We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

About the blog

Welcome to We Go Again - Liverpool Reds, a blog about Liverpool Football Club with a Swedish perspective written in English. My name is Leif Larsson and I am a Swede living in Sweden. I have been a Liverpool supporter for over 40 years. I will write about all kinds of things that concerns Liverpool FC. Sometimes I will hand out praise, other times it will be the opposite. I will continuously add different categories to the blog.

Write to me on this e-mail address: wegoagain.reds@gmail.com

Pride, Europa League, Stevie and Sterling

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sun, May 24, 2015 14:33:31

Last fixture of the Premier League is here and Liverpool players have four things to play for. Show pride and dignity towards the Liverbird on their chest, secure a Europa League place next campaign, give captain Steven Gerrard a winning send-off and create platform to build on ahead of next season.

Liverpool failed to win Gerrard´s last game at Anfield and must make amends now when we soon take on midtable Stoke at the Britannia. He is worth a victory in his last showing in Liverpool colours. It would be a pity if he and his colleagues would come unstuck in his last two games.

To lose the final two matches of the season doesn´t bode well for the future. If that happens then we really have let the season fizzle out in a lamentable way. It´s always better to end on a happy note so memories of defeat doesn´t linger on. Liverpool has in fact lost the two final games just on three occasions during the Premier League era. That´s enough.

A win is of course the aim today and could be necessary to secure an Europa League spot. But a defeat can also be enough. There are a lot of variables to consider. Teams that end up in 5th, 6th and 7th position qualify for Europa League if Aston Villa loses to Arsenal in the FA Cup final. If Villa wins then only the teams in 5th and 6th place qualifies for EL, then together with Aston Villa.

Liverpool is in a good position to make it. We are on 62 points in 5th place, one point ahead of Tottenham in 6th and two points better off than Southampton in 7th. We have a better goal-difference than Tottenham but worse than Southampton. So to avoid 7th place we need to finish on the same points tally as Tottenham or one point ahead of Southampton. If Tottenham and Southampton wins then we must beat Stoke to keep both rivals below us. A draw means that Liverpool drops to 7th place. But even that can be enough since it´s more likely Arsenal lifts the FA Cup than Aston Villa. It´s also odds-on that both Tottenham and Southampton are unable to pick up wins. They have tough away games at Everton and Manchester City respectively.

In some quarters Europa League is something to shun. The opinion being it takes focus off the league and a worthless thing to win. I beg to differ. Every tournament is worth triumph in and EL even more so nowadays when the winner qualifies for the Champions League the following season. And if Liverpool is aiming to be one of the big boys again then we must cope with a lot of fixtures. That is what big teams do. Europa League, along with the domestic cups, provide perfect opportunities for youngsters and fringe players to get experience and game-time. It´s no use playing 13-14 players in the league, having the rest of the squad warming the bench and being rusty when called upon. More matches developes the squad in a lot of ways.

Finally my take on the Raheem Sterling saga. It seems certain now that Sterling really wants to quit Anfield. If we keep him then we have an unhappy and disgruntled player on our books. Such a figure can both upset the dressing-room and is not likely to perform to the best of his ability.

If we force him to stay then he is likely to warm the bench or underperform. This will make his market value will drop alarmingly. At the moment we can probably get at least £ 40 m for him. So there is no point keeping him and paying wages to a player who isn´t pulling his weight and just waiting to get away.

And I can´t understand why Liverpool is so eager to make him stay. He is nowhere near a top class player. Somehow he has obtained a reputation with others and a high opinion with himself which in no way correlate with his actual ability. Perhaps he can be a top player in the future but right now he has got pace but not so much more. His shooting and finishing is laughable, his first touch average at best, his game intelligence mediocre and his decision making (dribbles too much) poor. He promised a lot when playing with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez but this season on his own, so to speak, he has never been near the level he seemed to have aquired. Sterling is just a promising kid but Liverpool is in no shortage of them. These guys could easily be as good as Sterling, if not better: Jordon Ibe, Jerome Sinclair, Harry Wilson, Joao Carlos Teixeira and Sheyi Ojo. So we don´t need the ego of Sterling in our ranks. Sell him ASAP and collect maximum fee while it´s possible.

