Saturday, 25 October 2014

Liverpool Vs Hull City - A Preview

After a special but devastating night where Liverpool were soundly beaten 3-0 at the hands of perennial giants Real Madrid, the club has to go again with 11th place Hull City coming to Anfield. While there is a lot to ponder for Brendan Rodgers and his men, it is not all doom and gloom as it seems. The Reds are joint fourth ahead of presumed competitors Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton. This game mounts a huge opportunity for the Reds to cement their place in the top four with West Ham(currently in fourth) facing Man City and Man Utd facing Chelsea. 

Last time these two sides met, Liverpool won courtesy of a Daniel Agger header and a Luis Suarez free kick. Of course, it would need no reminding to Liverpool fans that these two players have since moved on. Hull City come to Anfield with decent form , with a draw against Arsenal being their last result. They pose some threats with Abel Hernandez who is a predator in the air and Mohamed Diame who is a strong and resilient midfielder. This is not going to be a stroll in the park for Liverpool and the players have to be on their level best to get all three points.

Suggested Team Line Up
Simon Mignolet

Javier Manquillo ----------- Martin Skrtel----------Dejan Lovren-------Alberto Moreno

Emre Can

                               Jordan Henderson-----------------------------Adam Lallana

Phillipe Coutinho

                         Raheem Sterling ---------------------------------Rickie Lambert 

    Formation- 4-4-2 Diamond

    • The first change should be Javier Manquillo coming in for Glen Johnson. Glen Johnson has been out of form for some time now and while there have been bursts of resurgence, there has been nothing solid. Manquillo is an energetic player prepared to run and support the attack in addition to his defensive duties. He wrongfully lost his place to Glen Johnson and deserves it back.
    • The much ridiculed defence of Liverpool cannot be changed right now because of injuries. While Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren have not been in the best of form, they are better than the error prone Kolo Toure. So while Mamadou Sakho is still out from injury, these two should stick it out. 
    • Steven Gerrard is not a young man anymore and playing 3 games in the space of 6 days should be too much for him so I would expect Emre Can to come in who did a good job as a substitute in the Madrid game. He is strong and will likely be better handled to cope with the physicality of the midfield of Huddlestone, Diame and Livermore. 
    • Adam Lallana also did well coming on against Real Madrid. He is a very dynamic player and currently brings more to the table than Joe Allen who despite being a tidy passer, does not match up to Lallana's technical attributes. 
    • Brendan Rodgers hinted at Sterling playing up top in his pre match press conference and that is exactly what he should do. While coming of as a controversial decision, Mario Balotelli should be rested against Hull. There has been a lot of media storm after his shirt-swapping and car threatening incidents this week. It would be better for the team to not worry about these problems. Rickie Lambert has had a mundane start to his Liverpool career with only 129 minutes under his belt. He should get the nod as he is a hard worker and a good passer of the ball.
    • Finally, the diamond formation is Liverpool's best system and the players seem to understand it better. Hopefully, Rodgers sees this and applies it. 

    My Prediction- 2-1 to Liverpool- While Hull may pose a threat, I can see Liverpool just making it through but not without trouble and definitely not with a clean sheet the way the team has been playing.

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