Saturday, August 30, 2008

Aston Villa v Liverpool - My Preview

Liverpool travel to Villa Park without skipper Gerrard after he underwent a groin operation.

Villa with home ground advantage will not want to lose the second successive game after their loss away to new boys Stoke City.

Liverpool has struggled in all their matches including their 2 Champion League games with Standard Liege. Their preparation was made worse with the absence to Gerrard.
The match should be interesting as Rafa will meet O'Neil. Both will be eager to get over each other due to the "war" involving the transfer sage involving Gareth Barry. With Barry commit himself to Villa Park, it would be a case of de- ja- vu if Barry would to score against the Reds.
Villa boost an impressive attacking forward like Carew, Young, Cocker and Agbonlahor. They will pose a threat with Liverpool defence in sixes and sevens in recent matches. Villa has scored 6 goals in their last 2 matches compared Liverpool 3 goals. The Torres and Keane partnership has not get started.
As far as I hope Liverpool to win 3 out of 3 BPL matches, I do not see it happening. My prediction for this match is a 2-0 victory to Villa.
My other bold predictions:
Arsenal v Newcastle 2-1
Bolton v W.Brom 2-0
Chelsea v Spurs 3-1
Everton v Portsmouth 1-1
Hull v Wigan 1-2
Man Utd v Fulham 3-0
Boro v Stoke 2-0
Sunderland v Man City 2-2
West Ham v Blackburn 1-1

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Liverpool 1 Standard Liege 0

I would call it was a garbage display from Liverpool. We will have to look back to the first leg when Reina saves us twice otherwise Liverpool will be dead and buried based on last night performance.

It was real frustrating watching the 90 minutes of the game. Depsite home ground advantage and big name players, the Reds failed to craved out any chances. The opponent goalkeeper must be shocked that he was not as busy as many though he would be.

Liverpool failed to penerate the Belgian defence throughout normal time. Credit must be given to them for putting great resistance. They won the high balls and picked up the loose balls faster than Liverpool.

After 4 matches into the new season, Liverpool still look less convincing as a team. It took Liverpool over 100 minutes to breach Standard Liege's defence, thanks to Dirk Kuyt goal. If Liverpool struggle at home against Boro and Standard Liege, I wonder what would happen to the Reds when Man Utd comes to town.

With Gerrard ruled out due to a groin operation, things do not look good for Liverpool especially vital games against Villa this weekend and Man Utd the following weekend.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Liverpool 2 v Boro 1 - Lucky Lucky Liverpool!

I'm speechless after watching the game. Drama is the word to describe the match.

Boro came to Anfield with a bad record having not won for more than 2 decades. Many would predict a comfortable victory for Liverpool but Boro came with a game plan. To deny Liverpool space and take the game to Liverpool.

Alonso was pathetic with his corner kicks, Gerrard was very quiet and Torres was not allowed to play. Keane was slightly better but not that good. Boro central defenders were able to deal with every high balls to their box. There was no wing play from Liverpool showing the need to bring in wingers. All the play was confided to the centre. Liverpool struggled to get the stronghold of the game. They hardly find any joy playing Boro today.

After Mido gave Boro a shocked lead in the 70th minute, it seems Liverpool was heading to a feat at home until Jamie Carragher deflected shot gave Liverpool a undeserved equalized. The game was heading for disappointing draw when Gerrard place the ball past Boro's keeper to send the Anfield faithful into esctasy. It was virtually the last kick of the game. The time was 93 minute. Alonso hooked a high hopeful ball into Boro's box but was not fully cleared by David Wheater. The ball dropped into path of Gerrard who placed his shot perfectly beyond the keeper much to the relieve and delight of the supporters and players.

It was joy for the Reds but heartbreak for Southgate's side. After 2 victories from 2 games, the Reds top the table for at least 2 hours depending on the Arsenal - Fulham game. However Liverpool has not look convincing these 2 games. Much improvement has to be made if they are to challenge the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd.

