We’re the early kick off on saturday as Liverpool play Swansea away at the Liberty stadium at 12:30am. Apart from the previous game against Swansea, it’s a fixture that’s been very kind to us over the years, Liverpool racking up 5 wins and 2 draws. Actually last time we lost to Swansea before the last game was the 13th of May 2012! In the last 8 league meetings there’s been 27 goals (18 from Liverpool) so a team we don’t normally struggle against and if you were to judge this match on form alone then Swansea’s is dire. Only managing 4 points from their opening 6 games, but it would be naive to think this will be a walk in the park. They’ve drawn 2-2 against Chelsea and last week played very well against leaders Man City, though they lost 3-1 for a long period they was well in the game. For Liverpool quite the contrary, 13 points from 6 and 16 league goals already and after last weeks demolition of Hull, confidence must be sky high going into this one. After being well documented last week, Liverpool’s achilles heel in the past is the so called “smaller teams” but after falling to Burnley this new look Liverpool have really set the pace wherever they’ve played and regardless of opposition. Could we be in for another Liverpool goal fest or shock at the Liberty?
Looking at team selection the most obvious change from the Hull game would be the inclusion of Dejan Lovren after recovering from illness. Though Ragnar Klavan did well against Hull I think that Klopp will want to push the Lovren/Matip partnership on. Divock Origi may be a doubt after receiving a slight knock to his foot, but doesn’t sound serious. Loris Karius is set to keep his place for his second league game after being reported earlier in the week. Then there’s the double conundrum of how does Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge get into this in form side? The midfield 3 of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana has really impressed of late and who could you drop for Can out of the 3. Lallana has been the absolute heart of the team, energy, interceptions, creative, assists and of course goals so for me his name is nailed on to the team sheet. Henderson is also an integral part of the side with his pressing and his passing (most successful passes in the league) with the plus he’s captain, would be suprised if he’s not starting. Wijnaldum seems to have won many Liverpool fans over already with his intelligence on the ball and the clever way he goes unnoticed but still makes space for others and sets off attacks, would love a goal to cement his status.
No one is doubting in Sturridge’s goal scoring ability but the fact we’ve scored 16 goals so far and none of which we’re by a recognised striker is a sign of our depth and Klopp’s false nine, interchanging attacking system working. The front 3 of Coutinho, Firmino and Mané is on fire at the moment, against Hull they was near impossible to defend against. You could argue that against Leicester, Sturridge, Firmino and Mané was just as potent but to pull that off, would perhaps mean putting Coutinho in midfield instead of Wijnaldum maybe? Only problem with this idea is the stability that Wijnaldum adds to the midfield, there’s a nice balance with Wijnaldum in the middle 3, knowing when to stay and protect. It would add more in firepower but would leave us more open at the back and as much as I love the idea of trying a 2013/14 and just outscore everyone. I’d prefer the fact we can score a hatful but with a more stable midfield for example that Chelsea away performance really highlighted a perfect mix of attack and protecting a win. Personally I think Firmino will start he’s a role model for Klopp’s gegenpressing system, he adds constant threat on goal but more importantly defending from the front helps pin teams in their own half with sustained pressure. Then Sadio Mané, need I say anymore. Klopp named him the “game changer” and he’s certainly lived up to the billing. More of the same please Sadio!
I think team will stay the same except for Lovren and Sturridge to come on with around 20 minutes left depending on the score. Divock’s knock has opened up a space on the bench for Danny Ings so another great substitute option.
Heres my starting eleven for Swansea v Liverpool on saturday:
On to the dodgy business of score predictions and I’m feeling really positive about us going forward but really would like that first clean sheet of the season. It would do wonders for the confidence of Karius plus Lovren/Matip as a defensive trio, but would be a boost for the whole team to score and not concede. Think we will have too much firepower for a out of form Swansea. A good win before another dreaded international break (please no injuries!) then full steam ahead to Manchester United at Anfield.
My score prediction for Swansea v Liverpool: 0-4
Please feel free to quote this on Twitter with your starting team and score predictions?
Written by Ben Webb