Arsenal vs Liverpool

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Post by DeletedUser#1 Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:19 pm

let's get yesterday's nightmare off our head. Enrique GJ, and Reina have all travelled. I don't think Enrique will be fit enough to start. shame

I'd go with:
Reina
Wisdom
Carragher
Agger
Johnson
Lucas
Gerrard
Henderson
Sturridge
Downing
Suarez

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:50 pm

We can't use the previous game as an example. That was a game in which Arsenal were in their best form of the season while Rodger's Liverpool were at their worst and trying their best to find their rhythm to the possession based 4-3-3. We were thoroughly dominated, had no control of the midfield, created little and didn't have thing to complain about regarding the externalities effecting the result. Whats worse is that we play in the Emirates where Arsenal are a strong team within. Yes we were victorious 2-0 last year yet did so with 10 men and with Arsenal at their absolute worse form in years. Therefore it will be arbitrary and near futile to compare the previous fixture, let alone winning at the Emirates.

If I may be frank its difficult to tell whether we are better home or away as stats won't do justice. We certainly concede more away but play with a stronger sense of swagger, conviction and cohesion when not in Anfield. Maybe its the pressure of performing at home or maybe those 2-3K away fans sing far better and louder then the dead beats within Anfield in which has been a graveyard this year. Surprisingly the same goes for Arsenal in many ways except they at least have a vocal support at home.

The game will require us exploiting the weaknesses of their fullbacks who have been shown to be somewhat inconsistent when forced vs wider play. There will be a highly stressed need to control the midfield as through here we can exploit Arsenal's frail Zonal defence and hopefully create more chances then we did the last time around.

Therefore our back line will be obvious:

Wisdom-Skrtel-Agger-Johnson

Enrique's absence will be felt as he has always been excellent vs the ever improving Theo Walcott. Johnson can do a sure enough job as long as he doesn't have his signature ball watching moments. He doesn't have the confidence as he does on the right yet defensively is just as assured in Jose's position.

Skrtel and Agger is obvious, we do not want to break up our best CB partnership in one of the most vital games of the season.

Midfield: Henderson-Lucas-Gerrard

Henderson simply put in his current form is our best attack minded midfielder after Gerrard at the moment. Shelvey isn't good enough while Allen is down in the dumps with his poor form in recent times. Henderson is the best option given his chemistry with the midfield, how he keeps our midfield ticking, makes us play better and just is very intelligent in tandem with Lucas. Gerrard is obvious as in his new free role he has been a revelation while being our best player in the past month. Lucas? Well... you know.

Up front: Suso-Suarez-Sturridge.

Suso tends to play better vs sides who aren't physical and don't have a particular choice in their wide on-set play. He if Suso is paired on that side he will spend the bulk of his time vs Kieran Gibbs while also acting as the inside forward. I don't care how much Downing tracks back or adds "balance" to the squad, his impact, or lack thereof will cost us as I don't even want to speak about how out of his depth he is vs the bigger teams. Suarez and Sturridge is obvious given their neat interplay and combination will most likely compliment Suso (if he plays) as such movement and unpredictability is one that can exploit Arsenal's weakness to quick interplay in the final third.

We don't want to mirror their tactics by switching to a 4-2-3-1 as the 4-3-3 has increasingly made its comeback within our squad and has worked to build upon the augmented team chemistry.

This game won't exactly disapprove that we cannot beat the Top 10 teams (which we can but..) since Arsenal themselves are in the exact same situation.

Nonetheless I hope we pressure and press Arsenal during the opening minutes as they tend to be prone to such pressure since the team is notorious for starting slowly into their games. They have picked up form in recent games with 2 straight wins in a row as it'll be interesting to see how we pick up after the embarrassing loss to Oldham.

Will it motivate us? Or has it destroyed the confidence the team worked so hard to build?
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Post by DeletedUser#1 Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:57 pm

Disagree about Suso.


Gibbs and Podolski will be attacking a bucket load from the left side, and we know wuso ain't the type to track back and offer enough protection.

We can't let Wisdom be exposed against 2 attackers, on such a wide pitch at Emirates.

In addition to that, Downing added a real spark to the team when he came up, and he's been indispensable to our good form lately (yesterday's defeat aside).

I also think he's due to a big game performance as well after Wembley last year.

