Liverpool v Wolves
29 December 2010, 8PM GMT
With the final page of 2010 yet to be turned, Liverpool take to the field as they bid to continue their rampant home form, which has racked up two 3-0 league victories in their previous two outings. Liverpool, having had two games delayed due to adverse weather conditions, will have to face up to a massive fixture pile-up come the new year.
However, attentions are focussed at Anfield where the lads look to sign 2010 off on a high note. 2010 has been forgettable, dire, and uninspired. Ironically, the future at Liverpool looks bright, after the club was forced into the hands of new owners who promised to do everything to restore the glory and lustre of the club.
With this being the final game of 2010 – NESV will look back at how they managed to wrestle the club from the hands of two horrid Americans. With that, it remains their priority to build a solid foundation for future successes to be achieved.
But the fans turn their heads towards a clash against Wolves, they can’t help but feel downbeat and disheartened. No one had been happy with the year 2010, with the exception of two court wins – the number of away Premier League clashes Liverpool have won all year.
The players must face up to reality, and start identifying themselves with the supporters. Hodgson must. All at Liverpool are to take the blame for a very poor 2010, and this clash might just produce a spark that lead the Reds back into a revival for 2011.
Wolves, firmly rooted at the bottom of the table, seem destined for relegation. Although football is a strange thing, there has been no signs that they could pull a miraclous escape to stay afloat. However – one thing is alarming. That Wolves are one of the two teams who have not won away on their travels this season. All they have to show for is a single away draw in 8 games. In short – that is 1 point picked up from a possible 24.
Liverpool, on the other hand, with their superior home form, must be favourites for this clash. Pepe Reina has not conceded a goal at Anfield in 309 minutes – that works out to 3 games and 39 minutes.
Having had a ‘mini-winter break’ at Melwood, the lads must surely be recharged and raring to go. Any lethargic performances will surely raise the questions of Hodgson, and his staff – the likes of Peter Brukner, et al.
3 points would lift Liverpool to 8th place with 25 points from 18 games. It’s time for the lads to stand up and be counted for.
I would also be curious to know if former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will attend the game, having been out of a job for 1 week now. Surely, that would again raise questions about Hodgson’s capabilities and Rafa’s threat to Hodgson’s job. That remains a very interesting development come the new year. Will sentiment prevail? Will NESV choose to back their own man – Hodgson/whoever it is?
Gerrard is expected to return to the Liverpool line-up. Agger is odds on to partner Skrtel in defence. With no problematic injuries to note with the exception of Reds stalwart Jamie Carragher, Liverpool now head into the festive period which potentially is season-defining.
Expected Liverpool lineup (4-2-3-1): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Konchesky, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt, Gerrard, Maxi, Torres.
Liverpool 4-0 Wolves
On a side note, former Red Avi Cohen has sadly passed on yesterday following a motorcycle accident which left him in critical condition. Liverpool Football Club will observe a period of applause to mark the life of Avi, and both sets of players will wear black armbands during the game. R.I.P Avi – You’ll Never Walk Alone.