The last two weeks of the Liverpool season were quite busy for me. I had finals week, then I was on a short vacation in the state of New York for a week. I’ve also been working a lot. But despite all this, I will have a rather lengthy post that will be similar to my Glen Johnson post, but with every Liverpool player who started 10 or more games.

Josh

Liverpool travel to Norwich tomorrow to take on the Canaries in a match that Liverpool direly need to win to keep up in the table with Everton and the others. After the lose to West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool are going to need to learn to finish after completely dominating the match and doing what seemed impossible, not finishing any of their chances. Hopefully Kenny Dalglish can come out with a plan to stifle these birds.

Who will start for Liverpool?

Reina
Johnson–Skrtel–Agger–Enrique
Downing–Henderson–Spearing–Bellamy
Suarez–Carroll

Reina in net, that’s for sure. Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique should be automatically in the squad, along with Glen Johnson. Hopefully Daniel Agger can partner Skrtel for what has made one of the most formidable defenses in the league this season.

The midfield will be a tough choice. If Steven Gerrard is back after his precautionary sit against West Brom, then he will start probably partnered with Jay Spearing. Jordan Henderson is also a possibility. Whichever they chose has to be able to hold possession and not stick Henderson out right.

The attack will include Luis Suarez. Beyond that is questionable. I can see Stewart Downing being stuck as an inside forward along with Craig Bellamy. Andy Carroll’s form recently has warranted a start also, so look out for that. Dirk Kuyt is also a possibility.

How can Liverpool win?

Continue to control the match. They have been really good at holding possession and creating chances. They need to continue on this path.

But then again, what’s the point of creating chances if you never take them? Liverpool hold tons of chances created this year, but hold minimal goals for their work. At this point it’s become comical. Of all the missed chances, 30 have hit the woodwork.

At this point of the year, the team should be gelled together, but we still have to see Downing make the sort of impact he’s capable of making, same with Charlie Adam who now misses the rest of the year with an injury.

Mr. Roy Hodgson takes his first trip to Anfield tomorrow after a quite miserable stint as manager of the Reds last season. Liverpool look to hold on to momentum gained after beating their cross-town rivals, Everton, in the FA Cup semifinal, but who really knows what will happen. Liverpool fizzeled against Arsenal after winning the Carling Cup, so anything can happen.

Who will start for Liverpool?

Reina
Johnson–Skrtel–Agger–Enrique
Henderson–Spearing–Gerrard–Downing
Suarez–Carroll

Reina in net after he finished his three game suspension against Everton. Johson and Skrtel should be in the line up. Agger and Enrique are questionable since Carragher has been in the team lately more often than not.

Gerrard will get a start, I think alongside Spearing with Henderson on the right. I would prefer Gerrard on the right and Shelvey with Henderson in the middle though. Downing on the left crossing into Carroll.

Suarez and Carroll up front. They have been quite good lately when they have been partnered. Their good form helped Liverpool beat Everton at Wembley, with Carroll scoring the winner.

How can Liverpool win?

Liverpool need to look to continue their good form and all the good things going for them. Carroll has scored two winning goals late in the match for the Reds. Suarez has been a nusance all over the pitch also. Henderson needs to provide the energy and Gerrard the drive.

The defense is going to be very important for Liverpool. They need to hold down Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie. Whether it’s Agger and Skrtel, or Carragher and Skrtel, they’re not an easy duo to fight.

I personally look forward tomorrow. I hope for some redemption after Hodgson ruined Liverpool’s top four hopes last year.

Steven Gerrard and gang eventually came from 1-0, on a poor clearance by Carragher, to defeat the cross-town Toffies 2-1, with Carroll catching the winner three minutes from time.

The starting XI was probably the first thing that caught my eye. Shelvey was relegated to the bench for no reason while Downing was placed in a side featuring Carroll, Suarez, Gerrard, Henderson and Spearing. The defense was made of Agger, Skrtel, Carragher and Johnson. Brad Jones started in net.

Why Carragher instead of Enrique? No one will know, but the 24′ made everyone question the inclusion of Carragher. Agger and Carragher got stuck in the box with possession and time. Instead of making a sensible pass, Carragher hoofed the ball straight at Tim Cahill. The ball deflected right to Nikica Jelavic (who was offside) who finished cooly past Jones for the opener.

The rest of the half was Everton and Liverpool failed to respond.

The second half started off much better for Liverpool. They were able to keep possession and do reputable work against the Everton defense. Suarez’s buzzing finally paid off in the 62′ after Sylvain Distin horribly hit a back-pass to no one in particular. Suarez pounced on the chance through to goal and hit the ball with the side of his right foot past an oncoming Tim Howard.

From then out, both teams fought for the goal that would book their train tickets to Wembley in May.The introduction of Maxi showed the dominance of Liverpool once and for all. Carroll then missed a gaping chance with his left foot, just pushed it wide.

Bellamy changed the tide of the game when he was introduced rather late. In the 87′, Bellamy fired a free kick from the edge of the area. Andy Carroll and his ponytail hopped above the rest and sent the ball into the back of the net, for his second winner in as many games. Cue excitement for the Reds.

The rest of time looked even more Liverpool. Maxi missed a gaping chance, but the match was already settled at that point.

Suarez was voted the player of the game, and rightly so. He was a pest to the Everton defense and even earned himself a goal on the day.

I’ll be back with more later. The next match is Sunday.

Also, remember the 96 who died at Hillsborough 23 years ago. Justice will be served.