If Liverpool struggle against the likes of Sunderland and Boro, what chance do the Reds have against Man Utd and Chelsea. Unless and until Liverpool show more ruthless in their play, the title will elude them again this season.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Liverpool v Middlesbrough - My Preview

Both teams come into this weekend match on a winning start to the season.

Middlesbrough was impressive against Spurs at the Riverside. Gareth Southgate's side prove that they are more than capable to challenge for the top half rather than a relagation candidate this campaign. Boro will want to maintain a winning start. On the other hand, Liverpool would also want a strong start to close the gap between the Big 3.

However Boro will have their work cut out at Anfield as the Reds possess more quality than them. The return of Ryan Babel from the Olyimpic will certainly boost Liverpoo's attacking option. With Torres carrying on his goals scoring form and Keane wanting to proof his value, all sign point to a Liverpool victory. Nevertheless, Boro will have men behind the ball and make life diffcult for the home side.

My prediction : 2-0 to Liverpool.

My other bold prediction:

Blackburn v Hull 3-0
Stoke v Villa 1-2
Newcastle v Bolton 2-1
Spurs v Sunderland 4-2
WBA v Everton 1-1
Fulham v Arsenal 1-1
Wigan v Chelsea 1-3
Man City v W. Ham 2-1
Potrsmouth v Man Utd 1-1

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunderland 0 v Liverpool 1 - It's Torres Again !

After a garbage performance in the midweek against Standard Liege, Liverpool knows that they will to play much better to kick fly their season.

As expected, the game against Roy Keane's team was a tight affair with the Black Cats playing with determination and fire. Liverpool hardly found space and time to create something special.

Both goalkeepers are not really tested in the first half. Chances are far and few. Torres was heavily guarded by the Sunderland's defence. Not many clear cut chance for both teams though Sunderland look the more dangerous side when going forward. However the lack of a quality striker show in Sunderland attack. So the match ended o-o during the interval.
Both teams started the second half like that way they started the match. Alonso came on for the young Damien Plesis. His introduction do provide a more attacking approach to Liverpool'splay with his passes. Alonso certainly play better than in midweek. Liverpool has the best chance of the game when a Gerrard shot was parried away by Gordon only to find Torres lurking. Torres stabbed the ball goalward only to hit Robbie Keane's leg and off to safety. Torres simply could not believe his luck. Oh my, how can two striker go for the same ball? The Keane-Torres partnership certainly is not working yesterday. There was no understanding. Keane was subsequently substituted.

The match was almost certain to end in stalement when a moment of sheer brillance from Torres won the game for Liverpool. Torres picked up a loose ball and bring it to his right foot, one look and bang! The ball flew in past Gordon. It was a goal from a true class striker. Liverpool then hang on to 3 precious points and a good start to the new season.

As evident in the match, Liverpool again need to depend on Torres to deliever the goods. What if he is injured? Who is shouldering the burden for the Reds? Kuyt does not give you 20 goals a season and Keane is still finding his feet. Unless and until Liverpool recruit two more attacking players, Liverpool will solely miss Torres when he is unavailable.

It was nevertheless a great start for Liverpool as Arsenal has won their earlier match and Man Utd and Chelsea are expected to win their respective games later today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sunderland v Liverpool - My Preview

Liverpool goes to the Stadium of Light on the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw against Standard Liege in midweek.
Last season, Liverpool won the fixture 2-0. However Roy Keane's side has made some quality signings like Taino, Malbranque and Chimbonda from Spurs and Diouf from Bolton this season.
Both side will want to get off to a flyer in this new season. I opine that both side will start the match cautiously.

Liverpool will want to improve form their midweek performance but will not find the game easy.

