Friday Feb 21Posted by: jeroen adriaanse Adriaanse Comments Off
Liverpool FC confirmed the fixtures for their pre-season tour yesterday. The Reds will travel to the United States this summer. The first fixture takes place in Chicago against Greek giants Olympiacos, followed by a trip to New York to face Premier League rivals Manchester City, before heading to Charlotte to face Seedorf’s AC Milan.
Olympiacos isn’t a stranger for Liverpool FC. Liverpool faced the Greeks in August for Steven Gerrard’s testimonial. And you might also remember this date: December 8, 2004, a cold December night at Anfield. Liverpool, back where they belong [Champions League] after a year’s absence, were on the edge of elimination from the group stages. They had to win with two clear goals. The fans knew it, the players knew it.
Everybody was nervous, nevertheless The Kop was singing like never before. All the hopes were crushed as the legendary Rivaldo fired a free-kick beyond Jerzy Dudek in the 26th minute. Liverpool had to score three goals to progress, it was mission impossible but history was going to be written.
Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle scored minutes after the interval but Olympiacos were a though opponent. Liverpool had to score two clear goals with just 10 minutes on the clock.
Mellor came on for Milan Baros. The youngster scored two minutes later. He explained:
When I came on, we needed to score two and as a centre-forward, I knew there were going to be chances. I got the crucial touch to score and my response was – come on, we can do this.”
Mission impossible became Mission possible when Gerrard completed their quest. He pounced on Mellor’s knock-down, fired the ball home in the 86th minute and The Reds were through to the next round of the Champions League. Everybody went crazy even the commenters were screaming and cheering. I still remember the words: ‘A lovely cushioned header…’ and then Andy Gray with the words: ‘Oh ya beauty, what a hit son, what a hit!’ It was a fantastic night with an indescribable atmosphere. History was made that day as they beat AC Milan in the final. Liverpool will face the Italians on the 8th of August.
This will be the Red’s seventh visit to North America. It will be a humbling experience for the players, as they will experience one of the world’s greatest football families. Liverpool FC hope that this tour will bring the fans, who are all over the globe, closer to each other. Because it doesn’t matter how far away from Anfield they live. The thing that matters is that they all support Liverpool FC, the best football club in the world.
Written by @LFC_newsblogger
Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate Team for FIFA 14
Kick off 13:30
Liverpool will be hoping to rediscover their attacking rhythm after losing 2 -1 to Arsenal in The FA Cup. Despite a surge in the second half which saw Gerrard confidently send Fabianski the wrong way from the penalty spot and a contentious penalty decision go against Liverpool, Arsenal managed to hold on for the win.
With both Suarez and Sturridge topping the Premier League goal tally with 23 and 16 goals respectively, Liverpool fans should be confident in the attacking capabilities of their team. In addition to his success in front of goal, The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Suarez also has a season total of 15 assists; the highest in the league. Suarez is 13/5 to score first with 888sport.com
Jordan Henderson will pose a dangerous threat to the Swansea defence from midfield. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Henderson has made a total of 748 attacking contributions this season and has completed 717 passes in the opposition half.
After the disappointment of their exit from the FA Cup Liverpool will be looking to captain Steven Gerrard to dominate the midfield. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Gerrard has made 80 tackles so far this season with a success rate of an impressive 83.8%.
Central to the latest test in Liverpool’s Premier League campaign will be the presence of Martin Skrtel in defence. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Skrtel leads the way for defensive contributions, (Interceptions, blocks, tackles won and clearances), in the Premier League this season with an impressive 372 contributions to date.
Under caretaker manager Garry Monk, Swansea will be hoping to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat at the hands of Everton. Despite showing admirable resolve, which saw the Swans swiftly respond to Everton’s early opener through Jonathan de Guzman’s header, they were convincingly beaten by a dominant Everton side.
Against a team as formidable in attack as Liverpool, the Swansea defence will have its work cut out. With a tackle win percentage of 84.6%, Dwight Trendalli’s presence in defence will be crucial in Swansea’s attempts at containing Liverpool’s dangerous attacking ability. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also shows that Chico leads the Swansea team in defensive contributions with a total of 297 this season
Swans fans will be looking to Jonathan de Guzman’ impressive attacking credentials for inspiration. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that De Guzman has made 775 attacking contributions, (crosses, dribbles, passes and shots on target), this season and has completed 731 passes in the opposition half to date; the highest at the club.