Liverpool head off to Wembley for the second time this year, but this time, it’s a Merseyside derby. Anything can happen in these fiery affairs, and it’s completely unpredictable what will happen, except someone will advance to the FA Cup final at Wembley. Form is not a predictor or what’s going to happen, so lets enjoy the sparks

Who will start for Liverpool?

Jones
Johnson–Carragher–Skrtel–Enrique
Gerrard–Henderson–Shelvey–Downing
Carroll–Suarez

Not a huge fan of the 4-4-2, but it seems the most likely.

Jones in goal most likely. Skrtel and Enrique are for sure starting. Carragher or Agger will be Skrtel’s defensive partner while Johnson or Flanagan will probably be at right back. After Flanagan’s match during the week, and Johnson’s entrance back into the team, Flanagan should be on the bench with Johnson at right back.

Gerrard will probably be in the squad. Henderson and Shelvey are possibilities. One of those two are probably going start, while a Spearing/Gerrard partnership could be seen since Spearing has been left out of the starting XI recently. Downing on the left since Bellamy played mid week. Kuyt could be out of the right and Downing on the left. Who knows.

Suarez is very very likely to start since he didn’t play against Blackburn. Carroll’s confidence should be high after a late winner against the Rovers. Dalglish hasn’t really been picking him after his good performances, which is strange.

Conclusion, the line up is unpredictable, the game is unpredictable, and the final score is unpredictable.

Lets just hope for an exciting match from both teams. Hopefully we will get to see the gates of Wembley again this year…

Because of my busy schedule, I was able to make time to write anything the past couple days. So here’s two quick recaps.

Liverpool played really well against Aston Villa for pieces. It’s definitely an improvement from what they have been showing. Jonjo Shelvey was outstanding until he was replaced. Doni was semi in fault for Villa’s goal. Suarez got the goal for Liverpool after a mess inside the box. It would have to be Suarez.

The Blackburn match was different. I only saw the first half, so that’s all I can talk about in depth.

Maxi Rodriguez was phenomenal in the first 16 minutes, picking up two goals three minutes apart to put Liverpool ahead by two. They looked to be coasting away to victory.

Any Liverpool fan knows that nothing is that easy. Jon Flanagan was absolutely terrible in the time he was on the pitch. That was probably his final inclusion of the season too because Glen Johnson got over 50 minutes at left back. Flanagan’s back pass to someone was picked off and all Doni could do was go and try and take the ball. He missed the ball and tripped the player for a red card. Two goalkeepers out with red cards.

Brad Jones came in for Flanagan. The 30 year old, whose son died five months ago from leukemia and recently had another kid, saved the terrible penalty from Yakubu to keep Liverpool ahead by two.

Liverpool still controlled the match with Henderson playing right back for the time being. He looked very good and was probably man of the match.

But you can only play so long a man down and dominate. Yakubu made up for his terrible penalty and scored, completely unmarked, off a set piece caused by a hand ball by Bellamy (questionable call).

The next side of the half saw Jones almost see red in a random turn of events, and because Liverpool never can get anything easy these days. Jones failed to handle the ball, and dropped it right to the feet of a Blackburn player whose heavy touch brought far enough away, the red deemed Jones worthy of a yellow instead of a red when he tore down the player who only had to put the ball on net.

The second penalty was as poor as the first one by Yakubu, but Jones dove the wrong way, 2-2.

Liverpool stayed in the game, and even fought away some Blackburn attacks and Andy Carroll’s attempt at scoring an own goal. In the dying seconds, Carroll made up for a hell of a miss earlier, and got on the end of a ball by Daniel Agger to head past the Blackburn keeper, sending the traveling Kop into glee.

This will hopefully be a good sign of things to come on Saturday when Liverpool take on Everton in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley. Liverpool will be playing a third-string keeper, or the recently called back Peter Gulacsi.

Life goes on. The 2008-09 season was so far ago it seems, but was it really? Heck, the last time Liverpool got relegated seems like yesterday to some older gents I’m sure. So why do we have to worry about football in the here and now? I don’t know, but I have to. That’s what this recent run of results is bringing me to, some sort of thinking about time. And I hate it. So we’ll get on with it, just because Liverpool vs. Aston Villa is the here and now.

Liverpool defeated Villa at Villa Park 2-0 this season. We also lose a lot this year. So, who knows what to expect from this team.

Who will start for Liverpool?

Doni
Flanagan–Carragher–Skrtel–Enrique
Spearing
Gerrard-Shelvey
Kuyt–Downing
Suarez

Doni in goal due to Reina’s stupid red card against Newcastle. Skrtel and Enrique are basically in the line up no matter what. Since we apparently need Carragher’s leadership for Flanagan (probably our best defender against Newcastle), and since Coates is somehow unworthy after beating Messi and Argentina in the Copa America.

Spearing and Gerrard almost automatically in. Shelvey put in one of the most influential performances against Newcastle, so I hope to see him in the line up because we really have nothing to lose. Henderson is also a possibility for Shelvey, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

In attack, Suarez for sure. Will we see Carroll? If not, then Kuyt probably on right and Downing on left, or vice-versa. If Maxi makes a surprise appearance, he will be on the left and Downing on the right. This is actually one thing I would love to see because Suarez and Maxi link well. Downing has also started to put in better performances in a red shirt. Henderson could even see the right side (blow my head off).

How can Liverpool win?

Not suck again. Seriously though, they need to put in an effort. The defense has to step up after they have become more leaky than an empty paper towel roll. The offense needs to show they want it, because as of now, they look so boring and uninterested when they play. So hopefully we’ll be able to see something new tomorrow. Don’t count on it.

I’m off to go audition for things.

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