Ahead of Liverpool’s crunch clash with Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City at Anfield, The Redmen TV bring all the Match Build Up, completely uncensored!
– What a Difference a Week Makes To Confidence
– Sq**** B** T***?
– Have We Learned Our Lessons From Away and Cup Meetings?
– This Is a Library- The Death of The Anfield Atmosphere
– Starting XI
– Dangerman Focus: Michu
– Describe Michu In One word.
– VOTE FOR US: www.shortyawards.com/theredmentv
– Score Predictions
Swansea ran out 4-1 winners against Premier League strugglers QPR in their last game, thanks to Michu’s 14th and 15th goals of the season.
Michu averages 4.87 shots per goal, getting 56.1% of his shots on target. However, while Michu is the top goal scorer at Swansea, Wayne Routledge is actually the best ‘per chance’ finisher in the squad. Routledge has five goals this season, and has needed just 4 shots per goal and has an incredible 90% on target percentage for his efforts (18 on target from 20 shots). You’ll find Michu at an industry-best 11/4 to score at any time at 888sport.com.
Michu was joined on the score sheet by Angel Rangel and Pablo Hernandez as Swansea scored four goals against QPR to add to the five they put past them on the first day of the season.
Rangel’s goal was his second of the season, and he boasts impressive shooting stats for a full back having got forward to get 18 shots at goal with 72% on target this season. He is also ranked 5th among the Premier League’s defenders for passes completed in the opposition half with 480.
His most effective work, however, has been defensively where he has contributed 102 interceptions (one of 30 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to intercept the ball 100 times or more this season). He has also won 60% of the tackles he has attempted.
Liverpool were dominating against West Brom until the 80th minute of their last Premier League game before Ben Foster turned the game on it’s head by saving Steven Gerrard’s penalty. That save proved the catalyst which led to Liverpool losing 2-0.
Gerrard has six goals to his name this season, coming from 63 efforts at goal with 63.4% on target. He is also joint top in the Premier League for assists this season with 13, tied with Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez. Gerrard’s 15/8 to score at any time with 888sport.com.
Gerrard is ranked 5th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for both crosses and passes in the opposition half with 78 and 806 respectively. If you combine passes and crosses in the opposition half, Gerrard moves up to third place in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with only Santi Cazorla and Yaya Toure having proved a more dangerous attacking midfielder this season.
Jamie Carragher officially announced his retirement for the end of the season this week, leaving Liverpool fans to debate their most effective centre backs.
Carragher has had limited playing time this season, and has averaged a defensive contribution across tackles won, interceptions, blocks and clearances every 19 minutes while on the pitch.
In fact, when looking at Liverpool’s defensive players, Lucas has contributed defensively with more frequency than any of Liverpool’s centre backs this season. Lucas has averaged a contribution every 10 minutes 42 seconds, compared to Skrtel’s 10 minutes 50 seconds and Agger’s 12 minutes 49 seconds.
Agger also has the inferior tackles won percentage among the Liverpool centre backs, winning exactly 50% of tackles attempted compared to Carraghers 66% and Skrtel’s 57.4%
Following the shocking defeats at the hands of West Bromwich Albion and then Zenit St. Petersburg, we are all hoping that we bounce back when we host Brendan Rodgers’ former club at Anfield on Sunday.
Earlier this season, Swansea did beat us at home and eliminated us from the Capital One Cup. Michael Laudrup’s team did manage to score three thanks to goals from Chico, Nathan Dyer and Jonathan De Guzman. Luis Suarez scored the only goal for Liverpool and the game finished 3-1. As far as the Barclays Premier League is concerned, the game at the Liberty Stadium ended in a o – 0 stalemate. We haven’t beaten Swansea since the Welsh club were promoted to the Premier League.
Daniel Sturridge should be available to start, the new signing has missed the last two games due to injury (for the WBA one) and Cup-Tied (for the Zenit one). Philippe Coutinho will likely start again from the bench, after his cameo appearance against the Baggies, Rodgers wants to ease him in. Martin Kelly is the only player not available for Brendan as he is still recovering from his cruciate knee ligament injury.
