in the world.

Is there anything else you think typifies being a Liverpool fan? If so please comment.

Written by @DCHartMedia – give him follow and join the debate.

Danny Ings

Danny Ings arrived at Liverpool as a young prospect during the Summer from relegated Burnley, with a few fans weary of whether Brendan Rodgers had gotten this one right or not. He is a young talent and was still unproven at the top but took little time to reassure the faithful of his worth.

He scored his first goal of the preseason against Adelaide United. A cool finish, sliding it under the approaching keeper. An early glimpse of his potential.

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Ings, who came to Liverpool FC with eleven goals for a struggling Burnley in the 2014/2015 season, spent a few games of the 2015/2016 season anxiously sitting on the bench.

He came on to save Liverpool from what could have easily been a loss against Norwich. The number twenty eight replaced another promising Summer purchase in Christen Benteke and took little time to score his debut goal.

He went on to score a further two goals in seven appearances. This may not sound like much, but for a new young striker who came with a mere eleven goals in the previous season, this looked promising.

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Of all the recognized strikers of last season, Daniel Sturridge scored the most with a mere five goals. Thus three goals in seven appearances came as a relief for Liverpool fans.

He was just starting to gain his confidence and the confidence of the Liverpool faithful, when his England first team call up left him with a season ending ACL injury.

Since his injury Liverpool have struggled to score as freely recording numerous 1-1 results and rarely breaking the one goal barrier. To be fair Benteke was injured but his return brought less joy then hoped for with a single goal.

Ings is a completely different player to Benteke. Ings is quick and nimble compared to a bigger and stronger Benteke. Ings in many ways can be compared to Sturridge, who when fit has been prolific for Liverpool, which leads to thoughts that if Ings was fit Liverpool would benefit highly.

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With new reports and rumors about the purchase of Alexandre Pato, many are left wondering why there would be interest. With promising young strikers in Sheyi Ojo and Jerome Sinclair backing Ings and Benteke and, when fit, Sturridge, it leaves you wondering whether the transfer committee sees this potential.

Many will be desperate for Ings to return. His positivity and enthusiasm will be a great boost to the team and his talent will surely bring success.

Written by @CStephenson_9