|DATE||Sunday 30th March 2014|
Tottenham travel to Liverpool to face
one of the form teams in the Premier League. With the strike
partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the goal threat is
one which will test the resoluteness of the Spurs back four, with
other areas of the team needing to show some steel to keep the Reds
Spurs could be without Emmanuel Adebayor, but if replaced by Roberto Soldado, there would only be one striker playing, which would give the home team scope to push their full backs on. While the 4-2-3-1 formation might make the side look more solid, by inviting Liverpool to enter the Spurs half, they have the players and movement to unpick our defence, with the midfielders needing to put in good shifts up and down the pitch to make sure that the ball does not keep coming straight back when it is cleared.
Strangely, The Liverpool defence has looked vulnerable and any team that concedes three against Cardiff can’t have a great back four. Mignolet had a very good season last time out, but, this season, he has not been at his best, but as always, we need to put keepers under pressure by getting shots on target. It showed what happens when you do that when we got back to 3-2 against Southampton. Skrtel and Agger are the main central defensive pairing, with Skrtel being a liability, as he shirt-pulls and loses concentration, but Agger is a steadier presence. Mamadou Sakho is a strong central defender, who has been sparingly, but did feature in their last game against Sunderland, while Martin Kelly was a bright prospect, although he has slipped back in the reckoning since Rodgers took over as manager.
The full backs had an easy time in the game at the Lane, but Glen Johnson and John Flanagan need to be run at to put them on the back foot, The fact that we were down to ten men helped Flanagan get up to score, so Tottenham need to ensure that he doesn’t get that far forward again. Aly Sissoko is another option at right back for Liverpool, with Jose Enrique out injured long term and veteran own goal scorer Kolo Toure available to cover in the middle of defence.
While the two strikers are grabbing all the glory with the large number of goals taking them to the top of the goal-scorers’ chart, there is little in reserve for Liverpool in that part of the side. Borini is on loan at Sunderland, Adam Morgan has been sold and Iago Aspas has not proven the inspired buy that Rodgers had hoped. This leaves a large burden of back-up goal-scoring to the midfield. Steven Gerrard gets his share, but mainly through penalties and free-kicks these days, as his legs are going, but Jordan Henderson has pushed further forward to get in the box more and is contributing goals to add to his game, which has improved since his move from Sunderland.
Raheem Sterling has been phased into the side and has responded with some good displays, especially against Spurs earlier this season, when he ran Naughton ragged. He still sometimes lacks the killer pass with his final ball, but he has had a few assists this season to add to his goal tally. Philippe Coutinho has the ability to take people on and slip passes through to the front two, so is a player who can be elusive and will need picking up and team-mate Joe Allen has a similar ability, but he has not been as much of a mainstay in the side compared to when he was at Swansea.
It would not be a surprise if Sherwood put Bentaleb in the midfield three, but his inexperience has been exposed against the top teams and a more pragmatic and play players with more top class quality, while giving the youngster a much needed rest.
The way Liverpool are playing and the fact that they have handed out big defeats to other top six sides (and Manchester United), the result will probably go their way, even if Tottenham manage to cut out the mistakes which have seen us concede in recent weeks.
|PREDICTION||Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
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|LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS :|
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Liverpool 4 (0) Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday 30th March 2014 Kick off 16:00
Kaboul (o.g.) 2
Kaboul (foul on Sturridge) 33
Sigurdsson (foul on Coutinho) 46
|Crowd : 44,762||Weather : Sunny, warm|
|Referee : Phil Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Ledger; Mr. M. Mullarkey|
|Fourth Official : Howard Webb||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Kop end in the first half.|
|Game time : 90 + 4 minutes.|
|Liverpool :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
GERRARD (c) (21
Aaron LENNON (17 Andros TOWNSEND
|Manager : Brendan Rodgers||Manager : Tim Sherwood|
|Sponsor : Seeing Is Believing||Shirt sponsor : Hewlett Packard|
|Kit Supplier : Warrior||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
Another big defeat to a team above us, as Spurs crashed 0-4 at Anfield, which Tim Sherwood said wouldn't happen on his watch. Well it has and the team looked anything but up for this game from the time they left the dressing room. Few came out of the game with much credit and f the rumours after the match were true about Sherwood being involved in a fight, with the players coming out an hour after the end of the match, then we might have our third man in charge for this season.
Tottenham needed one of their
players to get an early goal, but we weren’t quite planning on it
being in his own net. Sterling, who terrorised Naughton at left back
in the home game was replicating his performance against Rose and
fed in Glen Johnson to put a low cross to the near post. As it
missed the first Spurs defender, Vertonghen and then Younes Kaboul
dragged the ball back behind his standing leg to put it into the
goal just like Djimi Traore did when playing for Liverpool.
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|What you thought|
Sherwood goes on about too many capitulations under AVB, but I don’t
see too much resilience from his own side. Surely, if Levy was
unhappy with the Portuguese Head Coach’s record against the top
four, then Sherwood will soon be down the road.
He shows a lack of respect for the fans for all his comments about how he understands what they want. Firstly the lack of passion in the way the team play. Last week, it took too long to get going against Southampton and why is it that this late in the season we have not scored in the first 15 minutes of a game ? That puts us at a disadvantage most of the time.
Then secondly, his selections appear to have a bias to players he has brought through rather than the best players for the match to be played. Eriksen coming off against Arsenal, with Bentaleb staying on. Kane instead of Soldado v Benfica ? Really ? Winks on the bench, while Coulthirst is out on loan at Torquay. Fredericks has one game in the first team and is then shipped off to Millwall on loan. What sort of development for our young players is that ? But then he has showed that even recognised internationals have had a glimpse of first team action and then been dropped the following game.
So, it looks like another manager will be coming in and another season of transition is ahead.
don't know about fighting in the dressing room, we need some fight
on the field. Vertonghen looked like he was going out for a
practice match the way he was lounging about in the tunnel before
the match and when he does get out there, he seems to prefer
berating his team-mates rather than doing anything to stop the
He was great last year, but looks like he can't be bothered this time, so wants to leave. Make him stay and if he won't give his all, then stick him with the kids. It worked for Adebayor.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Manchester United||4||Aston Villa||1||Saturday|
|Stoke City||1||Hull City||0||-day|
|Swansea City||3||Norwich City||0||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||3||Cardiff City||3||Saturday|
|Sunderland||1||West Ham United||2||Monday|
|11||West Ham United||32||10||7||15||36||42||37||-6|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||31||5||14||12||36||48||29||-12|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend : 6th
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