This is team I would select for our last league game of the season (in a 4-4-2 diamond formation):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Javier Manquillo. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Emre Can. RM: Steven Gerrard. LM: Jordan Henderson. AM: Philippe Coutinho. RF: Jordon Ibe. LF: Adam Lallana.

Manquillo should get a game to prove he is not forgotten. Can must be given a chance to make the DM position his own. He is a bit to naive, yet anyway, to be a defender. Joe Allen and Lazar Markovic are not better than the players I have picked so they end up on the bench.

A few players are on the way out and therefore no point in playing them. Players like Glen Johnson, Kolo Toure, Lucas Leiva, Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini, Rickie Lambert and Raheem Sterling.

So now this pretty dull season ends but it´ll soon be forgotten and in a couple of months it´s time to clear the throats and roar:

We Go Again.



Gerrard first, game second

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sat, May 16, 2015 12:45:44

Well, we have now reached the time when it´s only hours away before Steven Gerrard takes his last shots, passes and steps as a Liverpool player at Anfield. The match against Crystal Palace this evening will be all about his farewell to his home crowd and the small matter of three Premier League points.

Football is a team game with winning as the prime objective. But from time to time actual matches plays second fiddle to something else. The Liverpool vs Crystal Palace game is such an event. How can it not be? Because when one of Liverpool all-time greats is due to play his final home game in a red shirt everything else seems trivial.

A possible win against a mid-table side with hardly any bearing on league placings is not going to raise nowhere near the emotions our iconic captain´s good-bye will create. I can already sense how emotional everybody will be, me included. In fact when I think of him leaving for good a tear appears in the corner of my eye. I guess it will plenty more of that in eight or nine hours from now. Okay, Gerrard has got one more game to go after the encounter today, Stoke away, but this match feels like the real bye-bye, ciao, au revoir and adios.

But it´s also a competitive match to be played and Stevie is determined to conclude his Anfield connection with a win. But Palace will be geared up, they don´t want to be called unprofessional for giving Gerrard, and Liverpool, an easy and pleasant ride in his last home match. So they will fight for every ball and make it difficult for the Reds.

Hopefully the home team realizes the responsibilty they´ve got and work their socks off to give Gerrard the appropiate send-off. He has had some bad moments in recent times, a happy occurrence is long overdue.

Crystal Palace has lost four league matches on the trot while Liverpool has picked themselves up after som indifferent results. So form is pointing to a home victory, so are statistics. The teams has met quite often in cup competitions in the last 20 years with a mixed outcome. But when it comes to Anfield league matches the Reds are superior. The last five games has ended in four home wins and a draw.

This is the Red team I would field to grab a historical win:

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Emre Can. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Lucas Leiva. RM: Steven Gerrard. LM: Jordan Henderson. AM: Philippe Coutinho. RF: Raheem Sterling. LF: Adam Lallana.

Nothing more to do than keep our fingers crossed, the handkerchiefs close by and hopes for the future intact. I´m sure that even after Steven Gerrard has gone it will be possible to say:

We Go Again.



Give us some hope for the future

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Fri, May 08, 2015 08:48:48

Liverpool has got a very important assignment on Sunday. It reads: Beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and thereby give yourself and the fans belief that we can compete with the best come August.

Some still believe that Liverpool has a chance to finish fourth and qualify for Champions League next season. I´m not among them. With three games to go we are four points behind Manchester United in fourth. Theoretically it´s doable, we can leapfrog them, but it won´t happen, not even if we down Chelsea.

But even so, a win against this season´s champions is essential because there is always next season. If the Reds grab a victory in London then a statement is made: We are capable of beating the best team in England on their own turf, watch us go next campaign.

After last season´s slip-up versus Chelsea at home, which cost us the title, we have an obligation to put one over the Blues and claim some revenge even if we no longer can make them miss out on the Premier League trophy. Especially Steven Gerrard should be eager to atone for his devastating error in the game versus Chelsea at Anfield last season.

The Liverpool vs Chelsea fixture is always a tense one. It´s like a derby. The teams hate to lose to each other and always gives everything to win. Just because of that it´ll be a game well worth watching.

The best thing we now can hope for is for Liverpool to end up in a final 5th position. A new rule states that the losing finalists in the FA Cup won´t get a Europa League place, as was the case in the past. So if Aston Villa goes down to Arsenal on 30th of May the teams in 5th, 6th and 7th place in Premier League will qualify for Europa League. So even if Liverpool want to avoid the EL it will be difficult to do so and virtually impossible if Arsenal wins the FA Cup.