High riding Swansea are already in the Capital One Cup Final and currently sitting above Liverpool in the league with most of their threats coming from Michu. After the 4-1 rout of QPR last week, the Spaniard told the Swansea official website that he wants to score more goals. Swans Managers Michael Laudrup however was quoted by This is South Wales, “Liverpool are definitely a stronger team now than they were when we won there earlier in the season”.
It’s often been said about Steven Gerrard, given his penchant for dramatically decisive and crucially timed moments of magic, that the Liverpool captain is working to a script. That his moments of magic are so regular and wondrous that they could only be written by storytellers.
This was one script that got lost in translation.
As Liverpool-born Gerrard placed the ball on the penalty spot, where hordes of Liverpool players had previously fought to no avail in a crushing evening against West Bromwich Albion, Gerrard knew he had done this a thousand times before. In his garden as a child, on the training pitch as a man, and in some of Liverpool’s biggest games as a captain.
But this time, Gerrard was going to miss.
It was inevitable, really.
It was in the way Luis Suarez had bought the penalty from Jonas Olsson after fairly minor contact.
It was in the way that Stewart Downing had disappeared, head down and eyes on the grass, the longer the game had gone on.
It might not have been the script Gerrard was used to, or that he wanted. But it was a familiar scene that played out on Merseyside on Monday night.
Liverpool fans had once again paid full price for a repeat showing, and some left the theatre before the reel had finished, choosing to distance themselves from the horror on show. They will not be missed, even by those who had considered departing themselves.
Most pushed through until the referee at long last drew the whistle to his lips and brought an end to yet another disappointing night at Anfield. Many yelled insults at the players, angered and hurt by what they had endured, not just on the night in question, but over the last 10 years of dedicated fandom. Others sat numb, unable to process or form an appropriate reaction to another setback.
West Brom’s first goal seemed predictable. The second a mere formality. The final score an embarrassment.
It had been an evening of promise. Liverpool, coming off the back of two fantastic performances against top opposition, would be up for it. West Brom, who had not won since December, would be dispatched.
Even after 20 minutes, when Jonjo Shelvey had seen a goal ruled out for offside and Liverpool had cut through the Baggies defence several times without scoring, a win seemed likely.
By the hour mark however, enough shots and passes had gone astray to suggest that this was “one of those nights.”
Had the linesman failed to spot Jonjo Shelvey so lackadaisical in an offside position and permitted him the goal, it’s conceivable that the reds would have raced to a 3 or 4 goal win not dissimilar to those they have already notched against Norwich, Sunderland, Wigan and QPR this season.
Had Steven Gerrard been given the opportunity to take that penalty within the first half an hour of the game, he probably would have scored it.
Instead his shot and West Brom’s place in the top half of the table was saved by Ben Foster, the latest in a long line of goalkeeper’s to show their best form at Anfield.
Other manager’s will have been watching Steve Clarke’s side, who were content to soak up an unimaginative and unconfident Liverpool series of attacks until the late minutes, when Gareth McAuley headed in from a corner. It was Albion’s second shot of the game.
Clarke may seem like a manager that got lucky against a typically profligate Liverpool but the Scot should invite doubters to look at his resume.
It was him that worked closely with many of these players last season and he will have known the best way to shake up the fragile minds of the Liverpool ranks.
Even Gerrard, the heroic leader in the tale, was susceptible to the mental weakness that grips his side as soon as things start to go against them. It is all-encompassing, not just confined to the oft-picked upon likes of Stewart Downing, but in fact a deep psychological malaise.
This is a team so full of “confidence players” that it has become a confidence team.
After all, a team with the creative talents of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, two of the best players in the world, joined by a respectable supporting cast of Jordan Henderson, Downing and Glen Johnson, should be able to break down a side with the defensive frailties of West Bromwich Albion.
They could not, however. Not because they weren’t good enough, but because they weren’t headstrong enough.
It’s the same reason they started playing well against Manchester United at 2-0 down, with the pressure off.
Even in arguably their two greatest performances of the season, last week against Manchester City and Arsenal, the mental fragility was clear as day, a huge weakness in an otherwise excellent football team.
Liverpool are more scared of reaching the champions league than not reaching it, to the point where the team seem to fold pathetically in every game that matters towards reaching qualification.
Few teams can play the ball around quite as efficiently and attractively then Liverpool when they have a 1 or 2 goal lead against a team lower than them in the table, but the fact that they haven’t beaten a single top ten side tells its own story.