05 December 2008

Liverpool at Blackburn 12.06.08

10am, live in the US on Setanta

Last 4 head-to-head:
3-1 Liverpool (h) 04.13.08
0-0 (a) 11.03.07
0-1 Blackburn (a) 12.26.06
1-1 (h) 10.14.06

Last 3 matches:
Liverpool: 0-0 West Ham (h); 1-0 Marseille (h); 0-0 Fulham (h)
Blackburn: 3-5 United (a); 2-3 Pompey (a); 0-1 Spurs (a)

Goalscorers (league):
Liverpool: Kuyt, Torres 5; Gerrard 3; Keane 2; Alonso, Arbeloa, Babel, Carragher, Riera 1
Blackburn: Derbyshire, McCarthy, Roberts, Samba, Santa Cruz, 2; Andrews, Dunn, Emerton, Ooijer, Tugay, Warnock 1

Referee: Andre Marriner

Guess at a squad:
Arbeloa Carragher Agger Dossena
Mascherano Alonso
Kuyt Gerrard Riera

I realize that one of the definitions of madness is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result, but with Torres injured and Liverpool on the road, this truly is my best guess at a line-up.

Goals have been hard to come by all season long regardless of the formation, but it’s worth noting that all three of the 0-0 draws I was complaining about on Monday happened when Liverpool went 4-4-2. The 4-2-3-1 hasn’t seen the goals start flowing either, and I’m still not convinced Keane can fill the role in the formation anywhere near the way that Torres did, but I don’t have any better suggestions.

I would like to see more of Babel, whether up top or on either side of midfield (in the 4-2-3-1, naturally), but I’ll also again reiterate that Benitez sees this player in practice every day, so there has to be a reason he’s only played in 16 out of 24 games, and only started in 4 (with half of those coming in the Carling Cup).

Paul Ince’s men haven’t had the best of results lately, losing their last four matches, and there was some talk of the Guv’nor getting sacked after Wednesday’s match against United, where Blackburn was lucky to only lose by two. They’ve let in nine goals in the last three games, which probably means Liverpool will struggle to score again.

Saturday will mark another Robbie Fowler return to Anfield. God was jeered by the Rovers supporters last time out when he came on for Roque Santa Cruz, and when fans are clamoring for the return of Souness as manager, you know you’re in trouble.

So this has all the hallmarks of a pitfall game. Away from Anfield, against opponents under siege who have let in a fair few goals of late. We all know that Liverpool need a good performance to get the goals and confidence flowing again. Let’s see it.

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