Blackpool v Liverpool
12 January 2011, 20:00
Love is in the air.
Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish has always been romance. Since his association with Liverpool started more than 33 years ago, this romance shined. Sparkled. After 20 years of absence in the Liverpool hotseat, he takes charge of his first Liverpool game in the Premier League tonight, starting with a commute to the Bloomfield Road, home of Blackpool Football Club.
Dalglish is a man idolised. King of the Kop. At this moment, he is the man to inspire. To lead. To serve in greater glory for Liverpool FC. After a six month fiasco that resulted in the sacking of Roy Hodgson, Dalglish will lead his wounded troops out to war, with only one intention.
An intention to win.
This intention has been sorely lacking the past six months. Hodgson’s style needs no mentioning. We can be glad to return to the days of old, attacking football.
Which means there is no room for romance when Liverpool visit Blackpool. As Dalglish aptly puts it, this game is built on ‘hard facts’. The truth couldn’t be any further from that.
Sources suggest that Dalglish will field a surprising and bold line-up. As an Ambassador for Liverpool previously, Dalglish can validate the vast difference between the Premier League and reserve/youth clashes.
However, it would be refreshing to see a fiery determination from young lads to prove to the gaffer that they can stamp their authority in the League – and make that crucial step up to playing first team football.
The fans would certainly embrace the return of a more free-flowing, attacking style of football that was sorely lacking under Hodgson. Under Dalglish, I’m certain he will drill the lads to ensure that Liverpool take the game to their rivals and be the first to grab any opportunity on hand.
This game will be an eye-opener for Dalglish’s style throughout the remainder of the current campaign. With a derby clash against Everton at home looming, surely a victory wrapped up soon enough would all be pleasing for the men in red.
Steven Gerrard, having been sent off against Manchester United during the weekend, is set to start his three-game ban which lasts through to Wolves. Jamie Carragher misses out on injury.
Steve Clarke, having been appointed first-team coach at Liverpool, will be on the bench at Bloomfield Road, replacing Mike Kelly, whom Hodgson has took together with him out of the club.
Expected Liverpool lineup (4-2-3-1): Reina, Kelly, Agger, Skrtel, Wilson, Lucas, Meireles, Johnson, Kuyt, Maxi, Torres.
Blackpool 0-1 Liverpool