So barely time to take stock of Sunday’s draw with Manchester City and it’s back in the thick of it with a Carling Cup Quarter final tie against Chelsea tonight.
A few weeks ago Kenny voiced his displeasure when he learnt of the closeness of the two fixtures however, we are here now and I guess we just have to get on with it? I think we’ll take to the pitch tonight in reasonable shape, even though we dropped more points on Sunday, it was our fifth home draw in the league, Dirk Kuyt said
“There are positives to take – the way we played, the way we were on top of them and we created enough chances to beat them. In my opinion, City have so far been the best team in the Premier League, so we can take lots of positives from our performance. In the second half, we controlled the game, were on top of them and created chances to win. I think if you had said we would take four points from Chelsea away and City at home, you would probably have signed up for it – but I think we could have walked away with all six points.”
Incidentally did you notice that since last week Dirk, in Gary Neville’s Sky eyes has changed his name. Last week he was a “Kite” and now he is “Kuyt”. I wouldn’t disagree with Dirk’s assessment although Roberto Mancini would suggesting us and referee were in cahoots to get Balotelli sent off. Yes right, said Kenny
“I think Balotelli got himself sent off. His actions spoke louder than anybody else’s didn’t they? Sometimes, if you look in the mirror, you get the answer.”
To more credible matters and although there will be some tiredness going into tonight, hopefully this will be offset by the optimism from the City game, together with the Chelsea result ten days earlier, produced. Although Kenny will make changes we still have a strong enough squad to make a decent fist of it tonight. One also has to remember that Chelsea’s priorities, with league form to improve and Champions League survival to ensure, might not lie with tonight, perhaps they will field a second string side?
If stories are true from Stamford Bridge this will mean Fernando Torres getting off the bench and moving up the “pecking order”. Since his move to Chelsea last January the striker’s form has been indifferent to say the least. As I write the Champions League ambitions, that we couldn’t meet (hopefully temporarily) and prompted him to jump ship and join Chelsea, are in danger of being whipped away from our man at the group stage. All he has to show so far is a couple of goals against Genk which pale into insignificance given what he went through with us in the tournament!
Add to this a comparatively barren scoring spell in the Premiership punctuated by a few high profile, glaring misses and it would be fair to conclude that, so far, Torres hasn’t settled in at least in terms of his form on the pitch? To the point that he’d wished he’d stayed at Liverpool? I suspect not, even if it were so would he admit it, but nonetheless settling in and picking up his game with his new team has been far from the breeze one would reasonably expect from a player of Torres’ quality?
For Liverpool fans of course there is a certain schadenfreude to be had in the knowledge that so far we’ve got the best of Torres’ English adventure and, in receiving £50m from Chelsea for the ”benefit” of his services, have trousered a handy profit on our initial outlay to Atletico Madrid. Even if Torres rampages through us tonight and gets a bagful that opinion will not change, he will have to do a lot more to convince us that we’ve got the sh*tty end of the deal?
Team wise I suspect the line up will very different from the league game. Kenny warned us a few weeks ago that he will make changes. In last Carling Cup tie at Stoke we made around seven changes however with our next game, against Fulham, on Monday 5th December perhaps he won’t wield the axe as much. I hope he doesn’t this tournament gives us a good chance of silverware particularly if we progress and the other teams are distracted by Champions League commitments?
Prediction? It all depends on what the runners and riders are. However, we should have no fear after recent results and perhaps will be hungrier to progress than Chelsea. That said I think it will be a tight game and I’ll take us to prevail be it via but the odd goal or from the spot.