Liverpool welcome Blackburn Rovers to Anfield this afternoon as they seek to add another three points to this season’s tally. With the visitors rock bottom of the Premiership having secured just 10 points from 17 games and showing a goal difference of -14, this is a game most Reds supporters will be expecting the team to win comfortably. Perhaps even this will be the first of the many “whoopings” that Kenny Dalglish’s side have threatened across this term. It has to be said that Liverpool now have another dimension to their play and have been creating chance aplenty. The only downside being the end product.
Jay Spearing returns from suspension and I’d like to see him command a place in the starting line up which should have plenty of attacking flavour. Luis Suarez is almost nailed-on to start, with either Dirk Kuyt or Craig Bellamy partnering him up front. Having said that, I think Dalglish may continue his knack of surprising everybody and give a start to Andy Carroll. What better game for him to really get his season back on track? Charlie Adam will again anchor the midfield and I’d imagine Jordan Henderson will partner him should Spearing not get the nod. There may even be a start for Jamie Carragher in defence although I doubt this. I believe the strongest team available will be on the park today.
As for Rovers, well gone are the days of Alan Shearer, David Batty, Chris Sutton et al in that superb attacking team managed of course, by the Reds very own Dalglish. The current incumbent Steve Kean is seemingly impervious to any criticism from the Blackburn support and one has to wonder how long he can continue. Credit to the club’s owners for sticking by him. Personally I’m going to miss Scott Dan who is unavailable through injury because he is a player Liverpool were heavily linked with in the Summer. It would have been a good chance to see how he would perform had he been selected which I’m sure he would be. Gael Givet and Martin Olsson are another two big losses for Rovers.
As I said following the draw with Wigan in midweek, the time for excuses is now over. All the new players should, by now have settled in and know exactly what expected of them and at the same time developed a good understanding of how their teammates operate on the pitch. A defeat today would be disasterous for Liverpool. Absolutely not an option. For this reason, I expect a win. Dalglish may well – privately – be thinking about strengthening in January and now is the time for the current crop of players to get their acts together.
I’m quick to point out that my “suggestion” from last week of a 2-0 win proved to be correct. You should know by now that I don’t do predictions. However, I’d suggest a win for Liverpool, and 4-0 should not be beyond this team.
By Ben Green
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