With 8 changes being made after Swansea’s stalemate away to Stoke, Monk’s preferred starting 11 is still far from decided but he will be hoping that club top scorer Nathan Dyer makes a case for himself by building upon his total of 5. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he has made 39 dribbles in the opposition half this season and has a shot accuracy rating of 47.6% and is 18/1 to score first with 888sport.com
Liverpool have been joined by Dutch champions Ajax in the race to sign Groningen youngster Richairo Zivkovic,
The 17-year-old winger has also been scouted by Manchester City in recent months after impressing for his club in the Eredivisie this season. The Groningen youngster can play all across the front line, but prefers the central striker role. The youngster is currently playing at a club that boasts Arjen Robben and Luis Suarez as former players.
Liverpool have noticed the player while tracking their on-loan striker Kristian Adorjan’s progress, with Zivkovic having scored five goals in five starts for Groningen as well as making a host of substitute appearances.
However, Ajax have joined the race to sign Zivkovic as they look to continue bringing the best Dutch talent to the Amsterdam Arena, much like they have done in the past.
“He is an interesting player that we are following,” said current Ajax sporting director and former Arsenal player Marc Overmars, according to the report.
“Thinking about possible reinforcements for next season, our preference is for Dutch players.”
Liverpool will face competition from Ajax and Manchester City to sign the player and it looks as though they will have to move for Zivkovic this summer, or face missing out on his signature completely.
Likelihood of us signing him?
I think if we achieve top four, we will be able to bring in many players that we simply could not last season. Nowadays if we go for a signing it ends up getting robbed by another team, the obvious fact is that they are a bigger club with more money, therefore can spend big sums on wages. Liverpool have lost out on many promising players such as Salah and Willian etc.. So if we get top four we will be able to attract these players, and fight with other clubs. I think the likelihood of him joining Manchester City is slim as he knows he will not gain first team football. We have seen problems like this a lot over time. Example – Zaha going to Manchester United, ending up on loan at a lower league team, due to not being able to perform to a first team level. This obviously will go into effect in a few years after the player has gained more confidence, skill and knowledge. But the form that Zivkovic has been in this season has been excellent and therefore needs to be able to carry this on. So i think a team like Ajax and Liverpool are more likely to get the starlet as they will give him more chances to perform at top level. We know Liverpool will as Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool Owners agree on the idea of buying young promising players that will be future stars, therefore benefiting Liverpool in the future. Also we have seen it when Rodgers has used players such as Flanagan and Sterling. They are young players who would probably have got loaned out most seasons at big clubs, but are now playing first team football at a top four club and have earned their place, that is truly due to Rodgers faith and the players determination to do well, and i feel this will be the same outcome with Zivkovic.
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The reds are back in Premier League action this weekend against Brendan Rodgers former employers Swansea City. Can Liverpool mount a serious title challenge with no added cup distractions? This and more on the Uncensored Match Build Up Show…
I would firstly like to state these opinions are all of my own.
Firstly I don’t think we need to buy a goalkeeper in the summer although if Pepe Reina leaves and if I’m honest it looks as if he will after his season long loan at Italian outfit Napoli then we may need to look at some options to cover for Simon Mignolet, We have Brad Jones who has been great when he’s needed but he’s getting on and we need a younger option. I think someone like Marc-André ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach as he is one of the future prospects of football although he looks set to go to FC Barcelona.
We have options at right back in Kelly, Johnson and Flanagan but with Kelly and Flanagan being so young and still learning I think a new right back is a possibility as we have seen Johnson performing average for the club recently. I believe that Micah Richards is a realistic option as we have already been scouting the English fullback although it has been reported that Manchester United are also interested. Would Manchester City let him go?
Even though we have had a few defensive problems this season I believe that we can cope in the central area as we still have great defenders in Sakho, Skrtel and Agger, I believe Kolo Toure was an interesting signing but I also believe we need better cover than him, We have younger players like Coates and Ilori who are both out on loan but have potential, so do we need a central defender? For me the answers no.
