For fans of a certain age, impending trips to Anfield still provoke a Pavlovian shudder of horror and a desire to just get it over with and move on. The year the Titanic went down was ingrained into many a memory as the same year that Spurs last won at Liverpool until Garth Crooks’ header in front of the Kop in 1985 gave us a long overdue win. (Coincidentally the wreck of the Titanic was also found in 1985).
Whilst things aren’t so bad these days, it’s been a few years now since we came home with all the points, not since a Luka Modric masterclass in 2011 in fact.
No ripping up the formbook just yet please
On paper this looks a good time to visit Project Klopp as they’ve been have a right old miserable time of it of late. One win in ten games (and that was over Plymouth) and no league victory since December. Disruption to the squad through the AFCON and injury mean that the forward line that had everyone drooling in 2016 now has everyone giggling in 2017.
Three home defeats in a week during January mean that the famous sign greeting the players as they run out has been amended to ‘You’ll be pleased to hear that This Is Anfield’.
So that’s the version on paper, in reality, as with Man City a few weeks ago, we should expect something very different. Klopp is a good manager, Mané, Lallana and the Brazilian pair are good players and Liverpool will consider themselves a wounded beast. They’ll have had a week to prepare and boosted by their justifiable belief that they do better against the stronger sides, will come out fighting bearing little resemblance to the side that has given us so much entertainment lately.
No, no, you come round to us
The Reds struggles have come mostly against teams that sit back and wait. But when was the last time you saw us do that? Indeed. And it’s unlikely that Poch will go down that route this time given that it’s so anti the possess and press style he favours but surely, especially given our injuries at the back and the display at Man City, he must have given the option of keeping the full backs in check, sitting everyone deeper than normal and then letting Kane, Alli and Son use the space between Liverpool’s midfield and defence a few minutes of thought?
It would be a surprise if he went down this route, he’s not above the odd tactical shock/innovation though as we know.
Given that no-one’s back from the physio room, we can expect the same line up as last week.
If Swansea, Southampton and Wolves can do it…
We should be optimistic. We’re in much better form, physically and mentally. The pressure is on them. A win would be fantastic, a draw not so bad.
Anthony Taylor is the referee. He was in charge at Stoke and also at home against West Brom, both 4-0 wins. Now wouldn’t that be nice….
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