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Pre-Match: Liverpool v. Arsenal (8 February 12:45)

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OhYaBeauty

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Right off the back of a disappointing draw, we've got a chance to prove that we deserve some points against the top teams. Chelsea and Man City away stick out as chances to pick up wins against the top four that didn't come off, and now we've got a good chance at home to Arsenal.

Not sure what the best way to play it would be, but I imagine we'll concede the midfield battle in much the same way as we did against Everton so we can hit them on the break. Dangerous game against Arsenal, as they're better than Everton. Still, with Suarez and Sturridge we'll always have a chance. Realistically, despite our likely strategy of conceding the midfield, they'll likely try to hit us through the wings with Sagna and Monreal. Sagna against Cissokho in particular is a match-up that worries me.

I guess I'd like to see a 4-3-3 with Gerrard sitting again, which will allow for as much pressing as we think we can get away with against Arsenal.

Mignolet​
Flannagan Skrtel Toure Cissokho​
Gerrard​
Henderson Coutinho​
Sterling Suarez Sturridge​
Obviously the front three are rather fluid, as they have been. If Sakho is fit he comes straight into the side in lieu of Toure and Allen and Coutinho about split time in this match. Coutinho to start but if we need a bit more solidity, Allen offers that. Wouldn't mind seeing Kelly start on the right and Flanno on the left, but I doubt it'd happen.


Really want a win for this one on my birthday. Come to think of it, half of TIA has their birthday this Saturday. I know NSN and at least five others also have their birthdays on Saturday.
 

WrinkledMind

Living A Life Consumed By Slow Decay.
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How old are you gonna be OYB? 55-60? :p

I am not entirely confident about this one.Arsenal have had a good time at Anfield lately (wins or draws).The last time we won against Arsenal was under Kenny..And that was at Emirates.
But more importantly, the last time we won against Arsenal at home was in 2008 in UCL.And the last league victory at Anfield was in 2007.I remember Crouch's hattrick.

We need control in the centre, so playing Coutinho there would be asking for trouble.I would play with Gerrard-Hendo-Allen.Allow Hendo to be the runner.

I would be happy with a draw.
 

Dhoff3

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Could be a massive win, I can't remember the last time we got anything better then a draw off of Arsenal. They really seem to have our number. If we fail to win one, the draw at the weekend will look much better having beaten Everton, would be a great result for that string of 3 games. Anyone know who's back? Sakho?
 

KraznyIvan

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We need to be better in midfield. I dont know who gets dropped to make that happen, probably Coutinho. I also think Sturridge needs glueing to the left wing as his pace means we can break on either flank with good passes from hendo, gerrard or suarez. Plus suarez seems far less effective when he has to do all the dirty work.

Sakho would be a huge boon to have back. I can see us having issues defensively though. Mignolet will need a big game.

Think this could be another 1-1 draw tbh but we are at home so Ill go 3-1 to the reds.
 

Red Armada

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Probably the most difficult fixture left because Arsenal always seems able to exploit our weaknesses. The fact that we've a poor record against them even at Anfield is no coincidence.

It's absolutely vital to control the midfield against them.
 

afrikana

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Mascot88 said:
I think we'll need to control the midfield more against d'arse, so I'd expect to see Allen come in for Coutinho.
Completely agree, otherwise same line up, hopefully Sakho and/or Agger are back; Toure has had a dip in form and needs some time out of the team.
 

Redragbull

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Rodgers has a real issue with figuring out how to accommodate our two strikers with the squad that he has at his disposal. Arsenal will play with five in midfield and gradually with a lot of patience, will break us down, unless we counter their midfield dominance. I would therefore suggest mirroring there formation with Gerrard and Allen holding, Henderson, Courtinho and Sterling playing behind Suarez. Sturridge on the bench for later impact if needed. We are weak in defense on our left if Toure and Aly play, so I would have Hendo on the left to assist with backtracking in this area. They have key players out but are still very strong. We can revert to 4-3-3 with two strikers in the last thirty minutes if we need to press for a win. If we are at the very top of our game we can win this and need to.
 

SoueysTash

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If there's any way we can get Cissokho out of the team, we should do...we need dynamism. Flanno & Cissokho just don't cut it for me...10 out of 10 for effort from both though.

Hopefully we'll batter them but I reckon we'll limp through it with a draw.
 

cardiffpete

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For me:
Mignolet​
Flanno Skrtel Sakho Cissokho​
Allen​
Gerrard Hendo​
Sterling Sturridge Suarez​
Hope for Sakho back and Kolo benched. Surely Allen has to start at DM, with at least a 3-man midfield being deployed on the day. Anything less, would be almost suicidal versus Arsenal. I'd expect Coutinho to make way myself, as despite a great Derby, he's been very sub-par this season. Could still be an impact sub though.

Which nicely coincides with one of my main gripes re: BR. I get it that he doesn't trust our bench enough, to deliver for him (although that begs the question as to why he signed them in the first place? ) ...but subs-in can (maybe should) change games. Our bench doesn't though. It hasn't for about 4 years now, maybe much longer.

