Pre-match: Liverpool vs West Ham (H) Sat 7 December

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As much as we have all enjoyed the team's (Suarez's) performance against Norwich we have a crucial game coming up in 2 days time against West Ham. After the horrendous performance and result against Hull it really is a must win game in my opinion as it could possibly make or break our confidence heading into the next 4 fixtures against Spurs (a), Cardiff (h), Man City (a) and Chelsea (a).

Ideally we would have won against Hull meaning that even if we did end up dropping some points we would still be in the top 4 heading into those games. But as it is we didn't so the team really needs to get their head down and focus on bringing home the 3 points on Saturday. Because in all honesty I only expect us to pick up around 4-5 points (if we are lucky) in the following 4 fixtures.

My team would be as follows:

Mignolet​
Johnson Skrtel Agger Sakho​
Gerrard Lucas​
Hendo Coutinho Moses​
Suarez​
I think with a physical side like West Ham Moses will do better on the wing as opposed to Sterling who has a tendency to go into his shell against physical defenders. Also as much as Flanagan has done a decent job playing at LB it would be good to have the added advantage of a player like Sakho to defend set pieces- which is probably going to end up being the main route West Ham are likely to score from. In terms of Lucas vs Allen again I think Lucas is better on the defensive side of things compared to Allen and hopefully he has one his better games where he can help maintain some control in midfield if we are under pressure.
 
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Also Ravel Morrison is apparently suspended for this game so hopefully that will help us. But in all honesty I think the main factor in the result will be how the team approaches the game. If they come out expecting to be handed the 3 points like against Hull we will be in for a long 90 minutes. Just hope Brendan doesn't take it too lightly in training and has everyone pumped up for the match. One thing is for sure he certainly seemed to have given the team a right rollicking after the Hull game as he didn't even crack a smile when Suarez slotted in his 4th against Norwich.
 

ptt

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Apparently Carroll's going to be back in training this week, he might make the bench (his woodworking skills obviously the reason Sam bought him as it gives him something to do for the 6 months a year he's injured). I personally don't want to see Moses start, he's not the club's future, Sterling is and with the goal, he might be about to start on a hot streak. Aspas to come on once Suarez has ravished them. Another 3 points please lads, might not move up the table but we MUST keep pace.
 

slufsar

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Last season we played 0-0 in the most dull game I saw that season. West Ham can be great at parking the buss, so we need to be at the top of our game creatively.
 

Zoran

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I feel Rodgers might keep the same side (but with Henderson on the left & Sterling on the right, like we switched it yesterday through the game) but possibly put in Sakho for Agger and surely Lucas for Allen.

Anyway Flanagan should be able to play again, can't wait to see him eat Downing for breakfast.
 

DeathOrGlory

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Should be a piss easy game.

At home we've been epic. This side is in freefall.

3-0, minimum.
 

SirBillShankly

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A bit of consistency of selection of the defence would be welcome, however, i want to see Sahko in the team. Thought Allen did well after a shaky start so would like to see him given anothr run-out and Henderson doesn't offer much attacking wise and he gave the ball away carelessly time and again, so that warrants being dropped in my book. Would also like to see Alberto on the pitch, think his vision and eye for a pass may be needed in this game. So, Sterling and Henderson replaced by Lucas and Alberto.

I would pick this side:

.....................................Mignolet..................................
Johnson............Skrtel..............Sahko..................Flanagan
...................................;..Lucas................................................
....................Allen.....................................Gerrard...............
......................................Alberto..........................................
.........................Genius...................................Coutinho......

2-0. Genius and Gerrard to get the goals.
 
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SirBillShankly said:
A bit of consistency of selection of the defence would be welcome, however, i want to see Sahko in the team. Thought Allen did well after a shaky start so would like to see him given anothr run-out and Henderson doesn't offer much attacking wise and he gave the ball away carelessly time and again, so that warrants being dropped in my book. Would also like to see Alberto on the pitch, think his vision and eye for a pass may be needed in this game. So, Sterling and Henderson replaced by Lucas and Alberto.