Hopefully we can end the season with three straight wins and build a mental platform to have in the back of our minds when the next season kicks off in August.

This is the team I hope starts against Chelsea (in a 4-4-2 diamond formation):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Glen Johnson. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Lucas Leiva. CM: Steven Gerrard. CM: Jordan Henderson. AM: Philippe Coutinho. RF: Jordon Ibe. LF: Adam Lallana.

Perhaps Javier Manquillo should get a chance at rightback, Emre Can or Joe Allen in midfield and Mario Balotelli, Lazar Markovic, Raheem Sterling, Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini in attack. But I think the eleven I picked is the best to cope with Chelsea this time when:

We Go Again.



Time to blood youngsters

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sat, May 02, 2015 09:32:13

Last season Liverpool had no European football to deal with. We fought for the title and ended up in second place. Should we make sure to drop enough points now in the four remaining league matches to finish in seventh place and be without the European games next season and then perhaps once more be in a title fight? If so, then we should let strugglers QPR beat us at Anfield today. Sadly it´s not as easy as that to get into a battle for the major silverware.

A reigning opinion among some managers and so called experts is that Liverpool managed a title push last season because we had a lot fewer matches than the opponents and therefore could rest more and always be fresh in the league. Another common point of view is that the title assault was due to a certain guy called Luis Suarez and I am inclined to agree more with that. So even if Liverpool would lack European commitment next campaign there is no guarantee that we will be among the teams gunning for the Premier League trophy.

To be able to end our 26 year title drought we need two or three super signings in the summer, especially a striker who can score 30 goals, keep himself injury-free and create a lot on his own. There aren´t many of those players around, but that is what we need. Without such an acquisition Liverpool can forget about another tilt at the biggest domestic prize. The current crop of players aren´t good enough to overcome all the other big guns in the same season, maybe one, perhaps two, but not all four of them. I am of course talking about Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal. But with a Suarez kind of player it´s possible to get near, and even beyond, we saw that last season.

If Liverpool against the odds succeed to lure one or two superstars to Anfield then a schedule without European games would benefit a title charge. The problem is no top players want to sign for a club which has finished seventh and because of that appear to be far from qualifying for the Champions League in the near future. Furthermore, Europe League isn´t anything top players are intrigued by - should we finish 5th or 6th.

So Liverpool is in a fix. If we finish in seventh place, outisde European places, we have to make do with the current squad next season and perhaps some new names, but not of star quality. But perhaps we have a better chance to reach top four than if we finish fifth and must engage in Europa League. But a fifth position can possible make quality players at least think about coming to Anfield since we almost made it to the CL positions and obviously have the potential to do so.

I guess the best thing is to let things take care of themselves and always try to win the match in front of you. As the Reds should do today. QPR is currently in 19th place, four points behind Leicester in 17th, just above the relegation zone. The Londoners must grab about eight points in their last four fixtures to avoid the drop. So they will give everything to win at L4.

Liverpool has missed out on every target this season, top four finish was the last one to vanish, and appears to be really downhearted. The only thing we can hope for this afternoon is that our quality will shine through and give us a narrow win versus QPR. A 1-0 home victory has been the result at Anfield in the last three meetings with QPR. I could live with another one.

Now that the season has petered out it could be time for some new names to get their chance. I would line-up like this today (in a 4-4-2 diamond formation):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Javier Manquillo. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Emre Can. RM: Cameron Brannagan. LM: Adam Lallana. AM: Philippe Coutinho. CF: Samed Yesil. CF: Jordon Ibe.

Cameron Brannagan has been in the squad a couple of times and it´s time to give him a chance to start. He will be 19 in a week´s time and a debut in a red shirt would be the perfect birthday gift. Samed Yesil has been plagued by injuries for a long time but is now back scoring goals in the U21 team. It would be interesting to see if the 20 year-old striker, soon 21, can be more lethal than his misfiring teammates.

As you can see I would bench Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Lazar Markovic, Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli. None of them has lived up to required standard this season. They must realize that a place in a Liverpool team is not a God given thing, it´s something you have to fight for like mad - everyday. Just one more thing:

We Go Again.



