PRE MATCH - Porto v Liverpool (CL 14.2.2018, 7:45pm)

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XMarlin

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#31
Karius needs to stay...he's growing into the role I think.

Hoping to see a nice solid away win with 2 or 3 goals and no injuries.

Composure and confidence are all this team needs. After dismantling City I have no doubt these lads are capable of going far.
 

rupzzz

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#33
Why do we have to play on Valentines da? 1 bird is going to get neglected!
Thankfully the fiancee and I both dislike everything about Valentines day, and she is fully accepting of the fact that it will be all about Porto and the CL tomorrrow.

On the match;

As others have already said, no need for major changes. Karius must stay in goal - none of this rotation at the business end please Jurgen.

I'd like to see Gomez in ahead of Trent, as he provides a bit more defensive stability, which will be important against a free scoring Porto side, that are also set peice specialists. The other back three to go unchanges.

In midfield, can only presume Henderson starts. With Can out, I expect Milner to start to give us some of that experience on the pitch. Then it's a choice between AOC and Gini - I'd be tempted to go with AOC as he has more going forward and Gini has the habit of going AWOL away from home. Suspect Lallana isn't fit enough to start.

Front three unchanged;

Karius
Gomez - Matip - VVD - Robertson
Henderson
Milner - AOC
Salah - Firmino - Mane

Subs : Mignolet, Lovren, Moreno, Lallana, Gini, Ings, Solanke.
A clean sheet would be lovely out of this game, as would an away goal. Over two legs, I totally fancy us, esp with the Anfield return.

I'll be in the Main Stand for the return leg - love a European night at Anfield - I was at both the Dortmund and Villareal games season before last - Dortmund by far the most dramatic and exciting game I've been to, but I'd rather not be put through the wringer this time around and would happily take the more comfortable game we had against Villareal.

This is what it's all about - CL knockout stages - to say I am looking forward to it is an understatement!
 

BostonMick

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#35
Note to self: Get ashes in the morning. No need to put anything at risk in my match preparations.
 

basil1492

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#36
Have to admit i see Klopp putting Migs in for this one even though i'd prefer Karius. I also see (and admittedly would prefer) Moreno to start this one. Before anyone jumps on this there are 2 reasons. Firstly even though Moreno has had some bad games in Europe he still has improved this year. Secondly at what point do we think it's unsafe for Robbo to pely around the pitch non-stop. He can't be doing this every game twice a week and even though there's a break coming up we will eventually get to 2 games a week. For those who like Moreno it's a case of not too much to choose between them whereas the ones who don't like Moreno, consider what happens if Roobo gets injured tomorrow, you're stuck with Moreno as the ONLY option to get us into CL next year and keep us in the CL. Plus of course this is a 2 legged affair meaning we can possibly afford even being 1 goal down after this whereas we can't afford any losses in the PL.

I'd put Gomez back for this as the more defensive of the 2 RBs and also go with Hendo,Milner and Ox. Can banned, Lallana not fit enough and Wini still having away day problems it seems like little choice and at least we can bring the energetic Wini off the bench if needed (though i'd also like to see Woodburn on the bench). Front 3 we all know and of course if needed we could bring Wini on and push Ox forward if needed later in the game. I missed out CB partner for VVD as i really think Klopp is rotating till he finds the best partner for him. That means Lovren starts tomorrow and if i'm totally honest i haven't got a preference. Lovren seems the better player at the moment but has more lapses in concentration than Matip (whose form has gone down this year).

Bench has to include Solanke and Ings in case we decide we absolutely need a goal. It would mean keeping our front 3 and dropping Ox then putting Firmino back in Ox's position but that's only if we're 2 goals or more down. Can't wait for this to start, managed to rearrange work through the week so i could get tomorrow evening off. I'll be half asleep for this but at least the bit of me that's awake gets to enjoy us winning this 3-1 with at least one assist from Moreno, 1 goal from Salah and an imperious defensive job from VVD. The goal they score will likely come from a corner that Migs should have come for but didn't. You heard it here first :-)
 

JMac8

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#37
Portuguese sides are snide, possibly the biggest cheats in world football. I'm worried they'll target Trent if he starts. I'd either start Milner at RB or play him in a position where he can offer some protection to Trent (or Gomez).
Expect lots of diving and play-acting. We need a strong ref, we need to defend better than we did first half yesterday and we need the front 3 to be clinical.
At least we had a practice match against Spurs last week.
(No im still not over it)
 

LFCFFC

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#39
Current league leaders, unbeaten in the league with only 10 goals conceded. Also disposed of some fairly decent teams in the group stage to get to the round of 16. It might "only" be a team from Portugal, but these guys can play.

