Following our defeat last week at the hands of Arsenal at Anfield this week is yet another case of “time to get back to winning ways” away at Sunderland, who are in somewhat of a revival since the arrival of Martin O’Neill, a manager I respect a lot and think has massive talent as a manager. They narrowly lost all 3 points last week at Newcastle themselves, so they themselves will be after a strong comeback from that, so it looks like it could be an entertaining afternoon for both sets of fans.
Liverpool vs Sunderland last 6 games
13-08-11 EPL Liverpool 1 – 1 Sunderland
20-03-11 EPL Sunderland 0 – 2 Liverpool
25-09-10 EPL Liverpool 2 – 2 Sunderland
28-03-10 EPL Liverpool 3 – 0 Sunderland
17-10-09 EPL Sunderland 1 – 0 Liverpool
04-03-09 EPL Liverpool 2 – 0 Sunderland
Previous meetings show its a competitive fixture with loads of goals, maybe it’s been like that because in the Steve Bruce era most of Sunderlands squad comprised of old Man United players who have ran their course at United or just weren’t good enough, I never liked Steve Bruce for this; he should have been using scouts rather than just buying Alex Fergusons rejects.
Although the result didn’t show it Liverpool played well against Arsenal, creating loads of chances just weren’t clinical in front of goal, this is something that should be addressed this week. Play the same way but be a bit more ruthless up front, go for a shot instead of a pass, know when a pass is needed or not and so on. We could beat any team if we played like we did last week and be clinical.
4th spot may not look good with us being ten points adrift but that’s not excuse to not keep going, it may be an improbable task but if we won all games for the rest of the season we would be playing champions league football again. Our season is not over, we need to finish as strong as possible to give the fans something to look forward to every week and to show what we are capable of before the start of next season.
This does not mean we should be playing as if we have nothing to lose, as a loss today and even Sunderland are catching up with us, a lot of teams around us want 5th as well for Europa League, we have already qualified but there are teams out there that want a taste of Europe just as much as we do, so we can’t afford to be complacent.
With the injuries we have this is what I would play, I thought of playing Johnson but I wouldn’t risk it, but I am not as clued in on his situation as Kenny is.
If Gerrard is fit I’d play him, but Adam is available and good holder and passer (when he feels like it). Downing and Hendo played well in recent games and I’d still choose them. Spearing impressed me immensely against Arsenal, his tacklers were accurate and he just looked like a great Gerrard in the making, at times he was controlling the midfield on his own.
Suarez is a no brainer, Carroll however is an ex Newcastle player and I honestly do think he will play 110% because of his rivalry.
My instructions would be to play like we did last week and the goals will come if you focus just a little bit extra on goal, don’t be afraid to go for a shot or a dribble.
My prediction is a 2-0 victory for the reds. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch this game, otherwise I will have to find a text stream such as BBC Sport, and if so I probably will not be making a report as I will not have seen the game properly to make an opinion, but we’ll see! Follow my twitter feed for my live comments on the game @ronneh_ although they aren’t critical comments, most of the time…
At around two the actual line up was announced
@LFC: Team v Sunderland. Reina, Kelly, Enrique, Skrtel, Coates, Bellamy, Spearing, Adam, Henderson, Suarez, Kuyt. S: Doni, SG, JC, AC, MR, SD, JF
Surprised with Coates, but he needs the experience, and great to see Bellers get a start. Also dropped was Downing and Gerrard must still be lacking fitness, but overall I’m fairly happy with the selection.