I´m prepared for a dull Hull showing

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Tue, April 28, 2015 10:37:26

What if…is the reigning feeling right now. What if Liverpool had been able to beat West Bromwich on Saturday and then managed to down Hull in Hull tonight. Well, then it really would have been a dogfight for fourth place since Manchester United lost two games on the trot. They have collected 65 points and if Liverpool had won the two mentioned games we would have been hot on United´s heels, just two points behind with four games to go. Now, even if we defeat Hull, and that´s a big if, the margin will be four points, a substantially much more difficult gap to close with just four fixtures left.

It would have taken just one ball into the West Brom net to make the rest of the season interesting. But it wasn´t to be, now it takes some kind of miracle for us to pass our arch rivals in the table and grab fourth.

So the match versus the Tigers is all about showing professionalism and perform well. But Hull won´t roll over and die, on the contrary, they will fight for their lives since their Premier League existence is in jeopardy. They are at the moment just one point above the dreaded relegation zone. After recently just collecting two points in six matches Hull dropped into the stay-up battle but in the last game a welcome away victory kept them just above the bottom three.

The Hull-Liverpool fixture is a rare one. The teams has met just 13 times in the league through the years. Six of those matches were played out in the second tier in the fifties. The last seven is Premier League matches since the 2008/09 season. Liverpool has a strong upper hand winning eight of the 13 clashes losing just one - but the defeat came in our last visit to the KC Stadium. Hull beat us 3-1 in December 2013. Liverpool took revenge on New Years Day, 2-0, but the first encounter this season ended in a dull 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Hull has in fact just lost once in the last four league meetings. Time to give them a spanking again like Liverpool did in September 2009 winning 6-1. Okay, 6-1 is too much to ask but a decent display by Liverpool and a win is long overdue. I will be utterly disappointed if once again fail to show pride, guts and grit and some fine football.

This is my team tonight (in a 4-3-3 formation):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Glen Johnson. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Emre Can. RM: Steven Gerrard. LM: Adam Lallana. RF: Jordon Ibe. CF: Mario Balotelli. LF: Philippe Coutinho.

I don´t fancy Can as an outright fullback hence Johnson and Moreno inte line-up. Jordan Henderson has been tired in recent games and needs a rest. Gerrard has not played well this season but because of his his great long-serving effort he deserves a lot of game time in his final few matches for the Reds. Raheem Sterling is very selfish in normal circumstances, even more right now, perhaps he wants to show how clever he is in order to get a transfer to one of the Spanish big boys. Whatever the reason, he should be benched and at the same time Balotelli is worth the chance to start two games on the spin. He is not a good option, but the best we have.

I am prepared for another lacklustre showing and a win would be a pleasant surprise as:

We Go Again.



Beat West Brom and grab tiny chance

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sat, April 25, 2015 11:10:50

Just a tiny, tiny chance to reach top four is what remains for Liverpool as the Premier League season is nearing it´s conclusion. The Reds are seven points behind Manchester City in fourth but we have a game in hand. Liverpool will probabaly need to win the final six games, or at least collect 16 points, to have chance to leapfrog City. For starters we must beat West Bromwich away today.

When Liverpool limped out of the FA Cup a week ago the season quickly whittled down to hardly any importance. Just an almost hopeless fight to land in a Champions League spot remains. And it will take a remarkably bad run-in for Man City for us to have chance to catch them. Okay, they are a bit out of form but their programme is not too tough and three of their fixtures are at home and at Etihad City seldom drop points. If Liverpool manage to amass 16 points, five wins and one draw, then City need just nine points to land ahead of us. Their superior goal-difference will in that case be the deciding factor.

But for us to grab 16 points, with our performance versus Aston Villa in mind, is not likely. At the same time it´s quite probable that City pick up more than nine points. So in reality our only aim is to be professional, play with pride and end well as a stepping stone for next season.

The match against West Brom will be another tough test, just as every game in the division. The Baggies are currently in 13th place with 36 points, a tally that more often than not is enough to stay up. In fact West Brom landed safe last season on 36 points, three above the relegation zone. So they don´t need to play with desperation against Liverpool and that should mean an easier proposition for the Reds. Not much, but a little. Hopefully West Brom is a bit cautious and not so aggressive, letting us play. Apparently Liverpool need that extra second to be able to create effective attacking play.

