“We’ll be alright, Suarez isn’t playing,” shortly turned to “Jesus Christ. That’s without Suarez!” In the wake of the Uruguayans bite scandal, all eyes were on how Rodgers’ side would cope without their controversial striker. They needn’t have worried.
Coutinho’s creativity, vision and link up play with Sturridge, displayed the attacking options Liverpool added in January, with half of their six goals in April coming from winter additions. Luckily, Coutinho is still sidelined. However, that mentality didn’t serve us well last time.
The fickle fate of the fixture list sees St James’ host Liverpool with a trip to Wearside the following week, in an almost similar situation to that of last year. Add Chelsea and Spurs to see in November, not to mention the cup clash with City. It’s probably a sensible option to cancel your broadband and lock away your TV, it’s going to be a long winter.
Rodger’s tactical philosophy, along with an array of attacking talent, has seen his side stake an earl claim as possible title contenders. Whereas Newcastle’s leaky defence and poor home record doesn’t exactly fill many Magpies with optimism. In a fixture renowned for its goals, there’s no doubt Krul will be kept busy throughout.
Not one for his tactical nous, it’s difficult to see how Pardew will effectively challenge Liverpool’s possession and passing game. Looks like it’ll be another quiet one for a certain number 9.
Although Enrique and Johnson’s marauding runs will free up space for Ben Arfa to exploit, they’ll further stretch our backline. Combined with the absence of Coloccini, there looks to be little light at the end of the tunnel. The Argentine’s calmness and reading of the game, which occasionally rubs off on who he partners, will be sorely missed with a torrent of attacks from the in form SAS. With any hope, we’ll see a more composed Williamson and Yang Mbiwa than many are expecting.
The ‘It’s still early doors’ excuse is beginning to reach it’s sell by date and another devastating home loss, partnered with a possible hostile atmosphere following the anti-Ashley march, could push Pardew to the brink. Confidence boosting goals from Cisse, Cabaye and Debuchy during the international break may well be used to our advantage. However, I get the feeling this could be another Liverpool encounter to watch through your fingers.
Debuchy, Williamson, Yang-Mbiwa, Santon
Cabaye, Tiote, Sissoko
Ben Arfa, Cisse, Remy