Red Trenches: Match Day 32

Match Preview GW 32

The Red Army marches on is the battle cry from Klopp in the press conference on Friday.  The Reds come up against European chasing Tottenham in what promises to be a tantalizing match-up. Judging by social media platforms, the outlook is extremely positive. Most fans noted the unwavering nonchalant-ness of Klopp’s press conference comments.  Fans also stated that fortress Anfield will be a difficult place for Spurs to play given our run over the last two seasons.

Klopp’s men come closer to being fully fit in the nick on time and this has given a huge positive boost to supporters.  Gauging the mood, it’s evident that the title race has gotten us Koppites excited and the international break did nothing but increase the restlessness for us to get back to the goals and the “W”s.  Across Twitter, pleas for attending fans to treat each of the final 7 Premier League games like cup finals are being shared like wildfire.  Plans to begin with a cup final-esc coach bus welcoming to get the mood right are making rounds on all platforms. It should be a cracker on Sunday.

Consideration of Travel

Both teams have something to play for, so a huge key to the game is which has recovered faster from their international responsibilities.  SkySports shared an interesting stat on Facebook which compared the mileage traveled by both teams during the break.  Tottenham had 16 players called to duty and logged 61,883 miles collectively.  The Men in Red had 13 players report for duty who logged 33,972 miles collectively.  A difference of around 30,000 fewer miles by Liverpool. Whether this is something to take note on is up for discussion.

For a complete match preview, see Hooch’s article Liverpool v s Tottenham Hotspurs

Word on the Street

Unified Outlooks

     It appears everyone is in agreement that Sadio Mané should not be sold under any circumstances. Recent comments from inside the LFC camp stating no bid will be accepted by the back office were applauded. Confidence in the backroom staff and the amazing job Michael Edwards has done, is at an all-time high at the moment.  Scrolling Twitter, it’s obvious we believe in the system. This asset is something we haven’t had in the last decade and is extremely refreshing for long time Liverpool fans.

Speaking of Edwards, it looks like he’s in the process of generating another masterclass transfer deal.  While Dejan Lovren has been a dividing player among fans since arriving in 2014, shipping him to a Serie A team for a reported $30 million seems to be a universally welcomed strategy.  Coupled with the rumors that only a third of that may be used in a steal for 21 year old Croatian Ben Godfrey, and you’ve got a lot of fans mouthwatering for the transfer market season (AFTER we battle for a couple trophies of course).

Dividing Stances

Fitness Levels Rising

To play Gomez or not, that is the question that has been causing some hostility in the ranks.  On one side of the issue, the desire to get him some minutes in the match on Sunday.  Those in favor, comment on the fact that his partnership with Virgil Van Dyke was the strongest centre-back partnership this season.  Supporters can’t wait until his name appears next to Virg’s in the line-ups, given the urgency of the situation.

The other side of the coin probably has the stronger argument of the two though.  Fans state two major factors that back their stance with a ginger approach to reintroduction. The first is that Matip has earned his place and Gomez has to usurp him by proving his fitness. The second is all about conservation.  With 7 important games in the league and another run of Champions League playoffs, it’s important to make sure he’s 100% before he’s unchained.

In With the Old, Out With the New?

Keita or Coutinho? While Keita hasn’t hit the heights promised at Anfield, neither has Coutinho for Barcelona. Keita was bought in hopes to fill the gap left by want-away Phil in the summer of 2017.  He was loaned back to RB Leipzig and joined LFC this summer.  Fans on the Guinean’s side feel he hasn’t been given an incredible amount of time, and we’ve seen flashes of him at his best.  While his inconsistencies have concerned some, it must be noted that some players need time to flourish at a new club, in a new country.  Watching interviews it’s clear that Keita is a player that needs a bit of coddling to be comfortable enough to perform.  However, this is a Liverpool in a title race and a UCL push, time is not to be wasted.

Those in the Brazilian camp point to the fact that Coutinho has already proven himself in the red jersey. Many would welcome him back with open arms and be right to do so.  The drawback to this is that buying him back would be a double whammy for the club. Written into the sale to Barcelona, a rumored $18 million game threshold bonus would be lost.  We would then have to purchase him back from the Catalonian giants.  In an era of smart decisions and shrewd transfer tactics, it’s a move that would shock a lot of fans.  Regardless, if he returns and starts where he left off, no one would care how much we paid for him.

What do you think? Let me know.  Have your say and comment below!