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  • Hobitez Hobitez Feb 20, 2013 11:23 Flag

    Team to beat Zenit at Anfield?

    I have a lot of confidence that we will win the game, just not that much that we will qualify. If they were to score 1st and leave us needing 4 goals, that would be very tough, if we go out and get an early goal it would be game on. For all of our attacking play recently, we have also kept a lot of clean sheets at Anfield with 4 in our last 5 games accompanied with a 17-2 goal difference in that time (Jason's favourite stat too!). They are a very good counter attacking side though so they will have massive confidence of nicking a goal on the night, I however feel if we can get a couple that we could have the confidence to begin a rout. The key will obviously be which Luis Suarez turns up, if it is the ruthless guy who always appears at Norwich then we will be cruising but if it is the chap who played WBA and Zenit, we have no hope.

    The dilemna for team selection is just down to 1 position really, that is who plays up with Suaro, There is good arguments for pusing Stevie on as there is for it being Suso, Shelvey, Henderson etc. I think Assaidi can be rules out as he seems ommited from the squad for some reason or another whilst the Jonjo experiment in Russia proved a bad one. Here is what I would go with unless we can camoflage Sturridge somehow!

    --------------------------------------------Reina------------------------------------
    Johnson-------------Carragher-----------------Agger-------------Enrique
    -------------------------Allen-----------------------Lucas------------------------
    Downing----------------------------Gerrard----------------------Henderson
    ----------------------------------------Suarez-------------------------------------

    Subs: Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Shelvey, Sterling, Assaidi, Suso

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    • I'd not start Allen. I'm still a fan of his, but to be honest his form and confidence have dipped, and we need men who can stand up tomorrow night, not someone trying to play his way back to form. For me, while I agree much of this comes down to which Suarez (clinical or wasteful) shows up, controlling the center like in most matches is where this will be decided.

      Therefore I'd go with Lucas and Gerrard to hold. For me it’s our best combination, it’s technically good but also physically strong. If we control the center it increases our chances of keeping a clean sheet, plus it’s the engine for creating the chances we hope Suarez puts away.

      Wide I'd go with Sterling; I've just got a feeling. I'm hoping he was watching our new Brazilian on Sunday and told himself he needs to step up if he wants to keep a regular starting berth in the first team. Unless we win tomorrow, Coutinho will be eligible for every match from now till the end of the season, so this is Raheem’s chance to stand up and tell the manager that's my spot.

      That still leaves the dilemma of who to play behind Suarez. I'd agree JonJo fluffed his lines last week, but for me he's still the most natural choice, as Hendo is much better at sitting deeper. But I'd go with confidence, and since Hendo got his goal a couple weeks back, he seems to have found something extra. As always he's working his socks off (Kuyt like) but it seems more is coming from his efforts lately, so think I'd give him the nod.

      • 1 Reply to dsteer_lfc_68
      • I was a bit sat on the fence to go with Sterling or Allen, for me, they are both very much in the same sort of form. Sterling has been gradually less and less effective, I know he hasnt started as much, perhaps it is that there was less pressure when he knew he was starting every game. The more I think about it the more I think it will be Hendo in behind Suaro with Sterling out wide, it does make a lot of sense. Zenit dont have much in defence, they can definitely be got at.

    • I think we will qualify for these reasons

      1) We're playing on a decent pitch
      2) Zenit still aren't fit
      3) Anfield crowd we'll scare them to death!

      I think I would start sterling instead of Hendo, but if Joe Allen is struggling Henderson should replace him at half time.

      • 1 Reply to Loki
      • I hope so mate! The pitch should be good for both sides I would think, I doubt Hulk, Witsel, Danny etc like playing on that mudbath in St Petersberg. I thought in the last game if we can hold on then the last half hour they should tire, they just seemed to get better though! That is the big hope, that they crumble under the lights, I kinda have a feeling it might encourage a few of them. I know it is the Europa league but it does have that real 'big game' feel about it, guess it is because it is this or nothing!