I would pick this side:

.....................................Mignolet..................................
Johnson............Skrtel..............Sahko..................Flanagan
...................................;..Lucas................................................
....................Allen.....................................Gerrard...............
......................................Alberto..........................................
.........................Genius...................................Coutinho......

2-0. Genius and Gerrard to get the goals.
Don't think that formation is going to work though.
 

AnfieldCat

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DeathOrGlory said:
Should be a piss easy game.

At home we've been epic. This side is in freefall.

3-0, minimum.
I feel a little smug and over confident stating it but I have to agree, I would just be so shocked not to win this game. Luis is going to be buzzing!
 

Zoran

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Coutinho was very good yesterday in that free role centrally in picking the ball up and turning with it, he was the key to our attacking play. Better for Luis as well so he doesn't feel isolated. We'll see if Rodgers keeps him there or maybe puts him slightly on the left which would then give Allen a chance to stay in the team (but I don't think that will happen).
 

Hope in your heart

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DLWLL

That's West Ham's results in the last five league games, the only win coming against a free-falling Fulham. More recently, they lost 3-0 at home against Chelsea, and away from home at Norwich (3-1) and Crystal Palace (1-0). They sit currently just above the relegation zone, three points ahead of Fulham and Crystal Palace.

They have been fairly mediocre, but as everyone now should know, there is no easy match, and especially not against an Allardyce-team. Let's hope that we can keep up our excellent home record so far (apart from that stupid defeat to Southampton) and take them apart like we did with Norwich, Fulham and West Brom in our last home games. Fingers crossed!
 

SirBillShankly

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I think Fat Sam will obviously be setting his team up on how to combat Genius, so i think they will sit really deep and possibly assign someone to man-mark Luis. Hopefully, this should create more freedom for our other goalscorers. Oh damn! We don't have any. :( Can see this being tight, hopefully the likes of captain or Coutinho can help our Genius out.Anything other than 3 points will be a massive blow with 3 nasty away games coming up in the coming weeks, but i can't see a repeat of last season where we failed to score. Is Morrison out? Read someone say he was, i hope so cos he looks dangerous.
 

Poetry In Motion

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I'd keep the same starting 11, to be honest with you. Another home game against lowly opposition, I'd reckon we can get away with continuity for this one, and we should have enough flow in attack to take West Ham apart. Saying that, nobody parks the bus like Sam Allerdyce does, so don't expect a demolition.
 

basil1492

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Agree with keeping the same team, maybe bring Lucas back and rest Allen who is just coming back. Try and get far enough ahead to maybe rest SG and Cou for the last 30 minutes. This game will depend on an early goal, if we get it i can see us trouncing them as they try and come forward more which they don't seem suited to do. If they score first though i doubt you'll see their striker in our half let alone the rest of their team.
 

zagueiro

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I'd like to see Agger back on the bench...........his form has been quite poor and he was culpable for Norwich's goal. Sakho has to deserve some playing time in my opinion or what's the point of buying him?

In an ideal world SG needs a rest as he is the only CM who hasn't missed any game time recently, but with our lack of attacking options I think he'll play.

We're generally short of options all round apart from CB.
 

Quagmire81

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Quite poor is a very misleading way to put it Zag. We still play better with him in the side. But I agree I would like to see sakho play, instead of Skrtel though.
 

nimitzz

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i would prefer game time for sakho, rest gerrad get in alberto.... he was really good... and no moses please...
 

shootscore

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The key to this is going to be getting the balance right between attacking creativity/ability and defensive solidity.
Recently teams have been getting far too much time from wide areas getting crosses in, and there needs to be better closing down in those situations.
I don't think Henderson has enough ability as an attacking player to be played too far forward. I see him as a good defensive midfielder for now, who offers another element on attack, but nothing too creative. So I see him either as a Lucas type defensive midfielder, or a flat midfielder, either left or right, who can break forward and supply an attack.
I'm not going to select a team for this one, just say that I want to see good attacking intent backed up by defensive solidity.
Possession is all good, as long as its leading somewhere.
 

