7:45am, live in the US on Setanta
Last 4 head-to-head:
3-1 Liverpool (a) 12.06.08
3-1 Liverpool (h) 04.13.08
0-0 (a) 11.03.07
0-1 Blackburn (a) 12.26.06
Last 3 matches:
Liverpool: 1-3 Chelsea (h); 1-0 Fulham (a); 5-0 Villa (h)
Blackburn: 2-1 Spurs (h); 1-1 West Ham (h); 0-4 Arse (a)
Liverpool: Gerrard 13; Torres 9; Kuyt 8; Benayoun 4; Alonso, Riera 3; Aurelio, Babel 2; Arbeloa, Carragher, Dossena, Hyypia, Ngog 1
Blackburn: McCarthy 8; Roberts 7; Santa Cruz 4; Andrews, Warnock 3; Derbyshire, Ooijer, Samba 2; Diouf, Dunn, Emerton, Tugay
Referee: Mike Riley
Guess at a squad:
Arbeloa Carragher Hyypia Insua
Benayoun Kuyt Riera
With Gerrard having a scan yesterday on a supposed thigh strain, I’d be surprised if he was fit to start tomorrow. He’s been named to the squad, but I reckon he’ll start on the bench. If Liverpool sticks with the 4-2-3-1, Benayoun will be a straight replacement, but it could also be 4-4-2 with Yossi on the right and Kuyt up top. If Gerrard could only play one game this week, tomorrow would be my choice rather than next Tuesday, but I doubt Rafa sees it like that.
On the plus side, tomorrow will finally see the return of Mascherano after missing the last two games. Finally.
Two days after the fact, I’ve still got no excuses as to why the defense was so poor against Chelsea. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either Agger or Hyypia drafted into defense, and possibly both will be. But given Carra’s omnipresence, it’ll probably be either Agger or Hyypia, and while my heart says Agger given I still fear his exit, smarter money is probably on Hyypia. At the same time, I’d hope Insua’s drafted in at left back.
Blackburn’s currently 14th, better under Allardyce but only five points above the relegation zone. Roberts and Santa Cruz should still be out, and we might get Samba up front as an emergency striker, as against Tottenham. Pedersen’s struggling with a calf strain as well, which saw former red Stevie Warnock line up in left midfield last time out.
As Carragher told the official site, "In the 13 years I have been involved in the first team this will be the biggest league game I've played in – it really is that important. If we win we can go top of the league with just six games to go and if someone would have told us that we would be in this position when the season started we would have all been delighted.”
I think that about sums it up.