Come on Stu! prove'em wrong

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Post by Art Morte Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:04 pm

I pretty much agree with Arquitecto's line-up, only thing about it is that Suso will hardly get a start, it will likely be Downing.

Arsenal's whole defence has been average since their fantastic start to the season with all those clean-sheets, if Suarez and Sturridge click well we should be able to trouble them quite a bit. As long as we get past their midfield which is pretty strong. This is as big a game for them as it is for us and I'm expecting a player like Wilshere to be really up for it and together with whoever partners him in the centre make it difficult for us.

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:09 pm

Harry Redknapp wrote:Disagree about Suso.


Gibbs and Podolski will be attacking a bucket load from the left side, and we know wuso ain't the type to track back and offer enough protection.

We can't let Wisdom be exposed against 2 attackers, on such a wide pitch at Emirates.

In addition to that, Downing added a real spark to the team when he came up, and he's been indispensable to our good form lately (yesterday's defeat aside).

I also think he's due to a big game performance as well after Wembley last year.

Come on Stu! prove'em wrong

See its not that he can't perform in big games, its that he doesn't seem to perform vs big teams.

We do have yet give him a chance on the right as this wonderful idea of Kenny to place him out right instead of left his made Downing look less predictable, not resort to crossing all the time and if anything, improve that once non-existent right foot of his.

I still think Suso should start as given for the reasons I named named but I can understand Downing's important given that Wisdom is starting, his excellent work rate to track back and potentially cause trouble vs a left footed Gibbs.

Art Morte wrote:I pretty much agree with Arquitecto's line-up, only thing about it is that Suso will hardly get a start, it will likely be Downing.

Arsenal's whole defence has been average since their fantastic start to the season with all those clean-sheets, if Suarez and Sturridge click well we should be able to trouble them quite a bit. As long as we get past their midfield which is pretty strong. This is as big a game for them as it is for us and I'm expecting a player like Wilshere to be really up for it and together with whoever partners him in the centre make it difficult for us.


Arteta seems to love playing against us. Caused us problems during Everton in his AM role, owned our midfield earlier in the season.

Wilshere will be a seriously problem cause his heavy pressing will cause our midfield a large problem and most likely subdue Gerrard's distribution.

The key area where this game will be won is the midfield.
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Post by Nishankly Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:43 pm

Downing has to start, He is currently the winger i trust the most among all wingers or makeshift wingers in the squad. His defensive workrate is far greater regardless of how invisible he can be.

It will be foolish not to play Giroud upfront, Can see Skrtel and Agger having some problems with the physical presence and the speedy lolcott. Its an even match, Anything can happen.
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Post by DeletedUser#1 Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:03 pm

I'll start Carra myself.

I don't want us to have a highline, because Arsenal will murder us with pace on counter-attacks.

I wouldn't mind us sitting a bit deep, but pressing high in midfield, with Lucas protecting the defense.

Skrtel will be low on confidence after yesterday, so I am not sure it'll be a good idea to start him.

We need a TOP TOP game by Suarez. We need him to be in top-form from the first minute, and not give the ball away in dangerous positions.

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Post by Vlad the Impaler Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:38 pm

Maybe I am not well enough informed, but I don't understand why Suso didn't get more time playing.From I've seen, the guy is doing really good when it comes about defensive contribution, or at least he is decent.

Downing's efficiency since he is playing for Liverpool is at a low level, especially when it comes about crossing, but he is still better at it if we compare him to Suso.

I believe that playing with Downing should also mean that Rogers wants to develop most of the attacks on wings, which can be a good idea against the lateral defenders of Arsenal.But from what I know, Brendan isn't the adept of the game on wings.He should concentrate on dominating Arsenal's midfield and this won't happen with Downing on the field.

Suso has high offensive potential and he can be very unpredicatble with the help of Suarez & Sturridge.

Henderson should obviously start over Allen and Shelvey.Allen's form is poor at the moment and Shelvey, despite the fact that he is very ambitious and devoted to Liverpool, he seems to be bewildered in important games.Lucas will have hard times against Wilshere & Cazorla; he must avoid getting a red card; he usually tends to be a very distructive midfielder, sometimes maybe too distructive.

I know it doesn't sound good, but Wisdom will probably be the weak link of Liverpool's team.I saw him the recent games and his performances are not at the level of his teammates.It is a huge chance to see him being raped by Poldi smoking .

