With racist allegations and Hillsborough decision it’s been an eventful week off the field. However, it is good to get back to the business of football and today we play Norwich City in the televised tea time game on ESPN.
I guess it’s ironic that we should be on TV given our recent musings over the TV deal(s) we have. Ian Ayre, our managing director, has suggested that the idea of the Premier League selling television rights overseas on a collective basis should end and that we should go it alone and negotiate our own, more profit for us I guess?
No doubt this would be immensely helpful as our search to find a way of packing more people into our games continues to meander aimlessly and undecidedly around Stanley Park and then back to Anfield? The repercussions for the less “popular” clubs in the Premiership and the indeed the competition as a whole could be far reaching however, I don’t think talking like this does us any favours. One wonders just what the other clubs think? Perhaps they’ve looked at this and dismissed it or have secret plans of their own? Seeing us poke our heads over the parapet in this way is probably a welcome sight as it gives them the opportunity to line up behind all the criticism that has come our way, splutter moral indignation whilst surreptitiously looking at exploiting exactly the same opportunities as we are?
So to Norwich at Anfield today and although I can’t back this up with some anorak statistics the “challenge” of a newly promoted side always seems to bring doom. We have a long history of “welcoming” new teams with a gift of three or more points. Take last season, we gave Blackpool six points and Newcastle and West Brom three each. A return of six points from a potential 18 says it all and arguably was the difference between were we finished and a Champions League place?
Norwich have started reasonably well and, despite the above, history is on our side. We’ve won our last five against them, I think the last win they had was the last game in front of the standing Kop. Moreover the visitors have conceded in every one of their premiership games this season. This is encouraging and although we seem to be creating plenty of chances, we do need a bit more luck in front of goal. An example was after the Mancs equaliser last week, after that we had three good opportunities to win the game but missed them all. Luis Suarez alluded to this earlier this week.
“We feel we are capable of beating anyone, and we should certainly have gone on to win the game against United. We had more opportunities to score than they did. I think they had one or two, but we had four or five really good chances to win it.”
One wonders just how Suarez will play after last weeks shenanigans and although things remain relatively silent at Old Trafford, Kenny came out once more and reiterated the clubs support.
“The only thing I will say – to put the matter to bed – is that everyone at the club is totally and utterly behind Luis Suarez. ..…. We are looking forward to a complete transparent report from the FA and we will co-operate 100%.”
Team wise we will be without the suspended Lucas. Perhaps Gerrard will drop back and hold and either Henderson or Maxi will come in? Daniel Agger appears to have recovered from his rib injury and played against Rangers in the midweek friendly. Glen Johnson is also available. I suspect Kenny will keep the back four the same as it was for the Mancs although there is perhaps a case for bringing Agger back in place of Martin Skrtel? Although it hasn’t transferred into clean sheets, there is a more solid feel about the back four now with Enrique slowly but surely building a case to be regarded as the best signing Kenny’s made this season?
Prediction? I’ve feeling that Norwich might come and go for it, what’s the point of “parking the bus” if you’ve conceded in every game so far? However, this should create enough gaps for us to have our fair share of chances. Because of this I’m going for a high scoring thriller 4-2 to us, yes, I know, but why not?