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PRE Match: Liverpool vs Udinese (Europa League: Thu, 04.10.12; 20:05 GMT)

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LFC7NH

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So we come to the second game of the group stage of the Europa League in first place and having just recorded our first league win. How will Brendan approach this game? Will he continue giving the youngsters all important game time in order to save Suarez, Gerrard, Sahin et al for the league games? I hope so!

Looking forward to this one, should be tougher than Young Boys, but Udinese are also off to a rocky start to their league campaign collecting 6 points from their first 6 games and sitting in 15th.

Hoping to see something similar to the following:

 


mattyhurst

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I would play Robinson at lb if I'm honest, the rest of it looks fine to me
 

Prolix

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[font=courier new']Pacheco - [sup]Yesil[/sup] - Sterling[/font]​


[font=courier new']Suso - [sup]Shelvey[/sup][/font]

[font=courier new']Henderson[/font]


[font=courier new'][sup]Enrique[/sup] - - Carragher - Coates - - [sup]Wisdom[/sup][/font]

[font=courier new']Jones[/font]


Think we will play with what I have more or less defined as our 'B' team; while he's been impressive, I think Suso will get regular starts in Europe and regular sub appearances in the league in the midfield. I would play Pacheco over him as a member of the attacking three at this point in time, especially with Shelvey only available for European games. I expect Enrique to play in an effort to get him up to fitness and see what he can do; if he continues to underperform, I think Robinson/Johnson will become our first-choice fullbacks with Enrique/Wisdom as second choices.

I expect Borini - [sub]Suárez[/sub] - Assaidi to become our first-choice attacking trio, though Borini may play this game instead of Yesil to try and play him into confidence. Hopefully Downing stays very far away from both 'A' and 'B' teams; I can only imagine him playing this game in place of Sterling (who has gotten a shader less 'hot'). If he does, I expect a performance or permanent benching for him.

I wish Danny Wilson would get a chance instead of Carragher, but that doesn't seem likely. Coates will continue to challenge for a first team spot. I would understand playing Pepe in this game to try and get him into some form. If we weren't spread so thin I would suggest continuing with a regular back 4 to get some defensive consistency, but we can't really afford to lose anyone.
 

Gervinho's Forehead

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------------Jones-------------
Wisdom--Coates--Carra--Enrique
--------Hrnderson-------------
-----------------Suso---------
---------Shelvey--------------
Borini------Yesil------Assaidi

Im hoping for this.
 



TheKaiser

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Absoutley zero point in starting Sterling.
I disagree - while I don't think we'll want him to be starting two games in a week very often, it serves as a means of transition for him. Unfortunately, there's no way we can expect him to maintain his level starting every weekend in the premier league and we'll want to start alternating his time with the likes of Borini/Downing and principally Assaidi before he really starts to flag. He'll get less abuse in Europe and so should be starting more of these matches than against the likes of Stoke and Everton, who will just absolutely kick the shit out of him. It might not be necessary to start the transition this week, but we have to do it soon. If he starts picking up injuries because we're not managing him well, we'll damage the brightest academy prospect we've seen in over a decade.
 

Prolix

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Absoutley zero point in starting Sterling.
As I said, I can only imagine Downing starting if Rodgers intends to rest Sterling; he doesn't seem to be struggling for fitness, though, and with our squad the size it is I expect him to be phased into the starting XI for non-league matches and the bench for league matches. That transition a step down from being a first XI starter may or may not take place starting with Udinese, then rest him against Stoke and Reading and start him again against Anzhi.

I'd almost want to think through the lineup v. Stoke and work backward from there.
Agree entirely.
 

Arminius

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Important game, if we can take away 3 points to be sitting on 6 of a possible 18 after just two, we will really have a lot of leeway as we go forward in the group - Udinese would on just 1 point after two games. Of course, one usually wants that kind of leeway so you can play youth, but we are doing that anyway.

I'd almost want to think through the lineup v. Stoke and work backward from there.
 

lfc.eddie

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If we field our second stringers, don't see how we are going to win this. I don't think our second tier is better than Udinese full squad. We will get a beating if we go with the line up suggested above.
 