Well, I am little bit confused about how will Rogers manage the game vs Arsenal and what tactis he should use.It won't be easy for Liverpool to stop an in-form Arsenal on Emirates.Arsenal has its weaknesses and Rogers should focus on them.

If Manchester United stopped perfectly Suarez from scoring, I doubt that Arsenal's CBs can mark him correctly for 90th minutes.
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Post by McAgger Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:21 pm

Barcelona v Madrid and this game are on at the same time :facepalm:
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Post by RedOranje Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:36 pm

Enrique is expected to travel with the squad, though it may be too early for him to start.

Suso does not generally start because he tends to be ponderous on the ball and (at times) wasteful in possession. He also does not possess the raw pace or instinctual wing play of Sterling. Much as some like to hate on Sterling on here, Suso has done little in his chances this season that has made him stand out as a better and more dangerous option than Raheem. Sterling, even when he's not making the best decisions, has the pace to get in behind or run at and trouble a fullback. Suso, when up against an experienced fullback, has generally been herded inside, making it that much easier to stifle us due to our lack of width. Suso is a good talent, but he's a CAM/CM, not a wide forward or winger. When it comes down to it, I'd rather a midfield 3 of Lucas, Gerrard, and Henderson with Sterling or Downing starting over Suso in the wide area.

Wisdom is a 19yo CB playing RB. Of course he's looked a bit below the level of others at times this season. That said, he's generally been solid, and had a better match than Robinson and Coates against Oldham (which isn't to say he had a GOOD game). If he starts on Wednesday you can be certain he will take a defensive approach and will have support from Lucas, the RCB, and whoever is on the right of the attack.
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Post by iftikhar Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:28 am

Do you guys think Gerrard should be the most advanced (AM) midfielder instead of Henderson with the later (CM) forming a double pivot with Lucas.

I think Gerrard is playing too deep for his trademark passes (now more usefull with Sturridge in addition to Suarez) and been taxing with the defensive duties of a CM.

Henderson, IMO, lacks the vision of an AM while has the belligerence of a CM.
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Post by Red Alert Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:56 am

I'd personally go:

Reina
Johnson Skrtel Coates Agger
Henderson Lucas
Gerrard
Suarez Sturridge Borini

Expecting Downing to play though as the Emirates is a large pitch and we're all going to get excited of the prospect of him trying to beat his man...
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Post by Red Alert Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:58 am

iftikhar wrote:Do you guys think Gerrard should be the most advanced (AM) midfielder instead of Henderson with the later (CM) forming a double pivot with Lucas.

I think Gerrard is playing too deep for his trademark passes (now more usefull with Sturridge in addition to Suarez) and been taxing with the defensive duties of a CM.

Henderson, IMO, lacks the vision of an AM while has the belligerence of a CM.

They always interchange mate. Gerrard plays deep to exploit the time he has on the ball there. When Gerrard runs forward to attack or on his burst, Henderson finds himself covering Gerrard. They have a great understanding.
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Post by iftikhar Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:18 pm

ynwa wrote:
iftikhar wrote:Do you guys think Gerrard should be the most advanced (AM) midfielder instead of Henderson with the later (CM) forming a double pivot with Lucas.

I think Gerrard is playing too deep for his trademark passes (now more usefull with Sturridge in addition to Suarez) and been taxing with the defensive duties of a CM.

Henderson, IMO, lacks the vision of an AM while has the belligerence of a CM.

They always interchange mate. Gerrard plays deep to exploit the time he has on the ball there. When Gerrard runs forward to attack or on his burst, Henderson finds himself covering Gerrard. They have a great understanding.

May be so, but Gerrard no longer has the lungs 'n limbs to keep surging from the deep and Hendo don't have Gerrard's passing.
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Post by DeletedUser#1 Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:22 pm

ynwa wrote:I'd personally go:

Reina
Johnson Skrtel Coates Agger
Henderson Lucas
Gerrard
Suarez Sturridge Borini

Expecting Downing to play though as the Emirates is a large pitch and we're all going to get excited of the prospect of him trying to beat his man...


Yea, let's play a CB partnership who made Matt Smith, look like Drogba, and are down in confidence like there is no tomorrow against an in-form Giroud and Walcott.

genius idea.

