Saturday evening and Liverpool make the trip to the south coast to face Portsmouth in search of a victory that will take them back to the top of the EPL as ManU play at West Ham on Sunday. This victory as you know by now will have to be completed without the services of our inspirational captain. Many believe that this will now bring Liverpool’s title challenge to a grinding halt. All The Kop faithfull can hope for is the team remembering that we beat some great teams including ManU at the start of the season without him and in fact without Torres as well. it will not be easy but they must have faith in their own and eachothers abilities.
A much needed victory is also required to cancel out the memory of Wednesdays defeat in the FA Cup by Everton but a return to the top of the EPL with a win down south will go along way in washing away the hurt many are feeling. Portsmouth were in 7th place when Redknapp left for Spurs. Since then they have managed to win only 2 of 15 EPL games under Tony ‘the donkey’ Adams.
This current run of form has Adam’s facing the chop with apparantly only three games to prove he is up to the job. This may mean that Liverpool face a tougher game as the Pompey players rally around their under threat gaffer. It does not look good as they have not kept a clean sheet in 10 league outings, and managed just one in 15, courtesy of a goalless draw away to West Ham on 15 November. Their only points in eight outings have come from 1-1 draws, away to West Brom on 7 December and to Tottenham on 18 January and have lost their last three homes games against Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa
Liverpool have not a bad record at Fratton Park as Portsmouth have only managed two Premier League victories in 11 attempts over us; 1-0 in their first meeting on 18 October 2003, and 2-1 on 28 April 2007. Once again the “tale of the tape” points to a comfortable win for The Reds but once again it’s a matter of putting in the right performance and being clinical in front of the goal when the chance’s arrive. There has been no comments regarding Torres since Wednesday night when many people seemed to think that he was not 100% fit and carrying an injury therefore i think we can expect him to start up front on his own. Who plays behind him is up to Rafa but the obvious selection would be Yossi who has looked good the last few games.
Tomorrows game will see, if selected three ex-Liverpool players on the opposition in the form of David James (277 apps for LFC), Peter Crouch (134 apps with 42 goals) and Djimi Traore (141 apps with 1 goal). There is also that fact that Jermaine Pennant is on loan to Pompey from Liverpool but is ineligible to play. David James is also playing his 650th league start (Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth). For Liverpool, if selected, Mascherano will be making his 50th EPL start and I am glad to say Leiva Lucas has a one match suspension.
This season at Anfield we had to wait for a 76th minute penalty from Gerrard for the win and last years corresponding fixture at Fratton Park was a terrible 0-0 draw. We cannot afford a repeat of that scoreline if we intend to keep the pressure on ManU and maintain our push for our first EPL and 19th league title.
Commentators Corner – A tribute to David Coleman.
1. He’s 31 this year, last year he was 30…
2. The Italians are hoping for an Italian victory..
3. Peru score their third and it’s 3-1 to Scotland..
4. If that had gone in it would have been a goal..
and last but not least
5. Forest have now lost six matches without winning..
How did this man manage to keep his job for so long…