My prediction : 1-1

My Prediction for other matches:
Arsenal v West Brom 3-1
Bolton v Stoke 1-1
Everton v Blackburn 1-2
Hull v Fulham 0-1
Boro v Spurs 1-2
West Ham v Wigan 1-0
Chelsea v Portsmouth 2-1
Villa v Man City 2-0
Man Utd v Newcastle 2-0

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reina Saves Liverpool

If any Liverpool fans were to watch the telecast of the game, they would be shocked by Liverpool's performance. Liverpool could find themselves staring into elimination just after 20 minutes.

The Belgium Campion could have gone 1-0 up after 9 minutes when a header hit the post and bounced on the line before Reina parried away to safety. When the cross was made, the Liverpool's defence went AWOL.

On 19 minutes, the referee awarded a penalty to Standard Leige after an alleged handball by Dossena inside the box. Replay showed that the incident took place outside the penalty box. However justice prevailed when Reina dived the correct direction to make a save.

The Belgium team took the game to Liverpool from the first minute and it remain throughout the whole 90 minutes. Liverpool do not have a decent shot at goal.

Basically, there was no conviction from Liverpool. The defence in sixes and sevens whenever a cross was whipped in. Agger was beaten to the ball easily. There was no bite from the midfield with the absence of Gerrard who was among the subsitute. Alonso was guilty was losing the ball and poor free kick. Generally Alonso had a poor game which explain why Rafa need Barry in the team to provide the drive when Gerrard is not playing. Perhaps Alonso is overrated.

The much talked about Torres-Keane partnership was non existent. The lack of understanding between the pairing is evident. Torres was heavily guarded while Keane was running like a headless chicken.

Like what Rafa said "It was a poor performance but a good result" to take to Anfield. With the BPL just 2 days to go, if the last night performace is anything to suggest, then we are in for another disappointed season.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My Barclays Premier League Final Standing

With just a week more to go, I have boldly predicted the final standing by the end of the 2008/2009 season.

Champion Chelsea
Runner Up Man Utd
3rd Liverpool
4th Spurs
5th Arsenal
6th Portsmouth
7th Aston Villa
8th Man City
9th Sunderland
10th Newcastle
11th Blackburn
12th Everton
13th West Ham
14th Fulham
15th Wigan
16th Bolton
17th Stoke
18th Boro (Going Down)
19th West Brom (Going Down)
20th Hull City (Going Down)

Chelsea with Scolari will play attacking football to gun down Man Utd for the title while Liverpool will rue for their lack of funds to compete for the title.

It will be close for the relegation dogfight between the teams in the bottom. The surprise package will be Roy Keane's Sunderland who will narrowly miss out on Europe. Everton will drop to mid-table following lack of signings and internal crisis.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Barclay Premier League 08/09 - 9 days to Go

Yes! There are 9 days to go before the new season begin.

For all English Football fan, the 3 months long wait is finally over next week.

Many teams have strenghten their teams with new signings and some teams have lost their key players.

It would be interesting to see if Man Utd can retain the title for the third successive season or Chelsea under new coach "Big" Phil can wrest the title away from Fergie's men or maybe Liverpool with Keane - Torres strikeforce can finally end their 19 years drought.

In this new season, I will include in this blog my prediction on all the BPL matches and my own report and analysis on every Liverpool matches.

Like the previous years, I will be rooting for my beloved Liverpool.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gareth Barry Saga Continue....

There were talks that the Gareth Barry deal could be alive again. This saga has been going on and on. It so many so sick. I just could not understand why Rafa need Barry so much.

Rafa has plenty of players in the midfield slot. Gerrard and Machesrano are Rafa's favourite. We have also Youssi and Lucas. With Alonso unlikely to move and the young Damien Plessis coming through the rank. I do not see how and where Barry would fit in. Maybe with Barry arrival, Rafa may push Gerrard to support Torres and Keane making the Reds skipper the third striker. Unless Rafa knows that Gerrard will leave Liverpool if The Reds end up empty handed this season.

I feel that Rafa may use the 18 millions pound for another 2 players. What Liverpool need is not another central midfield player but a winger or striker.

If Barry eventually end up in Liverpool, we shall see what Rafa is up too.
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