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Post by McAgger Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:23 pm

Nah Agger must start in the middle or we'll get raped. Imo Enrique will start and we'll see Carra and Agger in the middle, with Glen on the right. Hoping Borini starts along woth Suarez and Stug
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Post by Helmer Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:56 pm

If enrique does start that mean gleno will play right, but I would still like downing to start...we all know how gleno is, he is like a digital bit 1 (most of the time) but suddenly even 0. So its better to have downing in the team, we never know one of his crosses may come at the feet of sturridge.
i would have liked borini to start but i guess he will take time to find his sharpness and touch in front of the goal. But his movement is more fluid than downing, so may be he can be brought on later as sub if required.
As i had read, arteta and Coquelin still injured. So that's a good news for us.
I have a feeling that BR might play Suarez as nr 10.

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Post by Red Alert Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:08 am

Harry Redknapp wrote:
ynwa wrote:I'd personally go:

Reina
Johnson Skrtel Coates Agger
Henderson Lucas
Gerrard
Suarez Sturridge Borini

Expecting Downing to play though as the Emirates is a large pitch and we're all going to get excited of the prospect of him trying to beat his man...


Yea, let's play a CB partnership who made Matt Smith, look like Drogba, and are down in confidence like there is no tomorrow against an in-form Giroud and Walcott.

genius idea.

Yet you want to play Downing who's NOT once ever performed against a top 7 side at Liverpool and struggled to get past his man against Oldham. Genius idea.

You also want to play Sturridge who also had a bad game against Oldham and found it tough playing with a strong attacking side. Genius idea.

You also want to play Wisdom who had a poorer game than Coates... genius idea.

Keep grudges out of this mate. A LOT of players had a poor game against Oldham (Rodgers did also) so to purely blame Skrtel and Coates is a farce.

Coates would look A LOT more composed playing with the likes of Reina, Johnson, Lucas, Gerrard and Agger next to him. He was playing an inexperienced side ffs and there was no link between defence and midfield. He's also the only defender we have that'll keep Giroud quiet in the air.

Skrtel had a quiet start to the season but has been dominant since October... he was also the only one that was defending against Oldham and did well considering no one helped him in the backline.

Throwing Enrique into this game against Walcott is just suicide. He's only come back from a hamstring problem. He doesn't have the positional sense most LBs have, he relies on his pace. There is no way he'll catch Theo if he gets passed him, and if he does catch him he'll probably tear his hamstring again.
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Post by Art Morte Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:34 am

While I agree with Pooi that Coates shouldn't be judged based on that one game, it is still much preferable to start Skrtel & Agger in the centre of defence.

I'd start Downing, too. I don't think Suso is quite ready for this game, especially at the Emirates. Arsenal are likely to play with a lot of pace and you need a calm head to know what to do off the ball then and Downing is better at that due to his experience.

It's somewhat interesting that our next opponent Manc City only drew their yesterday's game at QPR. I don't think they've been greatly impressive lately. If we have a good game here it would certainly give hope about going to Manchester and getting a result from there, too. But getting ahead of myself.
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Post by BeautifulGame Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:02 pm

Playing Agger at LB will only ensure he gets injured.I dont think we can afford that risk.
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Post by Art Morte Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:54 pm

Right, it's been a pretty miserable season with our best win being something like 4 - 0 against Fulham. But in less than an hour we'll play Arsenal who've been top-4 contenders all season long and with whom we would move to level points with a win. And my friends Glenfiddich and Chivas Regal are telling me we can win this, so let's do just that and put up a proper fight for a top-4 finish. Roll on the game. We ain't quite history.
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Post by RedOranje Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:57 pm

No surprises in the matchday squad and starting XI... Reina; Wisdom, Carra, Agger, Johnson; Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson; Downing, Sturridge, Suarez
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Post by Art Morte Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:09 pm

I don't agree with Carragher starting ahead of Skrtel, but Jamie can do the job on his day, hopefully Wednesdays are his lucky ones.
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Post by RedOranje Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:20 pm

I'm more concerned about the wide areas than Carra, to be honest. With Suarez and Downing both preferring to tuck/cut inside Arsenal's fullbacks may be free to double up on oours with Walcott and Podolski.
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Post by McAgger Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:25 pm

This is a massive kick in the balls for Skrtel (and I might add that it is well deserved). I'm sure he'll pick up his game to be in contention for City match.
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