Lucky we won't take them lightly. Having VVD as a calming influence down back is critical, as is Karius' recent upturn of form. If we quell Aboubakar and Brahimi, the front 3 could tear them to shreds going the other way. Midfield is a worry, but we have to have faith that Ox, Gini and Hendo will scrap it out and get it done. Would love a comfortable win, but 2-1 seems more likely. At least an away goal please.

Also this fixtures is a win for us sad pricks who are without a better half. Hope some of you married lads are able to drag yourselves away from a romantic evening for a few hours ;-)
 

AussieLad

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#40
tell her you want to share your passion with her and you have decided you should spice up your love life by inviting other people into it .. and then dim the lights , crack open the champagne and switch on the footie!
Or surprise her with a romantic trip away to Porto, then plead ignorance when she finds out that Liverpool are in Porto playing the same time.

A funny story, a few years back, Australia were playing Holland in Eindhoven, so a few of the boys organised to get a flight on the Friday afternoon to AMsterdam, then train on the Saturday morning for the match and back to Amsterdam Sunday with a Sunday night return. One of the boys, whose missus hated football and his football mates decided to take her and tell her it was a romantic weekend away, forgetting to tell her that 20 other pissed up Aussies would be on the same flight as them.

Needless to say, it cost him roughly 3 months wages appologising to her lol
 

Klopptinho

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#41
Current league leaders, unbeaten in the league with only 10 goals conceded. Also disposed of some fairly decent teams in the group stage to get to the round of 16. It might "only" be a team from Portugal, but these guys can play.

Lucky we won't take them lightly. Having VVD as a calming influence down back is critical, as is Karius' recent upturn of form. If we quell Aboubakar and Brahimi, the front 3 could tear them to shreds going the other way. Midfield is a worry, but we have to have faith that Ox, Gini and Hendo will scrap it out and get it done. Would love a comfortable win, but 2-1 seems more likely. At least an away goal please.

Also this fixtures is a win for us sad pricks who are without a better half. Hope some of you married lads are able to drag yourselves away from a romantic evening for a few hours ;-)
man city hadn't been beaten - until they met the mighty reds .

2005 i don't think juve had conceded a goal before sami and luis garcia smashed them off the park .

unbeaten runs and great defensive records all end at some point !
 

Wyld@Heart

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#42
I'd go with a midfield three of Lallana, Henderson and Wijnaldum for this one. For whatever reason, they really clicked in the first few months of last season. I cannot remember being played again together since then due to injuries, availability of other players and formation switches. In the absence of Çan I reckon we should dust it off and try. Henderson and Lallana might not be expected to last the 90 but 60-70 for either or both with Milner and Ox subbing in would be my pick.
 

LFCFFC

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#43
man city hadn't been beaten - until they met the mighty reds .

2005 i don't think juve had conceded a goal before sami and luis garcia smashed them off the park .

unbeaten runs and great defensive records all end at some point !
They also smashed us at the Etihad, so let's hope that same pattern doesn't occur here!

I get your point though - we're a better team and if we play to our potential we'll come away with a win. It's always good to be aware of who you're facing though.
 

Jimmyscase

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#48
FC Porto v Liverpool: The Big Match Preview
12 February 2018 5:29 pm by Rob Gutmann

https://www.theanfieldwrap.com/2018/02/fc-porto-v-liverpool-big-match-preview/



IT’S Feb and it’s fab.

The Reds are back in the knockout stage of the European Cup for the first time since 2009.

Those were heady days. I was nine years younger for start. My youngest, Rafael, wasn’t even alive. Well, he was about to be alive. I remember the draw revealing we’d got Real Madrid. Real Ma-fucking-drid. It didn’t get any more European Cup-y than that.