SoueysTash

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I'd be dropping Gerrard to save him for Spurs - Lucas in his place, get Sakho in for Agger - he was weak in the air for that Norwich goal.

Other than that I'd leave the team as it is, I'd like to remove Henderson for Alberto who I feel offers us more going forward however - it's an Allardyce team that is likely to be a bit ruff n ready therefore Alberto might get booted off the park whereas Hendo can take the punishment.

Should be a comfortable win, they can't score goals and we can.
 

Doggie

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SoueysTash said:
I'd be dropping Gerrard to save him for Spurs - Lucas in his place, get Sakho in for Agger - he was weak in the air for that Norwich goal.

Other than that I'd leave the team as it is, I'd like to remove Henderson for Alberto who I feel offers us more going forward however - it's an Allardyce team that is likely to be a bit ruff n ready therefore Alberto might get booted off the park whereas Hendo can take the punishment.

Should be a comfortable win, they can't score goals and we can.
It's another week before Spurs so I don't think rotation is necessary this time - will become an issue over Xmas though.

Can't agree with starting Moses. Sterling is improving with his game time so I'd stick him in there again.

Must admit, I'm worried about Agger and set pieces.
 

SoueysTash

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Doggie said:
It's another week before Spurs so I don't think rotation is necessary this time - will become an issue over Xmas though.

Can't agree with starting Moses. Sterling is improving with his game time so I'd stick him in there again.

Must admit, I'm worried about Agger and set pieces.
Assume you're talking to someone else about Moses as I didn't mention him...impact sub on for 20 mins
 

Johnny T.

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I think the same team should start. West Ham should be beaten, no need for a stay at home defensive midfielder, so Allen should keep his place. The quandry rests on Sahko. He should be playing, but Skrtel has been in the most part very good this season. I doubt any of us thought Flanagan would get an hour of football this season, but if he continues as he is then Enrique will struggle to get back on the team. Gerrard will play as much as possible, he is the mainstay in midfield. All good for Saturday, hopefully.....
 

lfc.eddie

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Keep the winning team and don't go rotate just because we feel like it. If we were to play Sakho instead of Agger, then put Toure in as well instead of Skrtel. Don't take this game too lightly, Allardyce love to rough it up and we know our players can't take that too damn much. If we want to get anything out of this game, we need to score early to draw them out from their shell.
 

ILLOK

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Johnny T. said:
I think the same team should start. West Ham should be beaten, no need for a stay at home defensive midfielder, so Allen should keep his place. The quandry rests on Sahko. He should be playing, but Skrtel has been in the most part very good this season. I doubt any of us thought Flanagan would get an hour of football this season, but if he continues as he is then Enrique will struggle to get back on the team. Gerrard will play as much as possible, he is the mainstay in midfield. All good for Saturday, hopefully.....
Enrique will surely come straight back in for Flanagan when fit. Think he's done alright but Enrique is a much better left back.
 

TheSweetSilverSong

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I think that the important thing here will be to be able to pose a threat from all areas, especially given that we'll have a bus parked in front of their goal, and to start the game with drive. When we do, it's hard to stop us.
When we don't, like last season, it will likely end in a goalless draw, like last season.

With that in mind, I'd say that I'd give the left to Sterling and hope he can keep improving and get another finish like that, but just as importantly to get the confidence from the Norwich goal and start dribbling like at the start of last season, drilling holes in West Ham defense. He does have it in him, hope we can start seeing it again.

I'd give the right to Johnson (think he had a good game vs Norwich after a couple of below par for him), and have Henderson deployed at RW to yield it to Johnson, adding a body in central midfield.

