16 September 2011

Liverpool at Tottenham 09.18.11

8:30am ET, live in the US on Fox Soccer Plus

Last four head-to-head:
0-2 Spurs (h) 05.15.11
1-2 Spurs (a) 11.28.10
2-0 Liverpool (h) 01.20.10
1-2 Spurs (a) 08.16.09

Last three matches:
Liverpool: 0-1 Stoke (a); 3-1 Bolton (h); 3-1 Exeter (a)
Spurs: 0-0 PAOK (a); 2-0 Wolves (a); 1-5 City (h)

Goalscorers (league):
Liverpool: Suarez 2; Adam, Henderson, Skrtel 1
Spurs: Adebayor, Defoe, Kaboul 1

Referee: Mike Jones

Jones has done two Liverpool games in his Premiership career: last October's 1-2 loss to Blackpool and, um... oh, right. I'm sure there's absolutely no coincidence between his appointment and Dalglish's "attack" on referees following Stoke.

Guess at a line-up:
Kelly Carragher Agger Enrique
Henderson Lucas Adam Downing
Suarez Kuyt

There are three questions about the Liverpool side to face Spurs, the same three questions we've been asking since the start of the season. Will Gerrard finally return? Who'll play right back with injuries at that position failing to subside? And what's the deal with airline food Andy Carroll?

As for the first two questions, Dalglish stated that Johnson is the only definitive absence in yesterday's press conference. That Gerrard and Kelly are both in full training is no guarantee either will play. Troubled by a wonky groin for the last six months, Gerrard's unlikely to start right away, appearing off the bench if at all. Wednesday's league cup trip to Brighton seems a more probable return.

Even though ostensibly fit, Kelly still needs to be protected, having suffered three hamstring injuries since February. Facing Welsh Jesus, Skrtel would be under far more pressure than against either Bolton or Stoke. Flanagan hasn't even made the bench since starting against Exeter. It seems a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation for any of the three.

And then there's Carroll. Unimpressive in either substitute appearance against Bolton or Stoke, he looks a player who needs to play to find form. But with Suarez and Kuyt continuing to pair well and Carroll continuing to look like a fish out of water attempting to ride a bicycle, he simply hasn't done enough to force his way into the side. A match at barbarous Stoke seemed the perfect opportunity, but Tottenham's defense poses a different challenge. Ledley King, a perpetual question mark, was excellent a week ago, but the crucial Dawson (as well as Gallas) is out injured, probably replaced by the sometimes excellent, sometimes hilarious Kaboul. Bellamy's another option up front, in place of Kuyt, Henderson or even Downing, having been Liverpool's best player for the 20 minutes he was on the pitch against Stoke.

Last week, Stoke played for a draw at the Britannia, lucky to get the win thanks to a moment of madness leading to their lone shot on goal. Tottenham will have slightly more ambition at home. Liverpool have lost the last three meetings to Spurs, and the last four trips to White Hart Lane, with the last Lane win on the last day of the 2007-08 season.

Spurs took an under-strength line-up to their Europa League match in Greece yesterday, withholding any player likely to play on Sunday. Embarrassed in their first two league matches against the league's two best sides, Tottenham were far better winning at a difficult venue last week, beating Wolves 2-0. Adebayor linked well with Defoe, each scoring in the second half, while Parker unsurprisingly added grit to Modric's guile in midfield. With a far longer casualty list than Liverpool, including the aforementioned Dawson and Gallas as well as Sandro, Pienaar, Huddlestone and possibly Lennon, Redknapp's main choice is whether to wedge the returning van der Vaart into last week's 4-4-2, in place of either Defoe behind Adebayor or Kranjcar on the flanks.

The last time Liverpool traveled to London for a Sunday 8:30am ET kickoff saw the most discouraging loss suffered under Dalglish, a comprehensive 1-3 failure at West Ham, which coincidentally saw Scotty Parker as the game's best player. Early away kickoffs have often been Liverpool's bane in recent years. However, the last time Liverpool played in London was an early kickoff as well – that 2-0 victory over Arsenal a month ago. Please replicate the latter rather than the former.


Jay Wright said...

Even if that was to be the lineup, I'd much rather it be a 433 with Henderson tucked in through the middle (in a more natural position) and Kuyt rotating with Suarez & Downing in a front three.

I'd honestly rather see Carroll in the team and Kuyt dropped back to the bench though.

nate said...

Totally understand what you're saying and the above way of writing up the formation doesn't do anywhere near enough justice. That's the main reason why I've started doing the formation graphics for match reviews. It's not a flat 4-4-2 like we saw under Hodgson by any means.

Ostensibly the default formation is 4-2-2-2 but there are definitely elements of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 involved.

RouterLoop said...

Dunno how our young rb needs to be protected from the hi flying wingers of spurs... Still not convinced of henderson at the right would be better off with kuyt there and give carrol a shot to show what hez worth.... Need to check back on his nufc performances and see how'd he do against spurs .. Any help @tht ?


nate said...

Re: Carroll history v Spurs.

Newcastle's 0-2 loss at Tottenham in late December last season was when Carroll injured his thigh; didn't do much otherwise. Center-backs that day were Kaboul and Dawson. Spurs were much better on the day, one of those games where Welsh Jesus shined. Obviously didn't play in the reverse fixture a month later due to injury, a few days or so before being sold to Liverpool.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody used Fox soccer.tv here.
I am pretty much bored with the bad streams from p2p sites.
Also could any one elusidate the pros and cons of Foxsoccer.tv?

ErictheRed said...

How about in Japan? Okinawa specifically. Any of our Asian friends out there? Genusfrog maybe?

nate said...


I don't have FoxSoccer.tv; can't see a need to pay $10 or $15 or whatever it costs when I'm already paying for FSC and FS Plus. The few times that LFC aren't on those or ESPN2, I'll suffer through a stream. Happens rarely, thankfully, but I'm lucky enough to have a provider which offers FS Plus. I remember a couple of friends and Grant Wahl complaining about FoxSoccer.tv on Twitter earlier in the season, but have also heard good things. EPLTalk likes it but EPLTalk also gets paid for referrals. So make of that what you will. Give it a Google search.


Sorry mate, the few links I know of that list places to watch football at pubs in Japan (ie here at RAWK) only list bars in Tokyo. Quick five-minute Google search finds nothing for Okinawa. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Keith C said...

Re: FS.tv

It's main value, at least in the way I use it, is for it's archives. They archive games for a week after they're initially played, which for us working stiffs is pretty great. It helps that they've got a pretty extensive collection of leagues and competitions, too -- French League, Champions League, EPL, some Serie A, some Championship, some Carling Cup.

If you'd be getting it just to watch Liverpool, and you want to be able to watch Liverpool live, I would not recommend it. If the game is on FSC or FSC+, that usually means FS.tv cannot show the game until several hours later or even the next day.

As far as the FS.tv streams and its quality, I haven't had too many issues, outside of the first weekend where a few of the live games they had listed simply would not load. Since then, I haven't had any problems being able to pull up live games (outside of an occasional hiccup here and there), although I'll again say that I mostly use it for archived games, so my experience is limited.

For about $20 a month (slightly cheaper if you buy it for a whole year), I'm not complaining. Over the next few months, I'm certainly going to get my money's worth with so many Champions League group stage games to choose from.

Hope that helps.

ErictheRed said...

Thanks, not having much luck with the search either. Everything I see on the boards is mainland Japan. Got a promising lead on an Irish Pub, hope they have it.