Prolix

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We will get a beating if we go with the line up suggested above.
Then we'll get a beating and continue to focus on the league. That's the price we pay for have a small squad, and it's a price I'm willing to play. I'd rather the kids get beaten by Udinese (it's at Anfield, btw) than ruin our chances against Stoke.

Also, looking at the Udinese team little jumps out after Di Natale. Anyone knowledgeable on Serie A? Udinese have only won a single competitive match this season.
 



TheKaiser

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Yeah Di Natale looks like the only player we should consider to be at a class above what we faced against WBA with this squad. It's no gimme and we should perhaps name a strongish bench, but I think this second team is up to the challenge. I think we'll give them more problems than they'll give us. I don't follow Serie A closely though so I can't comment on the quality of their performances this season.
 

Arminius

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If we field our second stringers, don't see how we are going to win this. I don't think our second tier is better than Udinese full squad. We will get a beating if we go with the line up suggested above.
Udinese are off to a poor start in Serie A with only 1 win in 6, though I can't say that I have seen them this season. So they might well be under very similar pressure to focus on the league (their next game is away to 2nd place Napoli). i'd be curious to know how strong a side they fielded versus Anzhi.

edit - Just looked, apparently Di Natale is not seeing eye to eye with Guidolin and was benched for today's draw at home versus Genoa.
 

lfc.eddie

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Also, looking at the Udinese team little jumps out after Di Natale. Anyone knowledgeable on Serie A? Udinese have only won a single competitive match this season.
They are a point better than us in their league. Dustan Basta, a midfield player, decent.

@Arminius, we aren't flourishing in our league as well. Not like we were setting every game we played on fire.
 

Prolix

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They are a point better than us in their league. Dustan Basta, a midfield player, decent.
I'm afraid I don't understand this point of comparison at all. And this doesn't change the point that we need to focus on our own league.
 

No Men in the Box Redux

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Important game, if we can take away 3 points to be sitting on 6 of a possible 18 after just two, we will really have a lot of leeway as we go forward in the group - Udinese would on just 1 point after two games. Of course, one usually wants that kind of leeway so you can play youth, but we are doing that anyway.

I'd almost want to think through the lineup v. Stoke and work backward from there.
Agree with 100% of what you said. If we win this game, we will be in a very good position to progress to the next stages and there will be less pressure on BR to play the senior players that should be rested for the league games.

However, I don't think Sterling should start this one. Especially with the game vs. Stoke in mind, I believe we could really use his pace to unlock Stoke's defense. It may be a different story if we were playing Stoke away at the Britannia but we are back at home for it so I feel more confident of playing Sterling for the game. It will be a tough game for the lad because Stoke will be up to their usual shenanigans but they will get away with much less at Anfield, I'm sure.

We all want to monitor Raheem's growth carefully and not burn him out, put too much pressure on him, or get him complacent but unfortunately, the situation right now is that he seems to be our best winger and the preferred name on the teamsheet for either of those two starting positions on the wings and the likes of Assaidi, Borini, Suso, Pacheco and Downing have not done enough to show that they can perform well enough to take his spot or make him feel challenged. Hopefully, BR will be aware of this and will look to bring in another winger with a good amount of talent and experience in January so that we don't have to put so much pressure on young Sterling and Suso to perform week in week out. The extra competition will be good for them as well.

With all of this in mind, this would be my team:

--Assaidi-----[sup]Borini[/sup]-----Suso--

--------------Pacheco-------------

-----Henderson----Shelvey------

Enrique----Carra---Coates----Wisdom

-----------------Reina-----------------

Pacheco put in a very fine, workman like performance in the hole against Young Boys so I would like to give him another chance to play there. I would prefer Borini gets a chance to play in his preferred position if he is fit. The boy needs a goal or two in the bag to build some confidence. Would also like to see Reina play more and hopefully get a clean sheet. I just don't see the likes of Gulasci or Jones just every really challenging or putting pressure on Pepe for a starting spot so I see no point in giving them too many opportunities to be honest. Focus should be on getting Pepe out of this rut. Not sure dropping him would be an option if we only have Jones or Gulasci in reserve. Assaidi and Suso both played half a game over the weekend and should be fresh and ready to go. Sterling can be on the bench to sub either of them off if we want to save one of them for the weekend. This is a pretty strong team and I think against unpredictable opponents like Udinese, we want to start strong and gain a comfortable lead as early in to the game as possible. Likely subs for me if we are winning would be: Downing, Yesil, Flanno/Robbo.
 



