Friday, April 26, 2013

Liverpool vs. Newcastle United 27/04/2013

This weekend we face Newcastle, a team whose last five games have seen them win 1, draw 1, and lose 3. The last time we met we drew 1-1 at Anfield, with a sublime goal from our leading scorer and now banned Luis Suarez. We had 65% possession throughout the game, allowing only 3 shots on goal, with Jones letting one in in the 43rd minute. Enough of the refresher facts though, lets get back to this weekend.

My lineup for our match would be

Subs: Jones, Suso, Assaidi, Coates, Skrtel, Shelvey and Borini.

File:Daniel Sturridge v Swansea.jpgI would put Coutinho in the middle because, lets face it without Suarez on the pitch we will undoubtedly need some added creativity going through the middle. Henderson on the left should be helpful against the pacey right flank of Newcastle, and with any luck Cisse will still be out with a rib injury. I am really hoping that we are less stagnant in front of goal than we have been in our past few matches, and while we had some good play in the box against chelsea, for the most part we were poor in attack. If we can keep 60+% of the ball and we can really put some pressure on the goal I can easily see us walking out of St. James's Park with a 4 or 5-0 win. Sturridge is going to need to bring his best shooting boots if we are to walk away with a huge win though, as well as the rest of the team chipping in. Hopefully Collocini being out will be a big help to us because in our last meeting he was by far Newcastles best defender and kept Suarez from getting more than one.

As for tactics I would focus on high pressing, short passing and getting plenty of shots on goal. Elliot will be the likely starter for this match due to a Krul shoulder injury. This could be either good for us or bad, Elliot has only has 6 games this season, so he could be a little rusty, but I haven't seen any of his games so I cannot comment on whether he is any good or not. If we get good shots on frame though we will score, there is no doubt about that. If we keep to the passing style that BR has been implementing we will be fine, because the Newcastle defense is an easy nut to crack when a well passing team is their opponent (see losses to Wigan, Tottenham, Swansea and Arsenal).

Substitution wise I would like to see some improvement on the wash that was last weekend (Sturridge=good/Shelvey=BAD). I personally would like to see Assaidi come on for Coutinho around the 65th minute, and Suso on for Henderson at about the same time. With those two subs, we could change into an all out attack formation and really take it to Newcastle. I would also bring on Skrtel at some point because he is a good defender and I think he needs some playing time, even if it is just to get a better price for him in the summer.

In other important Liverpool news:
As I am sure everyone knows (unless you live under a rock) Luis Suarez was given a 10 match ban by the FA. While I think that the punishment does not match the crime (no blood was drawn and there were no injuries) I think that him taking the punishment like a man was the best option. Without an appeal the FA cannot justify making the ban larger which I think would have happened had an appeal been lodged.
Coutinho got a haircut! I'm not sure why this is exciting to those on reddit, but hey, it's something to talk about other than Suarez.
Transfer season is coming up soon and I'm looking forward to seeing who we can bring in, with us being linked to a host of talent from all across Europe I'm hoping for a good summer.

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