And I'd have Coutinho right off Suarez, with Gerrard not too far away from him, and get both create from the middle, each in very different ways (Coutinho with shorter passes and through balls, Gerrard mostly with longer delivery and hopefully some magic like that acrobatic vs Norwich that is less unlucky).

I'd say that would be posing a threat from every area of the field and with Suarez not just receiving but shifting out and creating himself.

Biggest issue will be scoring, and the sooner it happens the more we'll be able to score.

But I'd like to see Sakho back in the team, either with Agger or Toure (not because I have anything against Skrtel, but because I think he needs a leader next to him, which Agger and Toure are, and Skrtel is not).

Allen had a good game and could still be fielded instead of Lucas vs West Ham, who may not be posing much of a threat while they're busy parking their bus.

Line up:

____________Mignolet____________

____Toure/Agger___Sakho________

Johnson________________Flanagan

______________Allen______________

______Henderson_Gerrard________

___________Coutinho_______Sterling

_____________Suarez______________


It's meant to be something like a 4-2-3-1 but with Henderson leaving the width to Johnson and offering one more body in CM and with Gerrard slightly advanced because we'll need him more offensive here, it's morphing to a 4-3-2-1 (even though when Johnson is attacking it looks more like 3-3-3-1 which is not a real formation but it's a description of where I see players when we attack).
 

Lucas

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TheSweetSilverSong said:
Line up:

____________Mignolet____________

____Toure/Agger___Sakho________

Johnson________________Flanagan

______________Allen______________

______Henderson_Gerrard________

___________Coutinho_______Sterling

_____________Suarez______________


It's meant to be something like a 4-2-3-1 but with Henderson leaving the width to Johnson and offering one more body in CM and with Gerrard slightly advanced because we'll need him more offensive here, it's morphing to a 4-3-2-1 (even though when Johnson is attacking it looks more like 3-3-3-1 which is not a real formation but it's a description of where I see players when we attack).
Hard to disagree with this. I think it should be Toure not Agger, mainly because Toure knows how to head a ball, which always comes in handy when you play a Big Sam team :ph34r:
 

SirBillShankly

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Don't think Henderson deserves to keep his place, unless people are impressed with his lack of goals, assists and constantly conceding possession.
 

bes

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It irks the hell outta me seeing 2 LCB play together... It just doesnt work like that.

Mignolet
Johnson Skrtel Sakho Flanno
-------Allen Gerrard
Hendo Coutinho Sterling
Suarez

Lucas wont be needed because Ravel will be out. Im confident we can handle Diame and co, the problem is scoring on them.
 

yiannos33

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I'll have 2 changes from Norwich match. Sakho for Skrtll/Agger ,and Moses for
Sterling as his more physical
I'll take 1-0 even though I bet 3-0.
 

TheSweetSilverSong

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Lucas said:
Hard to disagree with this. I think it should be Toure not Agger, mainly because Toure knows how to head a ball, which always comes in handy when you play a Big Sam team :ph34r:
Agree about the reasoning of using Toure for this one mate ;)


bes said:
It irks the hell outta me seeing 2 LCB play together... It just doesnt work like that.

Mignolet
Johnson Skrtel Sakho Flanno
-------Allen Gerrard
Hendo Coutinho Sterling
Suarez

Lucas wont be needed because Ravel will be out. Im confident we can handle Diame and co, the problem is scoring on them.
No boss in central defense doesn't irk the hell out of you?? :p
You may be right about the two LCB as it may be the reason that it's the only partnership that hasn't featured yet (which could have been even tried in training and wouldn't work).
But until Sakho learns the EPL and proves to be a boss for us, he needs one beside him in my opinion. And that's either Agger or Toure, coz Skrtel ain't one, regardless of defending ability. If two LCB is not working for the team, which may well be the case, then by all means Toure next to Sakho, but not Sakho and Skrtel! :)

Agree about not needing Lucas and problem will be scoring! I like the general concept of your lineup too, besides the CB pairing.
 
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