This weekend, Liverpool faces yet another big club. After having beaten 2 “Top 5” clubs in Chelsea and Manchester United in the previous encounters 1-0 and 3-1, Liverpool should have the right to be optimistic about this fixture as it offers them yet another chance to claim a victory against a “Top 5” club. However, as we have witnessed in the last game against West Brom, Kyrgiakos’s incompetence can change a winning situation to a losing situation. Having said that, I find it hard to believe that Dalglish hasn’t given him a talking to about his performance last week. With Johnson, Kelly, Aurelio and Agger out, Kyrgiakos should retain his place in the team but everyone will be expecting a much improved performance from him.
Reina put on a fantastic performance last week and despite conceding 2 goals and getting a Yellow Card, he still managed to put up a very respectful 6 points in YFF. This week he may be facing shots from Balotelli, Tevez, Silva, Toure, Johnson and co but I expect him to be up to the task. A clean sheet may not be a guarantee due to Man City’s sheer attacking quality and the lack of Liverpool’s backline quality but Reina should still return a positive amount of points.
While Liverpool’s backline may be lacking of quality, their attackers are not without quality. Suarez, Meireles and Kuyt have been putting in good performances of late and I do not expect that to change. Carroll is also getting more and more playing time with the team and sooner or later, he will get his name on the scoresheet.
To try to stem Man City’s midfield, Dalglish may change to a 4-5-1 formation with Carragher, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Wilson handling the backline. They will be aided by Lucas and Poulsen in central defensive midfield while Meireles will roam the space between them and Carroll upfront. The wings will be patrolled by Kuyt and Suarez who will look for opportunities to put crosses in for Carroll.
With this, I see definite points for Suarez, Kuyt and Meireles. Carroll needs good service from the wings to be effective and if Suarez and Kuyt are able to put in good crosses, I see Carroll bagging his first Liverpool goal. However, going with Carroll will be a hit and miss opportunity as he will either be scoring points for getting goals and shots on targets or he will not be getting any service and end up getting a miserable afternoon. It all depends on the level and quality of service that he gets. Therefore, safer bets are Suarez, Kuyt and Meireles.
I have enjoyed seeing Liverpool’s rise to 6th and while I hope that they can go even further, I am realistic. Although it is still mathematically possible for Liverpool to get as far as 2nd place, I believe that they will be pleased to get to 4th or 5th. To do this, they need to start by beating Man City this weekend. Liverpool supporters are all cheering our team on and hopefully our cheers and wishes can energize the team to perform in this match.
Liverpool will not find this an easy match but they have the quality to win this one. My prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Man City.
Chelsea 3-1 Wigan
Man Utd 2-0 Fulham
Blackpool 1-3 Arsenal