LFC-Orlando

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I'm afraid I don't understand this point of comparison at all. And this doesn't change the point that we need to focus on our own league.
Well, while I'd love to focus on the PL, I'd only do so when it's the right opportunity and with the right squad. What is your reason you want to focus on our league, maybe in order to end up 8th instead of 12th? let's give the league a go and if we do well, so be it. But I don't want to discount the cups.

I want us to win every cup competition we possibly can. I want us to play like last year and end up in the Final of both domestic cups and the EL.

Udinese, regardless of how badly they are doing in the league, will take this game seriously. Last thing we need, for everyone's confidence, is a bad result at home now. Anfield is becoming one of the easiest places to travel to. Don't folks see value in us destroying teams at home?

Pepe needs to play, in order to stop this free-fall he's in. And I'd give our Captain and Luis the last 25 minutes if we are not winning, for sure.
 

TheKaiser

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Well, while I'd love to focus on the PL, I'd only do so when it's the right opportunity and with the right squad. What is your reason you want to focus on our league, maybe in order to end up 8th instead of 12th? let's give the league a go and if we do well, so be it. But I don't want to discount the cups.
What makes you think those are the choices? It's so early and we could potentially already be up in the top six if we win our next two in the league. Our priority should be whatever we value most, and in order that should be the league, the EL, the FA Cup and League Cup. I don't want us to adopt the approach we had last season because most players ended up playing two games in a week and we didn't have the depth or quality in the squad to make that sustainable. So while we challenged in the cups, we floundered in the league.

Let's take the smart approach and strengthen our entire squad by giving everyone valuable game time in meaningful matches. Doing this is already paying dividends as many of the players who started out as 'B' team are pushing for a place in the 'A' team or have already secured it.
 

DeathOrGlory

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What makes you think those are the choices? It's so early and we could potentially already be up in the top six if we win our next two in the league. Our priority should whatever we value most, and in order that should be the league, the EL, the FA Cup and League Cup. I don't want us to adopt the approach we had last season because most players ended up playing two games in a week and we didn't have the depth or quality in the squad to make that sustainable. So while we challenged in the cups, we floundered in the league.

Let's take the smart approach and strengthen our entire squad by giving everyone valuable game time in meaningful matches. Doing this is already paying dividends as many of the players who started out as 'B' team are pushing for a place in the 'A' team or have already secured it.
Yep, there's no reason to be scared looking at the league table now. If we win the next three, we'll right up there.
 

No Men in the Box Redux

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Yup, like Stevie said earlier today. We still have a 50-50 chance of getting a top four spot and we shouldn't set our goals any lower. We can't develop such a losing or indifferent mentality towards the league this early in the season...not while Everton is climbing up the table like its nobody's business.
 

LFC-Orlando

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Would be ecstatic to end up 4th or even 6th.

Do I believe it, considering our squad and everyone else's squads? No.

So, no, at the end of this season, I don't want us to be left holding the bag, having ended up 8th and have done nothing in the cups.

But, regardless, why go with the youngsters only, in a very important home game in an important competition? So we protect the "1st team"?

All these fancy / fragile players nowadays can't play 2 games in the course of a few days? We have enough players to rotate and still field a strong team on Thursday.

Last thing we need is another terrible result at home, as Anfield will become anyone's dream away fixture. Even in the PL that is the most important competition.

Go and beat Udinese and then play again on Sunday and beat Stoke too. And do it with just 3-4 changes not 10.

Success breeds results.
 



RMP

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I really don't see any harm in playing the likes of Gerrard and Suarez. Rest Sterling and maybe Sahin as well.

We should be looking for at least 7 points out of 9 at home in the group and we won't be beating Udinese with our second-string
 
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I think this line up will depend on the team starting against Stoke. So I will put up both teams that I would like to see.

Stoke:

Reina​
Wisdom Coates Agger Johnson​
Gerrard Allen Sahin​
Suso Suarez Assaidi​

Think we should protect the likes of Sterling against the rugby style of Stoke however I think Suso is a big enough lad to handle them. Also would prefer Coates starting to help deal with their main threat = aerial balls to Crouch and set pieces.