I recall the pitch to my eight month’s pregnant wife, like it was only yesterday. Actually it wasn’t so much of a pitch as an undignified whining begging plea.

Please let me go to Madrid.
Please let me go to Madrid.
Please let me go to Madrid.

Now, I didn’t actually say these words out loud. I didn’t and don’t need my wife’s permission for anything, nor would she want herself cast in the role of the permission giver. This isn’t how we roll. But…

That fucking baby was definitely due. Soon. In fact, it (later he) had become so due that we had a specific date for the birth which was immutable. The baby was getting born on that Thursday, whatever happened. To my mind then, there could be no harm done in squeezing in a cheeky thousand odd-mile round trip to the Spanish capital to watch The Reds play the mighty Real Madrid.



Once in a lifetime thing. I heard myself saying out loud in the kitchen within earshot of the rest of the family. Once. In. A lifetime. Thing.
Talking to myself, here.

Meanwhile, the boys, the lads, the chaps, all somehow living in apparently responsibility and guilt-free bubbles, were making plans. Like a raggle-taggle Armada they would be in Spain for the main event. Their mere ruminations and musings on modes of transport, hotel choices, gnawing away at my sense of self and purpose.

Father. Husband. Son. Friend. Partner.

All these roles. What about “super mad Reds fan for life”? Did that not count for anything? I’d put more hours into being that than anything else ever.

“JUST FUCKING GO TO MADRID!”

“Say what?”

“DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT AGAIN!”

“OK, of course, sure… No, of course I can’t go, you’re about to have the baby, our baby, it would be crazy… But, oh I don’t know, if you’re really…

“AHH I’M GOING TO REAL MA-FUCKING-DRID!”



And it came to pass that I did go to Real Madrid, and The Reds did win there in that fucking big mad famous Bernabeu. With a headed goal by Yossi Benayoun. And I got home safely, and in good time to be by Michaela’s side for the impeccably scheduled birth of our fourth child. And we did call him Rafael. After Rafa Benitez. Because, why wouldn’t you? And, in the end, it felt like a bigger victory than the gods could ever contrive or imagine.

It was a victory for being me and my idiosyncratic series of life choices. I neither expected, nor received, any thanks for these. But I rested safe in the knowledge that I’d played a selfish man’s blinder.

And here I am again. In 2018. Nine years later. Liverpool back in the knockout phase. The last 16. And the pricks have put it on Valentine’s day. Fair enough in a way. There’s a kind of symmetry to it.

Jürgen Klopp doesn’t have a choice. It’s his job to jib Valentine’s this year to take The Reds to Portugal for the first leg of this eagerly awaited tie. Klopp is much liked and respected by the majority of Liverpool fans, the manager in turn has became very fond of the supporters and the club. If Liverpool were to defy the odds this season and reach the Champions League final then mutual admiration would blossom into unequivocal romantic love.

Klopp was not tempted to rest any of his players in the run up to this season-defining clash, and will feel that a recent lower intensity of games and the adrenaline induced by the occasion will suffice for a lively and determined Liverpool to show up.

Porto are a big noise in their homeland but it will be our job to shatter their illusion. Obviously a draw would be a good first leg result, but a win is achievable and would probs be decisive in the context of the whole tie.

Selection wise, the manager will want to know from his medics if Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson are fit enough to start, and if Adam Lallana can play an entire game without risking yet another injury.

My Valentine’s will be happening on Tuesday, February 13 this year. We are all very much at peace with this in our house. Not least eight-year-old Rafa. He came into this world to a father prepared to put his duty to The Reds first, so he’ll be buggered if he’s letting his dad do Valentine’s on the night of a major European Cup tie without him. This boy is blessed. He has come to know the greatest love of all.

Predicted 11: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Kick off: Wednesday, 7.45pm

Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Odds: Porto 9-4, Draw 13-5, Liverpool 11-8
Thanks for posting this Hope.
To use a Kloppism that we haven't heard yet, but might: 'Mr Gutmann, his name is programme'
 

NYRhockey

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#49

Redsi73

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#51
Not getting why people think Mignolet will start this one. The competition is our only chance of silverware and we should be going all out to win it ( unlikely i know, but on our day we can beat anyone in Europe ).

