Match Preview GW 8
After a nervous Champions League victory in mid-week, the Reds turn their focus to Leicester at the weekend. The Salzburg game was a throwback to Liverpool teams of old, which is coincidental. Rodgers returning to Anfield for the first time since he departed will be the main story on Saturday as they take the field.
Klopp’s men will have to raise their game if they want to continue their winning streak as the Foxes are one of their toughest opponents this season. Their young, burgeoning, midfield coupled with their ability to score goals makes it a tasty affair for neutrals. The new gaffer has taken spare parts and organized them into a real team. They do have their weaknesses that I believe Liverpool can exploit.
Rodgers was never known to sit back and defend, and I expect it to be no different here. This should open space behind the midfield and allow Bobby to drop into slots and wreck havoc. This can only occur if the midfield wins the battle in the center of the park and supplies the passes. At our fluid best, we could rip this team apart, but be aware, the slightest misstep and they will put their few chances away.
Word on the Street
Across the Fence
One issue that seems to always split fans, is the take on Brendan Rodgers’s time at the helm. While many feel he helped make us what we are today, others see his time as less pleasant. Numerous failed transfers and constant cup upsets plagued his 3 1/2 seasons with us. He did, however, manage to bring us on the very cusp of glory under the dynamic duo of SAS.
While most of his failures were down to the lack of defensive stability, he didn’t do much to fix the issue. Instead, he chose to use what was at his disposal to counteract the flaws. Score more than we let in was his philosophy, and with Suarez and Sturridge in red hot form, it worked more times than not. Unfortunately, when it failed, it failed hard, remember Gerrard’s last game or Crystal Palace after our Chelsea loss? You simply cannot win titles without a complete team, but boy did he get close.
One cannot deny that he brought a feeling back to Anfield that had been lost for some time. Because of this, I believe he played a key piece in propelling us to the heights we are at today. His predecessors King Kenny and Roy Hodgson left the club at the lowest point in our illustrious history. He was handed an awful team and made the best lemonade he could and you have to respect that. He was never the manager to lead us to glory but he was essential to getting us into place.
The Salzburg Affair
Many supporters were in sour moods after giving up a 3 goal lead to Salzburg at home on Wednesday. Social media exploded with people hitting the panic button and pointing the finger at individual players. Joe Gomez came under considerable scrutiny for his poor performance, as well as our midfield. Personally, I think we’ve been spoiled recently and forget that these things happen.
First off, Gomez is only 22 years old. Sometimes we think these games are like FIFA 20 and these players are avatars on a console. These boys are human, and many are still just young men. Virgil, who also did not have the greatest game, was only starting his career at Celtic at 22. Give the kid a break, it’s only his second 90 mins in a long time. At this point last year we were saying VVD and Gomez were the best CB pairing in the league. All he needs is time to return to form.
The other reason not to jump ship is that we got the three points. After a lapse in judgement we turned on the after burners and scored almost at will. Team’s of our recent past would never have escaped with three points there and we have to admire that. Some tweets claimed the fear of Anfield took a blow at the worse possible time, but I see it differently. We showed teams that, even if you score three, we will beat you. That, for me, is scarier than anything we could have done to Salzburg.
Concur and Conquer
The FA reached a verdict on Liverpool’s punishment for fielding an ineligible player in the Carabao Cup’s third round. News dropped earlier this week that we would not, in fact, be expelled from the tournament. The decision was strictly a financial punishment of £200,000, with half of that being suspended until the end of the season. Fans are quite pleased with the outcome as being removed from a cup run is not ideal.
The final, being in January, is perfectly situated to be a fantastic catalyst to finishing the season strong. If we can remain in the tournament until the end and win it, I’d put money on us winning the league. The trophy would come on the heels of the most arduous time in the season’s calendar. A period of time in which many teams are in burn out mode, especially if they’re also embroiled in two additional cups and a title race. The trophy can be a real shot of adrenaline, so it’s great that we can remain involved.
Liverpool fans everywhere rejoiced after Jurgen Klopp revealed that Ali could make a comeback at the weekend. In his press conference ahead of Leicester City, the gaffer hinted that we could see a possible return to the side for our #1. After suffering an injury halfway through the first league game of the season, he will be dying to get back in the action.
Despite lacking the world’s best between the sticks, supporters have been pleased with the contributions Adrian has made in his absence. He has been the most reliable backup we have had in a long time, and arguably better than some of our past #1’s. He has seen us only lose one game, away to Napoli in the Champions League and taken maximum points in everything else.
Even with Adrian’s performances, there’s a certain defensive culpability during games. We’ve only managed 2 clean sheets with him in the team, and have even conceded to lower teams like Newcastle. Fans cannot deny that he has made some world class saves to keep us in games, but I think we would all feel more comfortable seeing Alisson back. It is nice to know that we can give Ali a break when he needs one, with confidence in his replacement. Just another reason to love Klopp and the team he has built.
What do you think? Let me know. Have your say below.