21 September 2010

Liverpool v Northampton 09.22.10

3pm ET. Not on live in the US. In fact, I don't know if it's on live anywhere. And if there are no streams, there'll be no match review. Sorry. I honestly expect to have to listen to this game through BBC Radio.

Last three matches
Liverpool: 2-3 United (a); 4-1 Steaua (h); 0-0 Brum (a)
Northampton: 1-3 Shrewsbury (a); 2-1 Southend (h); 1-1 Aldershot (h)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

A Football League referee since 2006, this is the second season Taylor's been on the Premier League list, having done four PL games in total. He's never been in charge of a Liverpool fixture.

Guess at a line-up:
Kelly Kyrgiakos Agger Wilson
Lucas Spearing
Pacheco Shelvey Babel

Blooding youngsters is what the Carling Cup is for. That's pretty much it. And with a talented group of youngsters, it's one of the few times I've been excited for this competition. So it's no surprise that tomorrow's match probably won't be televised.

Hodgson's taken some of the fun out of guessing the lineup with his comments today, basically guaranteeing Wilson, Agger, Kyrgiakos, Jones, Babel, Ngog, and Pacheco will start, but that was the sort of XI expected anyway. It'll be a team similar to that which faced Rabotnicki at the end of July; a chance for young players and out-of-favor "veterans" to stake a claim. And at the moment, the potential in the reserves and u-18s is one of the few positives around Anfield at the moment.

In addition to the players named by Hodgson, the likes of Amoo, Eccleston, and Shelvey also appear to be in contention. And there will have to be some first-teamers involved; Kyrgiakos and Agger are certain, while I'll be stunned if Lucas doesn't start in midfield with either Spearing or Shelvey. Predicting what mix Hodgson will choose is the hard part.

I could easily have guessed a front four of Amoo, Pacheco, Jovanovic, and Ngog instead of the one above (well, if it wasn't for Hodgson's mention of Babel). Pacheco can play anywhere along the line of three. Amoo's already featured on the right. Jovanovic, on as a sub late against the Mancs, could use more game time. That both Ngog and Babel look likely to start probably means the Dutchman will man one of the wings in Hodgson's preferred 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1, but Liverpool could also play 4-4-2 with both up top and Pacheco/Jovanovic on the flanks.

The only surprise in defense is that it'll be Wilson at left back instead of Agger. Kelly was always going to replace Johnson, while fourth-choice Kyrgiakos will get appearances in this competition. Agger's played left-back previously, which is why I expected to see him there tomorrow, but it's nice to see him in his preferred position (despite recent quotes which required clarification on the official site today).

Northampton beat Reading in the second round to advance to this stage, where there'll be absolutely no pressure for a result. The only League Two club left in the tournament, the Cobblers have won twice in their last eight matches (and one of those wins, against Reading, came on penalties), but – and this will come off as patronizing no matter how it's written – they won't be expecting a win tomorrow either. They'll hope for a big gate and good day out, and anything else will be a bonus. It's the biggest game many of them will play, and they'll undoubtedly make Liverpool work hard, looking to catch an unfamiliar lineup unaware.

But the majority of the lineup guessed above has played together, whether in the Europa League or in the reserves. There's potential, experience, and talent in the squad, and a win's expected and essential. Plus, a Carling Cup run would be a massive benefit for Pacheco, Kelly, et al – players who need to get matches to stay happy, gain experience, and prove their use to the squad.


Marc said...

Well thank god none of us laid eyes on that one. What an absolute farce.

Forget the owners for this one, this is beyond embarrassing. Northampton came into ANFIELD and won. They would've won outright but for that late score, too. From what I read, they were definitely the equal of our second team, and that is a travesty.

Liverpool has been THE least fun team to watch in the Prem this year, or at least tied for last with West Ham. You can't control results, but you can control heart, effort, and tactical acumen. The manager especially can control those things. Yet every game we clomp out onto the pitch this year and look helpless and hopeless. Other than 6 crazy minutes at Old Trafford and a 2nd half inspired by Mascherano against Arsenal, we have been ABYSMAL. Like, worse-than-anyone-remembers abysmal.

This team needs an enema.

Abhiram said...

Well said Marc...thank god that we did not have to go through 2 and odd hours of torture... sad sad state...

nate said...

Well, I'll actually watch the match tomorrow... am downloading it now.

I had no power from 2:30pm-9:30pm. So I missed absolutely all of this, and was freaking out in the process. And then a friend texts with the result, but can't answer any of my many questions since he didn't see the match, and I hit the roof. I may have swore at the power company representatives multiple times.

But, the masochist that I am, I will watch this after it finishes downloading... but probably not until tomorrow morning. I need to know why/how Liverpool were so terrible, and chances are, I'll write something about it.

Ken said...

As long as Roy persists in his defensive, bus parking, non pass and move, none pressing tactic, any good ambitious players would not perform. They would sick of it, just the fans would hate it. Blame players or owners are only shielding Roy from his failure. Roy is the culprit, stop pity him you sycophantic journalists, ex-players. Roy is kind but incompetent. With kind of players liv got, overnight all become shit relegation quality players? Unfuckingbelievable, it is so obvious Roy's passive attitude and small club mentality are the main reason liv has playing like one. Remember Roy's Blackburn, scary huh?

Dickon said...

Long time reader, first time writer.

A friend of mine played for Havant & Waterlooville a couple of years back when they came to Anfield, took the lead twice and were tied at half-time. Liverpool eventually won 5-2. I always thought that when there was a large discrepancy in skill level, 90 minutes should be more than enough time for the more skilled team to assert themselves.

Unfortunately, a team with 5 full internationals in the starting line-up couldn't stave off a League 2 side.

Is it time to start an "FC Liverpool" team, like the anti-Glazers did in Manchester???

lfcfan said...

This is just plane embarrassing. I mean how the hell does Roy think he can go around yapping about how we can still win trophies and then put out a crummy line-up that plays a crummy strategy? It's bad enough the situation with the sale, the least they can fucking give the fans is a fucking WIN AGAINST A LEAGUE 2 SIDE AT FUCKING ANFIELD.