Statistics predicts an even battle. In the last nine league games the teams have four wins apiece. At The Hawthorns Liverpool has never won with Brendan Rodgers at the helm. One defeat and a draw last season is the record. This time a victory is a must otherwise the slim hope of top four evaporate into thin air and a scramble for Europa League places beckons instead.

After the rotten display against Aston Villa Liverpool owe the fans an excellent and dominant performance today. A two goal win is minimum requirement to wipe out some of the gloom from last Sunday.

This is the team I would pick for the 33rd league game (in a 4-3-3 system):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Glen Johnson. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Emre Can. RM: Jordan Henderson. LM: Adam Lallana. RF: Jordon Ibe. CF: Raheem Sterling. LF: Philippe Coutinho.

The 3-4-3 system is not working right now and should be scrapped for the rest of the campaign. Neither Johnson nor Moreno has been playing particularly well but are our best options at fullback. Lovren is hardly better than Kolo Toure at the moment but I still believe the Croat can be a stable defender. He needs playtime to prove it.

In midfield Joe Allen needs a rest. Lucas is injured and perhaps Lallana is not fit enough to start, then Steven Gerrard should step in. He was awful against Aston Villa and seem to have lost all inspiration. But he can hardly play as badly again.

The front line of Ibe, Sterling, Coutinho is the best we can field. Daniel Sturridge is out injured and even if he was fit his current form doesn´t warrant a starting place. Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini is not good enough for Liverpool and there is no point playing them as they probably will be shipped out in the summer.

A game away to West Brom is nothing to get the blood rush in normal circumstances, even less now. But I will be watching and hoping for a nice showing as:

We Go Again.



6-1, 7-7 and 2-1 must be bettered

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sun, April 19, 2015 13:26:21

The cryptic headline sums up the previous meetings between Liverpool and Aston Villa in the FA Cup. The semifinal at Wembley today must be won by Liverpool to avoid having a bad-ish season.

Liverpool and Aston Villa has a habit of performing well in domestic cups. Both teams have won the FA Cup seven times, hence the 7-7 figure in the headline. But while Liverpool grabbed the trophy quite recently, in 2006, Aston Villa´s latest triumph came 58 years ago, in 1957.

Both clubs has also been successful in the League Cup with the Reds winning it a record eight times and Villa claiming five victories.

What about the figures 6-1 and 2-1 in the headline then? The first is the number of times the teams has met in the FA Cup and showing a massive advantage for Liverpool eliminating Villa six times. The teams has never faced each other in the final but on three occasions in the semis and that is what the 2-1 figure stands for. Villains won the first meeting in 1897 and Liverpool triumped in 1914 and 1996. This is in other words the fourth time they clash in the semifinal.

Liverpool is labelled favourite ahead of the match but even if we are ten places above Aston Villa in the Premier League table and has collected 25 points more it´s gonna be a tight contest. This type of game invariably is. A recent evidence came yesterday when PL top team Arsenal needed extra-time, and a goalkeeper blunder, to beat Championship side Reading. The match at Wembley this afternoon will probably also be decided by the odd goal, perhaps in extra-time or it could even go to a penalty shoot-out. Everyone expecting an easy Liverpool victory might think again.

The outcome, though, is depending a lot on how Liverpool perform. If we can play with a high tempo and pass the ball well then we should create enough to score. But at the same time we must be alert and resolute in defence and above all not let Villa forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor counter-attack and Christian Benteke outmuscle us. These two are Villa´s key players, if we keep them quiet then a major step towards victory is taken.

Our major figure is playmaker Philippe Coutinho. If he can hit top form and find openings, in a way just he can, then we are on the road to another Wembley appearance. Aston Villa will do everything to shut him down so other Liverpool players must work hard to make sure Coutinho gets on the ball as often as possible, and in dangerous positions.

Other important components is to win the ball early and our pressing game must be implemented from the off. Villa must be made to feel uncomfortable and under siege. Furthermore defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva must be on his ball-winning best, attacker Raheem Sterling alert and full of running, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet assured and as lightning quick as he has been for a few months now.

If Steven Gerrard starts, as the rumours say he will, he must keep his head and not be over-charged as he was when coming on against Manchester United and in the process getting sent-off. He is desperate for some final glory in his Liverpool career but to achieve it he need to be as calm as he almost always is. Mentally that is, physically he must give 100 percent and dictate the game. After resting for a few weks he should be up for it. Gerrard likes to play against Aston Villa, he has scored 13 goals against them in his career and that is more than against any other team. Why not add a couple more today.