I do think that whatever starting XI BR chooses, that will be his strategy. Forget our bench options ...as-in we don't really have any. That is a huge weakness though, as we very rarely ever come-from-behind, while we have already dropped 12 points from a lead this term. It's a double-whammy in every respect.

Fingers crossed for this one ...but Arsenal look very strong. Hope we do win this one, but not convinced that we can cope with their inter-play, unless a real change of tactics/ formation.
 

Bobbinho

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Looking forward to this one, massive game at Anfield, think we'll see an improvement in performance obviously we need to if we want to come away from this one with dignity intact.

Going into the game as underdogs helps, all the pressure on Arsenal to keep up with City, of course we need to win as well but expectations should be in check given our thin squad & lack of options...

Every chance of a win, im hopeful we can upset this lot & get ourselves back on track, absolutely everything to play for, a win would hold our place in the top4 & keep up pressure on our rivals, a loss would leave us on shaky ground depending on other results, i say just throw the kitchen sink at em & hope to fuck it's enough to win it. :)

Allen in for Coutinho should help strengthen the midfield, rest of the team picks itself depending on injuries...
 

Redragbull

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cardiffpete said:
I do think that whatever starting XI BR chooses, that will be his strategy.
This is one of my biggest gripes, that he spends all week figuring out his game plan, then, when it occasionally doesn't work, or the opposition coach out foxes him, he doesn't seem to know how to respond to it. It may not need formation changes or substitutions, just a tweek here or there, could make all the difference, rather than stand there with his arms folded. I would like to see him more animated from the dugout, if we are having a lacklustre performance. Start barking instructions, waving his arms about, orchestrating things. If he shows some passion on the touchline, he may get a passionate response from the players.
 

lfc.eddie

"¿Plata... O Plomo?"
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I'd go with the counter attacking formula. It would be insane to try and match their midfield, even crazier if we attempt to control the midfield battle. Our defence aren't good enough to hold our own, it only take one dispossession from us and we will get hurt by Arsenal quick attack.

We should go out and play them like how we set up against Everton.

Not hoping for clean sheet and a draw would not be as bad for us.
 

steve10

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We need 3 in midfield and drop Coutinhno otherwise we will be in real trouble. Not optimistic about a result but we have played well against the better teams this season so hopefully the players will put on a performance.
 

NZred

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Arsenal seem to have the wood on us at Anfield. They're playing pretty well. I hope our form is the deciding factor. I can a smash and grab sort of win for them.

It will either be us by a lot, or them by not many.
 

Cortez

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Very nervous about this one. I agree with the general consensus about the midfield needing to have more bodies, but I'd actually go with Sterling from the bench. He doesn't deserve to be dropped, but having Coutinho drift in when we are out of possession in order to make up the fourth man is something we should consider. Either way, Allen is a must. Sterling as an impact sub.
 

theres always tommorrow

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lfc.eddie said:
I'd go with the counter attacking formula. It would be insane to try and match their midfield, even crazier if we attempt to control the midfield battle. Our defence aren't good enough to hold our own, it only take one dispossession from us and we will get hurt by Arsenal quick attack.

We should go out and play them like how we set up against Everton.

Not hoping for clean sheet and a draw would not be as bad for us.
The Everton strategy is probably our best chance but I think we might need to punt more to get the ball up field. When we played them at the Emirates they over ran our midfield and stopped our wingers from getting forward - they effectively cut off our front men. I would have preferred to see Enrique and Johnson back to create opportunities out wide but fear that Cissohko and Flanno might be under siege.

Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling will need to track back and pick the ball up deeper but their midfield be a bit weaker with the loss of Flamini.

I am hoping for a big game from our players after the poor showing at West Brom. So sticking my neck out I reckon.... a sneaky win - 3-2 to us
 

Billy Biskix

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Think Eddie is right on this one. There is no way we'll control the midfield against Arsenal. Few teams do. They'll approach the game in the same way as Everton so our response needs to be the same too. Rely on the counter-attack, work our bollocks off for 90 minutes and press as high and as hard as we can.

Even though Coutinho was brilliant against Everton I'd swap him for Allen in this one and play him and Henderson ahead of Gerrard. I'm not a great fan of Gerrard in that deep position but we'll need Allen's energy higher up the field.

Toure and Cissokho on that left hand side are a big worry. Toure is playing like a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown and Cissokho plays like a man who's already had one. In fact one or two players deserve to be dropped after that West Brom non-performance but we have no depth to the squad, a bench full of players that the manager doesn't trust and no competition for places.

We've put pressure on ourselves at a time when we should have put pressure on Spurs, Everton and Utd. So we absolutely must get something out of this. A draw would be fine. A win would be the result of the season.
 

Doggie

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It's a tough decision, but if the midfield needs strengthening then a striker should be dropped, and it can only be Sturridge.

