The previewing of any match is a funny affair. I am not really a fan of the section’s intention but an enthusiast of the hilarity. The game’s result makes the preview useless and often gives reader a laugh once tried after the match. Thus the disclaimer:- This is not a preview.
It has been a highly eventful week for Liverpool Football Club. But the events have been unexpectedly good for most fans. The last weekend before game against Bolton started with Roy Hodgson’s days definitely numbered. But through “acute managing skills” or downright good fortune a light is streaming through dark clouds over him. He is the luckiest man alive at the club as LFC approach days leading to welcoming Chelsea at Anfield with renewed confidence.
”Its historic”, Roy might say, away victory at Bolton and Gerrard’s win over Napoli (True the team fought well. But don’t we all agree it would not have happened without Captain Fantastic) However as Paul Dalglish tweeted: 18 league titles and 5 European Cups definitely score many times over any victory till now this season. The lack of complete rejection of Hodgson’s claims show how-in some quarters-expectations have fallen since middle of last campaign and plummeted after the start of the present.
Chelsea faces a Liverpool side on the up. How so ever bad a team played during a match, a win changes the perspective drastically. And incidentally LFC have been winning. Chelsea on the other hand have had a reasonably dim period comparing with the incredulous demolitions they affected on anyone in their path. Mid-week victory has rested some doubts about Chelsea’s form. Their squad would be rejuvenated with return of Malouda who has been their best player barring Drogba.
Blackburn efficiently kept (bullied) Malouda into tameness for most of the first half last Saturday. Unless Hodgson completely loses sense, he should heed how that technique could be helpful. Zhirkov and Essien are dangerous too considering LFC’s midfield has been terrible off late. In short Lucas and Meireles have their work cut-out.
Joe Cole’s loss is disappointing. But I wonder if he would do great gainst Big Clubs especially Chelsea who know him too well. Roy could of course have deployed some tactical masterclass with Cole present but which I doubt he would have. This is a match we needed Kuyt’s presence and he will be sorely missed.
Hoofing balls into final 3rd wont do. Roy must make note how Terry and Alex were circumspect when Blackburn’s Diouf-Benjani-Diouf trident bamboozled them with quick feet and interplay. Roy will have to introduce some pace on right and not go with 4-4-2. Ngog limping off Thursday will mean Roy will be forced to play Jovanovic. Here it is relevant to say that I am surprised Pacheco has been kept out for so long. If he was given sufficient chances after Carling Cup debacle, he would have been a perfect option to tear down Chelsea defence. I am not an expert and I hope Roy knows better than anyone about current team. (A little support to one who is clutching on to a straw, which multiplied to 3, amid a perfect storm.)
Sunday is a different day. Anfield would be alive once more. The Kop would be confident again. The owners are setting clear targets off the field (read Comolli). Above all, Liverpool are winning.
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