Silverware is hardly coming Liverpool´s way everyday, not even every season, so this is a chance we must grab with both hands and feet. If Liverpool lose to Aston Villa then this season is another crappy one. We are out of the top four fight, in all likelihood anyway, and the FA Cup is the only way to salvage something from this campaign. So the game versus Villa is simply one we have to win. I think we will scrape through in the end to set us up for a dream final versus Arsenal on the 30th of May.

This is the guys I trust to do the business today (in a 3-4-3 formation):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Emre Can. CB: Martin Skrtel. LB: Dejan Lovren. RWB: Glen Johnson. DM: Lucas Leiva. CM: Jordan Henderson. LWB: Alberto Moreno. RF: Fabio Borini. CF: Raheem Sterling. LF: Philippe Coutinho.

Skrtel has been suspended but should come into the team straightaway. He is our best central defender. And when he is back we could revert to a back three after being forced to play with a back four in a few games due to the absence of key figures. Glen Johnson has been playing quite well and since he is a bit of a defensive liability and having his best qualities in attack a position as right wing back should suit him. In central midfield Joe Allen has been poor lately and should be benched and I don´t think Gerrard is ready to start.

Jordon Ibe is cup-tied so Fabio Borini should get another chance. I would place Sterling centrally in the three man forward line and Coutinho to the left. Lately Sterling has been playing to the left which doesn´t suit him and even if Coutinho had a blinder in his last game as a false nine I am sure that his best position is on the left cutting in and using his lethal right foot for passing or shooting. As for Daniel Sturridge he is is said to be a doubt for the match but if he is fit he should start ahead of Borini.

I am a bit nervous about how Liverpool will perform. But if we take command directly then I think it will end well. Let´s keep our fingers crossed as:

We Go Again.



Reds must continue to beat Newcastle

PreviewPosted by Leif Larsson Mon, April 13, 2015 17:19:44

If Liverpool beat Newcastle at Anfield tonight then we are just four points behind Manchester City in fourth place. It could mean even more pressure on a derailed City side in the race for Champions League places. And Liverpool should beat Newcastle, we have an overwhelming record against the Magpies at L4. The Reds have clocked up 19 league matches without defeat, claiming 16 wins and three draws.

For some time Manchester United and Arsenal appeared to be the teams to pass to reach top four. Now it seems that reigning champions Manchester City is the team we should aim to leapfrog. They went down yesterday and have lost three out of the last four. Man City looks depressed after failing to get into the title race and is there for the taking. But Liverpool has got to do their part to climb up to fourth. Starting tonight when a team completely out of form visits. Newcastle has four straight losses in the league and Liverpool must make it five.

The Reds need to recapture the form that ensured a sequence of 13 undefeated league matches. After that we lost to Man Utd and Arsenal and seemed to be out of the battle for fourth. But a win versus Newcastle would put us right into it again.

Liverpool is a better team than Newcastle both in defence and going forward and everything but a victory is a failure. Okay, we have to do without Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli but should cope anyhow. Good news is that Jordon Ibe could feature tonight after recovering from injury quicker than expected. He might be our trump card.

Hopefully Liverpool manage to focus on the league and forget that a FA Cup semifinal looms on the horizon. Not everything is lost in the league and the Reds must prove to be good professionals and put Newcastle to the sword tonight. A bright, optimistic start full of running is a wish. Last season we almost always scored early in games and could relax. About time we did it again.

This is the team I want to see tonight (in a 4-3-3 formation):

GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Glen Johnson. CB: Emre Can. CB: Kolo Toure. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Lucas Leiva. RM: Jordan Henderson. LM: Joe Allen. RF: Fabio Borini. CF: Raheem Sterling. LF: Philippe Coutinho.

I think Can is available again and he and Toure should start leaving the shaky Dejan Lovren on the bench. Moreno has been out of form lately but I guess Jon Flanagan isn´t ready for comebck yet. In midfield our options are limited so Lucas, Hendo and Allen must continue. Daniel Sturridge has performed quite bad lately and it´s time to give livewire Borini another chance. If Ibe is fully fit then he should go straight into the team.

I expect Liverpool to dominate and win comfortably by two or three goals. As we often do against Newcastle. A win sets us up for more of:

We Go Again.



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