Strongest team please, so that excludes Mignolet.
 

Zoran

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#52
Yeah I expect and hope it's Karius. Maybe Klopp already knows it himself too, but is taking a different approach this time in terms of what he says ahead of this first CL game after a while. Great to have Clyne back involved with the squad. Even if he manages to play only a few games, I just want him back, properly healed and that he can have a proper pre-season so we don't have an extra position for investing.
 

redaderry

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#53
Klopp on who'll be our goalie:

"To be honest, I have not made the final decision, but it is not the same situation as it was," Klopp told reporters. "A good one will play, but I haven't made the decision so far."

good news is he has not decided on Migs, bad news is he has not decided on Karius

http://www.espn.com/soccer/liverpoo...s-will-start-ahead-of-simon-mignolet-vs-porto
I'm expecting Klopp to pick Karius but expecting the unexpected, i unexpect him to pick Mignolet. So all in all, i haven't a fucking clue who to expect to be in goal.
 

LFC7NH

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#54
Klopp on who'll be our goalie:

"To be honest, I have not made the final decision, but it is not the same situation as it was," Klopp told reporters. "A good one will play, but I haven't made the decision so far."

good news is he has not decided on Migs, bad news is he has not decided on Karius

http://www.espn.com/soccer/liverpoo...s-will-start-ahead-of-simon-mignolet-vs-porto
Curious what exactly he means exactly by "but it is not the same situation as it was".

Mignolet already with 1 foot out the door?

Edit..
On that note, just saw this on the official

http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/first-team/290741-loris-karius-to-start-reds-porto-clash

Loris Karius will retain his place in Liverpool's goal for Wednesday night's Champions League fixture with FC Porto, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

The ‘keeper has been given the nod to start between the sticks for the last-16, first-leg tie at the Estadio do Dragao.

Klopp also had words of praise for Karius’ performance in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Southampton as he confirmed the news to Liverpoolfc.com.

Speaking on-board the team flight to Portugal, the boss said: “Loris will start.

“For all goalkeepers it is the same, they need that [confidence]. I don’t like to talk too much about it because we are only interested in the next game, but [his performance at Southampton] was important.

“There were a few really good saves, important saves, good decisions – really smart decisions with quick restarts and stuff like that.

“He was involved in the game, was open and it was just a good performance from him.”
 

NYRhockey

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#57
Curious what exactly he means exactly by "but it is not the same situation as it was".
That is the quote that actually made me think he'd go with Karius. I interpreted that line as he saying that the previous situation was we'd rotate goalies, Migs takes the PL and Karius the CL, but that this was not the situation anymore (ie. Karius would take PL and Migs CL) and Karius is our #1 going forward in both.
 

Maria

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#58
I am looking forward to tomorrow but kind of nervous. From what Klopp was saying about Porto, they are a strong and physical team, with good players. I hope they don't kick lumps out of our forward three.
 

jaffod

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#59
It's strange because I've had no expectations of us going far in this competition at any point, in fact I was telling all and sundry that if we managed to scrape through the group we'd get knocked out by the first decent side we played.
Should be able to just enjoy it whatever happens but when you're old enough to remember 5 European Cups and 3 UEFA Cups it's not that easy, in fact I'm a fucking bag of nerves. 4 early goals would be nice.....
 

vjcpatriot

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#60
It's strange because I've had no expectations of us going far in this competition at any point, in fact I was telling all and sundry that if we managed to scrape through the group we'd get knocked out by the first decent side we played.
Should be able to just enjoy it whatever happens but when you're old enough to remember 5 European Cups and 3 UEFA Cups it's not that easy, in fact I'm a fucking bag of nerves. 4 early goals would be nice.....
Well aren't you a bag of contradictions? Porto is undoubtedly the top side in their League. How are you expecting us to score 4 early goals if LFC, according to your predictions, will lose to the 'first good side' they face?

This is an away game so I am expecting a challenge. If we can scrap a draw in the opening leg, I expect us to put them away when they return to Anfield. But this will be a difficult first test. Karius hasn't been much tested in Liverpool uniform. Hoping for a competitive match! The more away goals we can score, the more pressure Porto will feel in Anfield.
 
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