I believe this has always been a problem and has been for quite a few years now, Jose Enrique has been great in my opinion but has recently had a lot of injury’s, Cissokho on loan from Valencia has not been as good as expected and I believe we definitely need cover in this position. There have been rumors about Ashley Cole coming to Anfield and I’d welcome that, even though he is in his thirty’s I still believe he is a solid fullback and something that Liverpool could do with.
I believe this to be a subject with so many opinions from everyone and here’s mine, we have a world class midfielder in Steven Gerrard and upcoming midfielders like Coutinho and Jordan Henderson who I believe has been fantastic this season, but we have lacked something in midfield since the departing of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid a few years ago and this is something we need to fix, question is who can fulfil this role. Lately we have been linked with many midfielders including Gokhan Inler who is a decent midfielder but is more of a defensive one, Fernando of FC Porto is another player we’ve been linked with, he is a very creative player and would fit the billing nicely although he looks certain to move to Manchester City in the summer. Finally Southampton’s attacking midfielder Jay Rodriguez has been linked and I’d certainly be happy with him if he was to come to Anfield, He’s very creative, can score goals and is young.
We already know we have two world class strikers in Daniel Sturridge and Luis Saurez but look beyond them and what is there, Aspas has failed to impress since joining from Celta Vigo with many fans wanting him out even though I believe he hasn’t had much of a chance. Who could we bring in to cover then, Young attacker Morata and Tello have been linked and I believe any of the two would be a great purchase, Tello has been linked a million times but will it happen in the summer?
Who should we buy then?
Written By Alex Sales @MegaGamingElite
Wednesday Feb 19Posted by: Sam Greet Comments Off
As January drew to a close and there were no new faces leaning on things around Anfield, I knew this summer would be pivotal in seizing a Champions League spot and staying there. As a rule, I would like us to bring in 2 or 3 first team players each transfer window until all the deadwood has been dropped from our team. Sadly, with all our January transfer targets such as Salah, M’Vila and Konoplyanka all falling through (largely due to our own transfer incompetence) this summer will mean bringing in a large quantity of players to the squad. This isn’t too odd, considering that we did bring in 8 players in the summer of 2013 and the same can be done again. We know the formation Rodgers prefers is 4-3-3 and the players we bring in you’d like to think will fit in according to that. We also know that Rodgers is not an advocate of stock piling players and having an overly large squad, so we will only have two players per position and use youth to supplement the rest. Bearing this in mind and using the players most frequently linked to LFC we can create a general idea of where we will hopefully stand come the end of the summer.
Players Transferred Out:
Daniel Agger – I know what you’re thinking and I feel the same, nobody wants to see Agger leave. He has been the clubs most loyal servant bar Gerrard for the past 8 years and a mainstay in the Liverpool squad. However, it is clear that Sakho is the preferred left sided centre half by the club as he has started over Agger on numerous occasions. At 29, Agger is hitting the peak of his career and I very much doubt – despite his love for the club- he would be happy to sit on the bench. He is also one of highest earners at the club and we know the club is trying to reduce the wage bill, so he would be a very expensive squad player. I would love to keep him for another season or two, but I can only see him leaving in the summer for around £15m.
Lucas Leiva – Another player that many will dispute with me on his leaving. We all love to see the story of a bad player come good, but I don’t feel he is the quality we need for the Champions League. With Gerrard taking up his role as our most defensive midfielder, Lucas becomes unnecessary. He gives away far too many fouls near our own box, his positional play needs a lot of work and he is prone to long term injuries. He offers very little going forward and only marginally betters Allen and Henderson defensively, so if we are going to be bringing in players to improve the first team Lucas in my opinion, being older and on higher wages, will be the player the club choose to make way for new players at around £9m.
Oussama Assaidi- Although he is putting in a few decent performances for Stoke, I can’t see Assaidi breaking into our team. He is fast, but often lacks the decisiveness and quality we need in the final third and his attitude was supposedly questionable whilst with LFC. With Ibe, Sterling and hopefully new wingers coming into the squad, Assaidi is a player I feel we would be better off selling. Due to the small £2.5m fee we paid for him, I think we would gain a profit from his sale and would easily get £5m for him from Stoke or another midtable club.
Aly Cissokho – The on loan Valencia man has been of an okay standard of late. This does not mean we should exercise our option to buy, as he has only appeared to improve as less is being asked of him. As a defender he is very solid and is good physically, but lacks the ability to take on a man and the technical ability to be a solution for us at left back.
