Red Trenches Match Day 6

Match Preview GW 6

     Despite dropping the opening Champions League game away in Italy, Liverpool still sit atop our perch, perfect in the premier league.  In order to continue that run we need to take care of business against a young team who can threaten any team on their day.  

    Their young attack, bolstered by the return of some key members from injury, may prove to be our toughest test yet.  The feat is doubled by what Manchester City showed this morning against a pitiful Watford and the fact that it’s at the Bridge.  Both teams played their top eleven mid-week away so neither have much of an advantage in that regard. It’s also important to note that one of their bright stars this season, Mason Mount , took a knock in the mid-week game but did return to training yesterday. 

     As always, if we play the way we have been, we should send a shiver down the spine of those in pursuit of us.  It will take nothing short of our best to prevent Chelsea from ending our winning streak for the second year running. 

Word on the Street

Across the Fence

No Vacation in Naples

     The dropped points in Champions League Group E leave us in 3rd after game week 1.  Many fans took to social media to belly ache about how important that loss was to our chances of going to a third consecutive final.  With Salzburg putting 6 past Genk, the group may be tougher than some envisioned when it was drawn.  Those in panic mode are worried about goal difference being the factor in making this another game week 6 must win scenario.  Hopefully I can help dispel some of those fears here.

     This was our toughest game of the group, a venue we lost in last year as well.  Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe we won number 6 in June.  Our next three are Salzburg at home, Genk Away, and Genk at home.  Provided we dispatch these two teams with the confidence we felt when they were drawn with us, we will have 9 points before Napoli return to Anfield in November.  If Napoli do the same, the last two games will only be determining who finishes top of the group. 

     It is much too early to be fretting over the loss so I’m glad there are plenty of other level headed Reds bringing peace back to the ranks.  Keep fighting the good fight! However, games are played during the 90 minutes between the whistles so we will have to do the work then.  No one will make a title defense easy for us.  

Oh Andy Andy!

     Andy Robertson was at the center of controversy in the 2-0 loss to Napoli.  Robertson was adjudged to have committed the softest foul in the history of the competition inside the box.  Replays showed Callejon diving after Robertson throws a toe into the ball as the winger attacked the box.  Many hoped VAR would overturn the decision but it was not to be. 

     Unfortunately, fans attacked Robbo via social media after the game.  It was so severe, the right-back decided to disable his account. Obviously, these fans didn’t watch the game or the replay for that matter.  It appears they simply saw he committed the foul and shot their bullshit from behind the safety of their keyboards.  The words I have for the fans who dug into our Scottish Roberto Carlos, would get me jailed in most countries so I will leave you with this:  If you were one of these nobheads that partook in shaking our right-back you need to find another team to support. 

     Not only was the penalty clearly the wrong call, or that this game is not preventing us from advancing.  You can even put aside the fact that this kid gives the team 110% every game.  The biggest disaster this could cause is a selection crisis.  If they shake Robbo, we don’t have another solid RB option!  How stupid could you be?  I’ll end here or this piece will be forty pages long.         

Concur and Conquer

Naby Ready

     It’s not that our midfield has been awful this year, but on the offensive side, they’ve lacked the creativity to really turn the screws in games.  It has to be said though, Klopp has played fluidly with his midfield line-ups and maybe the consistency issue is what’s holding them back.  With news that Naby Keita has returned to full training with the team, mouths are watering on Mersey-side. 

   The man has yet to make a real impact as his tenure in Liverpool has been marred by injury set-backs. Glimpses at the end of last season are fresh in the hopeful minds of supporters, however.  All of us are hoping he’s the missing link to our offensive pressure and are desperate to get him back into the side. 

    Klopp, though, will be cautiously optimistic and likely hold him back until he’s 120% fit before unleashing him on opponents.  It’s unlikely we will see him tomorrow but there’s a reason I’m day-drinking in my living room watching Netflix while blogging and Klopp is making millions at the helm of Europe’s best club so who knows.  Regardless, Reds are ecstatic to have him back in the group. 

Kill the Away Jinx

     At the Friday press conference, Jurgen Klopp was made aware of a troubling statistic.  Since we won 2-1 away at Stamford Bridge in 2016, we’ve won just one of the last twelve away matches against top six sides.  We’ve went 1-6-5 since then, a stat we will have to change in order to consistently challenge. To put it into perspective Man City have won 7 in that period, which makes sense, but Palace have won 5. 

     Luckily for us worry worts,  Klopp was confident in his answer to the reporter, saying “This isn’t good news obviously, but I don’t feel it, so give it a try.” His approach to every challenge always gives me confidence.  The never say die, anything is possible style he has instilled is infectious.  When you constantly deliver (think Dortmund 2016, Barcelona 2019), it’s hard not to see why it sticks.

     If there was ever a time for us to begin to change the narrative, it would be now.  With the first five games under our belt, and the premier league winning record in our sights the mood is right.  Of course, we should remember that Chelsea away did end our winning streak in GW 7 last season.  In addition, if it wasn’t for late, off the bench, heroics from Sturridge, they would have beaten us.  However, Scousers can sleep a bit easier tonight knowing that it really was the Eden Hazard show in that match.  Fingers crossed our number hasn’t been bequeathed to Abraham, who has started the season so well.     

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