Opposition view: Liverpool
By Ric Turner, Fri 25 November 2011 09:34
Ahead of Sunday's encounter at Anfield, Bluemoon caught up with Scott from the AnfieldRed blog and David from liverpoolfc-blog.com for a heads up on the opposition:
1. Who are Liverpool's key players?
David: Suarez and Adam have both been playing really well this season. Suarez has the potential to be one of the best strikers in the world and I am really impressed with how quickly he has adapted to life in the Premier League. With Gerrard missing most of the season, Charlie Adam has stepped into his role and played really well. At Blackpool I thought he was mainly a dead ball specialist but I have been pleasantly surprised at his passing as well as his work rate.
Scott: Luis Suarez - always dangerous and will make something out of nothing.
Lucas - anchor man in the midfield, if he has a great game will break down a lot of City's attacking plays.
2. Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
David: Yes. The new owners have done a good job in the last two transfer windows. Besides the quality they have brought in, I also like the focus they have had on building a British element to the squad that was missing under Rafa. Similar to how you have added the likes of Barry, Milner and Johnson, the addition of Carroll, Downing, Henderson and Adam has been great as they understand what it is like to play for a club like Liverpool.
Scott: Tough question about the transfer window. Some players have made an instant impact to the squad such as Jose Enrique, others have had some really good performances and shown their potential such as Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam. While others were bought for the future such as Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates.
3. What are your expectations for this season?
David: Liverpool need to get back into the Champions League so a top four position has to be the goal. The title is too much of a reach, but a top four I think is a reasonable expectation.
Scott: Our expectations for this rebuilding season is to get back into the top four as a minimum. To then qualify for the Champions League.
4. Are you happy with the manager?
David: Could not be happier. King Kenny has brought passion and excitement back to the club.
Scott: Couldn't be happier with King Kenny, he is the man to rebuild Liverpool and bring back the glory days.
5. Are there any rising starts in the squad that we might not have heard of?
David: Under Benitez Liverpool’s reserves and academy really struggled. I cannot remember the last player who came through the academy and became a regular in the Liverpool first team. It will take time to rebuild it. One good sign though is that Liverpool have qualified for the NextGen Series quarter-finals. I will not mention that City have lost their first five games in the tournament so far:)
Scott: Martin Kelly - England u21. One to watch for the future is Adam Morgan, won't be long before he's pushing for the first team. The academy thinks he's the most natural goal scorer they have seen. Time will tell though.
6. If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
David: Has to be Aguero. He is pure class and deadly around the penalty box. He was a fantastic signing as he could play for anyone in the world.
Scott: Sergio Aguero - would be the perfect partner for Luis Suarez. Intelligent player.
7. What is your perception of City as a club?
David: It’s hard to get past the money and the idea that are buying their way to a title, especially when your wages are more than your turnover! So I put City in the same category as Chelsea as teams that people like to root against. The result in Napoli was probably cheered by football fans across Europe on Tuesday.
Scott: City have a great squad, everyone knows that. Beating Manchester United 6-1 definitely put a smile on our faces. You will definitely be in the hunt for the title at the end of the season, time will tell if you can keep up you winning ways, after this weekend of course.
8. Likely Liverpool starting XI for Sunday, and score prediction?
David: I will be surprised if Dalglish makes any changes from the team that played at Chelsea. So that means:
Reina, Enrique, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Lucas, Adam, Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy, Suarez
As for a score I am looking for 1-1. City have been heads and shoulders above everyone in the Premier League this season, but the midweek disappointment has to take something out of them. With a passionate Kop, I expect a draw with Suarez and Aguero both getting on the score sheet.
Scott: Liverpool lineup: Reina, Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Downing, Adam, Lucas, Kuyt, Suarez, Carroll
Liverpool to win 2-1 at home, will definitely be a tough game though.