Viktor Moses- I for one thought the loan signing of Moses was quite a good one until he played for us. He was great for Wigan and is good a player on his day. However, he has been lazy and reckless on the pitch for us and is not the kind of player we want at LFC. He would be best sent back to London as soon as summer arrives in my opinion.
Pepe Reina- One of the old guard of LFC. In recent interviews he has said he will not be returning to LFC next season and could be available to clubs for as little as £4m. This is astonishingly cheap for a world class goal keeper, but we would do well to sell him to get his large wages off the wage bill for good. He enjoyed some wonderful years with us but once again we must look to the present and the future and not players of the past to bring us glory.
Ricardo Rodriguez- Currently plying his trade for German side Wolfsburg, the 21 year old is a Swiss international left back with 17 caps for the national side and catching the eye of many big clubs with his performances. A strong, fast modern fullback Rodriguez could fill a problem position in the LFC side for many years. He can also cross a ball well, which is more than can be said for Enrique and Cissokho. For the right price he would be available, at hopefully around £14m, which would represent good long term business for us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIHe9by9tFA
Steven Caulker – Long term we need a replacement for Skrtel to give Sakho the partner he deserves. Caulker was sold by Spurs to premier league strugglers Cardiff and has since proven his real worth. A young player at 22, the Englishman would be a great long term option for our right centreback spot. Also, with Cardiff struggling in the league, relegation for the side could mean a price drop to make him a very cheap option too.
Nathanial Clyne- The Southampton right back is frequently finding himself on the bench behind another talented fullback in Chambers. Clyne is also what we look for in a modern fullback, with pace, athleticism and the ability to attack. With Johnson aging at 30, the 22 year old could be phased into the side as Johnson is faded out over the coming seasons. With Southampton already appearing to have Chambers as their first choice right back, they may be more inclined to let Clyne go for a reasonable price such as £10m, than those figures touted for Luke Shaw. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwhGmkLR5a0
Lars Bender- A midfielder equally adept in all areas of the field, even at right back, Lars would represent a great quality investment from LFC. The German would come at a cost due to the competition surrounding his purchase, likely at over £20m, but the 24 year old Leverkusen man would solve the concerns surrounding our midfield. Able to play in any defensive or attacking midfield role with stamina, skill and quality will be invaluable next season when we have a lot more games to play. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zgh8kGeZwQ
Yevhen Konoplyanka- Much was made of the Dnipro winger’s transfer to LFC in the final days of the window that sadly never came to fruition. However, should we successfully secure Champions League football we may be glad to have waited as he supposedly has a clause that drops from €15m to €10m as of July 1st, which would make the 24 year old a bargain signing for us. He would provide quality on the left wing and reduce the reliance upon the young Raheem Sterling for a very cheap price. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0EK2LC2Jbc
Ron-Robert Zieler- An ex-Manchester United player currently in between the sticks for Hannover. He has a release clause of around £5m which terminates in the middle of the summer, so we’d have to act fast to get him. It’s clear Mignolet is doing a great job for us, but Brad Jones in my opinion isn’t a good enough back up choice. Even the likes of Swansea have better 2nd choice keepers than us in Tremmel for example, so the 25 year old would provide some real competition to keep Mignolet on his toes and also provide some better cover in cup games.
If I’m being reasonable, I know that not all these transfers will occur. They are all, however, possible and with a clinical and effective transfer team (removing Ian Ayre) we might pull of some great transfer deals come the summer. Manchester United and Spurs will be fighting us tooth and nail next season for the top four spot and if we don’t invest in quality this summer the overload of games could prove too much for our squad to handle and we could lose what we fought so hard to gain. So if next season our squad looks something like this after the summer transfer window slams shut I will be very pleased with the club and the direction in which we are going, as we cannot afford anymore transfer slip ups if we truly want to compete with the best again. By keeping the likes of Enrique, Johnson and Skrtel at least until the next January you give the new players time to adjust and settle without risking a weakness in the team appearing. These older players can be phased out of the side once players such as Rodriguez have established themselves and can be trusted to take up the mantle of their seniors. http://lineupbuilder.com/?sk=2b0d
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