29 September 2006

Liverpool at Bolton 9.30.2006

7:45am. Available in the US on Setenta Sports.

Liverpool: 7th place; 10 points out of 6 games
Bolton: 6th place; 11 points out of 6 games

Last 4 meetings (league):
1-0 Liverpool (h) April 9 2006
2-2 (a) January 2 2006
1-0 Liverpool (h) April 2 2005
0-1 Bolton (a) August 29 2004

Last 3 games:
Liverpool: 3-2 Galatasaray (h); 3-0 Tottenham (h); 2-0 Newcastle (h)
Bolton: 1-0 Portsmouth (a); 3-1 Walsall (a); 0-0 Middlesbrough (h)

Goals Leaders (league):
Liverpool: Kuyt 2, Agger, Alonso, Crouch, Fowler, Gonzalez, Riise 1
Bolton: Campo, Davies, Diouf, Nolan, Speed 1

Referee: Phil Dowd

The squad I’d like to see:

Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise
Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko, Aurelio
Crouch, Bellamy

Okay, Liverpool’s traveling to the Reebok. So, this is obviously going to be a high-paced and aesthetically pleasing match, and the line-up should reflect that.

Because of the style and spirit of the game, Sissoko is going to be even more important than usual. Yes, he will have to play the hard-man role and break up play in midfield. But as play will probably get bogged down in the center, good passes, especially short passes, are going to be essential. Momo has the tendency to give the ball away cheaply, and that’s something that cannot be done at the Reebok. He will need to have a good game for Liverpool to do well.

Putting Aurelio at LM means we can keep his crosses without worrying as much about his defensive liabilities. He and Riise seemed to overlap well against Sheffield United, before Riise was injured. Aurelio was supposedly bought to play both LM and LB, and this seems to be the sort of game where he’d be more suited in midfield.

I can’t see how Crouch can be left out after Wednesday’s game, and I still reckon that Kuyt could use a rest, even though he started nearly every game he played for Feyenoord. I’d like Bellamy to start as well; not only is this the sort of hardnosed game he thrives in, but he needs to get off the mark in the league, and I can see it happening here.

Bolton played well last time out against Portsmouth; Allardyce was able to get them to ignore the Panorama allegations, they nicked a goal on the road, and defended very well against an in-form Pompey. They aren’t scoring a ton of goals, but then again, they never do.

Will be a bit of history in Saturday’s game, as Bolton will bring Nicolas Anelka and El-Hadji Diouf back to Anfield. Where I’m sure they’ll be given a warm welcome. This’ll be Anelka’s first visit to Anfield since signing with Bolton, but he had a good scoring record against Liverpool while he was with Manchester City. And it’s always fun to come up against Diouf. Hope he doesn’t spit on anyone.

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