Therefore my line up against Udinese would be:

Jones​
Wisdom Carra Skrtel Robinson​
Shelvey Hendo Pacheco​
Downing Borini Sterling​
 

Hope in your heart

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I like this starting line-up. Udinese must not be underestimated, but a team which manages to compprehensively beat an in-form WBA at their own ground should be good enough to dispose of a somewhat struggling Udinese side at Anfield.
  • Enrique is injured though, so I reckon it will be Robinson at left back.
  • Can Wisdom play every three days without being burnt-out at some time? We need to be careful with these youngsters. If someone else starts at the right back position against Stoke, then play him by all means. Otherwise, he needs to be rested I think...
  • A bit undecided on Downing. He has been horrible this early season, and based on his performances, doesn't deserve a further start in the team. On the other hand, BR just publicly criticised him, and challenged him to do better than until now. So, I think it's only fair to give him a chance after that.
  • Will Borini be fit again? That would be great! Otherwise, start Yesil who was good enough at WBA to deserve another chance against Udinese.
As for Udinese, they are 15th in the league, but it should be noted that their last defeat dates from 2th december (1-4 against Juventus). Since then, their match results have been DDWDD. Their only win however has been against Milan AC, so it's not as if they have forgotten how to play football. They have a good head coach in Guidolin, so it should be an interesting tie.

However, I'd definitely rest the big guns ahead of our league game against Stoke. The league has to be nr. 1 priority. Put them maybe on the bench to make a late impact on the game if necessary.
 

daddydave

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[quote name='Gervinho's Forehead' timestamp='1349058245' post='7941']
------------Jones-------------
Wisdom--Coates--Carra--Enrique
--------Hrnderson-------------
-----------------Suso---------
---------Shelvey--------------
Borini------Yesil------Assaidi

Im hoping for this.
[/quote]

That'll do for me
 

1dragon

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Udinese has a couple of players that we might be wary of, including Di Natalie.

Maicosuel, a Brazilian attacking midfielder who was bought from Hoffienhiem this summer. And, Andrea Lazzari, an Italian midfield on loan from Fiorentina. On paper, they have a pretty solid defence with Danilo and Benatia anchoring the middle. Their wing backs are also more than decent so we might be attacked on the flanks.

I will go with:

Reina​
Wisdom-Skrtel-Coates-Robinson​
Henderson​
Suso-Shelvey​
Borini-Yesil-Assaidi​

with Suarez, Sahin and Gerrard among the substitutes. Udinese can hurt us and I expect Di Natalie to play since he was "rested" against Genoa, so we had better find a way to peg them back.
 



Arminius

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@Arminius, we aren't flourishing in our league as well. Not like we were setting every game we played on fire.
Agreed, and I don't know them well enough to guess at what kind of side they put out against Anzhi. Certainly, if they lose they are in some trouble after dropping points at home.
 

legalalien

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Of course we should play to win every game. Therefore, Downing's out!

Udinese aren't a bunch of nobodies from some football backwater like Young Boys (what an awful name for a club!). We have to take them seriously and at least start the game with some of our senior players. IMO, Johnson Gerrard and Suarez should start and one or more of them could be subbed off after an hour or so if things are going our way.

My line-up:

Reina

Johnson Carra Coates Robinson​

Henderson​

Gerrard Sahin​

Assaidi Borini Suarez​

If I were BR I'd start with Assaidi and maybe bring on Sterling if necessary, and then do the opposite against Stoke. Reina plays as he needs the confidence of a clean sheet and hopefully this'll be one.
 

SoueysTash

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Looks like they've had trouble scoring in their last 2 fixtures which bodes well, beating AC was a good result but other than that, unspectacular.

Hoping Borini can net us a goal, get his confidence up. Definitely bring Yesil on with 30 mins to go
 

LFC7NH

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Been hearing Joe Cole could be available for this. Any value to starting him? Or on the bench?
 

SoueysTash

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Been hearing Joe Cole could be available for this. Any value to starting him? Or on the bench?
Yeh the quicker he plays the quicker he'll be out injured, could do with some sort of performance to try and get him sold in January
 



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