Mignolet​
Flanno Skrtel Sakho Cissokho​
Allen Gerrard​
Sterling Coutinho Hendo​
Suarez​
 

Redragbull

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lfc.eddie said:
I'd go with the counter attacking formula. It would be insane to try and match their midfield, even crazier if we attempt to control the midfield battle. Our defence aren't good enough to hold our own, it only take one dispossession from us and we will get hurt by Arsenal quick attack.

We should go out and play them like how we set up against Everton.

Not hoping for clean sheet and a draw would not be as bad for us.
All very well against Everton who played a high back line and had two midfielders (Barkley and Piennar) who were not match fit, which played right into our counter attacking hands. Unlike against West Brom, where they nullified our threat by leaving minimal space behind them and high energy in midfield to cut out our source. If we play the same tactics v Arsenal, I would hope that we can better squeeze our lines to compress the play and at the same time suck their back line higher up the pitch to create the opportunity to hit them on the counter, which we failed to do at the Hawthorns in my opinion.
 

Never Say Never

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Honestly I see Brendan going in guns blazing and not changing much. He's not particularly tactical so I think we'll see coutinho sturridge Suárez and sterling all out there together going for goals. We're a pretty poor second half team, and we'll need a good start.

(That being said, I agree with everyone and think we should start with Allen and have coutinho come off the bench)
 

LiVeRp0oL89

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Think we've just got to go for it, need to get at them and hopefully we can bag the first goal and counter attack the rest of the match. I worry for our full backs in this game though.. specifically one Aly Cissokho.. Everyone's got to be on it to have a chance of the 3 points.

The West Brom match was a kick in the nuts but its still a point away from home and we're still in 4th. A draw would be ok but a win would really be a welcome boost to help us kick on, especially with Everton and Tottenham playing each other and who knows what Fulham might do at Old Trafford.
 

bes

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Same XI except for Allen in for Coutinho.

If you asked me before the match Id take a point.
 

slufsar

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Arsenal looks incredibly solid this season. Even when they're a bit off, they get a result. They concede fewer chances than they did before aswell.
I agree with those above saying we need to go for the counter. Thats basically what our team is built for anyway.
 

Zoran

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Anyone know if Wilshere has chances of making it for Saturday? If yes then I'd expect them to chose between Ox on the right or Podolski on the left do to the work out wide for Ozil & Cazorla. I feel Ox might get the advantage in that situation. Rosicky very rarely played central midfield so far this season. I'd also expect them to put Gibbs back in ahead of Monreal.
 

1dragon

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We are blowing hot and cold at the moment but we seem to be slightly more lethal at home (especially Suarez) so I think it is going to be tight.

The team needs to play like a team, not individually, in order to get a result. This means Sturridge and Suarez should try to link up more instead of going for glory themselves.

Gerrard further forward for me with Allen the deepest of the trio. Ozil and Carzola arent bull-like players so Allen's harrassing and interception should do the trick. Gerrard for his greater threat in front of goal.

Contrary to many, I feel Konslieny is the weaker of the two CBs. Yes, he is quicker, but also prone to rush in the head sort of moments. A little like a more consistent Skrtel if you ask me. Metersacker is much more calm like Hyypia, so unless it is foot race for the ball, we should not target him.

Would be interesting to hear from redandwhite's pre-match comments on this.
 

mattyhurst

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Personally when the pressure is off we seem to be poorer or more prone to slip ups, anyone know if Sakho has a chance of making this, I know he was closer in terms of being fit than Agger was.

I would go with Allen in this game, we need to have more possesion and he can deliver that.
 

naturalskill

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Considering both teams strengths and weaknesses, I don't really see us having much success doing anything but counter-attacking. We need to shield the back four with Gerrard AND Allen otherwise they'll waltz straight through us and we also need Henderson to chase and press intelligently. Two wide attacking mids with Luis up top on his own. I know Brendan has been experimenting lately but I think he would be wise to revert to a 4231 for this game. Five midfielders are required to close them down and we would have the quality to hit them on the break.

>>
-----gerrard-allen
sterling-hendo-coutinho
---------suarez

The guys are more than familiar with this system and it could potentially frustrate Arsenal. On the other hand, if we set up like we have in the last few games, we will almost certainly be punished.
 

daddydave

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don't agree with people calling for Allen over coutinho.I think he has been starting to improve his form and has even been putting in some good tackles in the last couple of matches, which i didn't think he was capable of.must be taking a leaf from Oscars book there
 

Verbal80

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Coutinho is lightweight. He got outmuscled and shrugged of the ball quite easily against West Brom. Even though Arsenal are not a physical side, they do close down well. Allen will need to be introduced to give more control in the midfield so one of Sterling, Coutinho or Sturridge will be benched.

Sturridge will bring what Sterling brings (pace and trickery) but lacks some of Raheems improved work rate and defensive abilities. I don't think Brenda will play both Sterls and Danny (but you never know) and will keep Coutinho for that killer pass (hopefully Phil will have a Everton type game).

Mignolet
Flanno Skrtel Sakho (please🙏) hurricane Aly 😩
Henderson Gerrard Allen
Coutinho
Sturridge Suarez

I don't care about the line up, that's Brenda's job. I just hope we can win.








But I'm not confident😔
 
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