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Liverpool welcome Kevin Keegan's Manchester City to Anfield with the return of former Anfield stars Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Nicolas Anelka.

For McManaman, if selected, it will be the first time he has played at Anfield since leaving Liverpool in 1999 on a Bosman free to join Real Madrid.

Last season City beat Liverpool 2-1 with Nicolas Anelka of all people scoring twice to dent the Reds Champions League hopes.

Back in December at the City of Manchester Stadium an injury time equaliser from Robbie Fowler of all people earned City a 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
 

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Should be a win for a Liverpool!

:cool: Personally I Don,t think Manchester City will create problem to us since we are playing in our own stadium, therefore 3 points should be on hand this week.. a draw will surelly kill off the spirit in chasing the champion league.
 

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Hi guys..

Well I expect us to win! I saw Man C against Birmingham.. and although Man C showed loads of possession.. they simply couldn't find that killer punch.. that's an issue we've had to face too.. But I think the team is growing in confidence.. and we have to turn another corner :tongue: (joking) :)..

How's Baros doing? if he's ready I want him back.. if not.. the same side that started the Derby game again..

I think we've seen how improved our defence looks with H-H back together.. Hope nothing changes that :)
 

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On paper, Citeh has a far better squad than Bolton and if not for their dismal run of late, I wonder will people out there consider it as a must-win.

And Yasir, conceding two goals against Bolton is not really an improvement in defence, does it?

As for this match, I am tempted to predict a bore draw with Citeh doing all the attacking while Liverpool does all the defending.

High chance that we will have another two points dropped and I will be glad to have done enough research on the TV listings for the upcoming Inter-Toto Cup for next season.

Inter-Toto Cup, here we come! :D

Wright-Phillips vs Carragher battle will be an interesting one to watch.
 

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Liverbird said:
Inter-Toto Cup, here we come! :D
I DO imagine that you really have fun writing that down week in.. week out.. :D I'm getting used to it :D

Rather weirdly, the cable company is showing Leicester vs Bolton today and Portsmouth vs Chelsea tomorrow.. not that we're setting the world alight.. But I would have shown Arsenal vs Southampton today.. and either us vs Man C, Charlton vs Spurs, Blackburn vs Newcastle or Man U vs Boro..

:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I used to think Liverbird was jesting and he can't be serious. For the past few season at least we have got enough points not to fall below 6th.

Inter Toto, that's a laugh. :D :D

but now looking at the table I dun find it quite so funny anymore. Places between 4th and 12th are bloody tight. We are like 5 points ahead of Spurs who are currently at 12th. From the 5th match of this season, every team below 3rd is in a constant state of fluctuation and this still doesn't look like changing.

As easily as we can put together a string of good wins, get into forth and consolidate we can also be inconsistant or dismal and be pushed down into the 7-10th placing zone.

That's inter toto zone for you.

I won't be surprised if the margin between 4th CL spot the 7th place is less then 5 points at the end of the season. I certainly hope we won't be at the wrong end should it come to such an outcome.
 

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Seriously, Mindy and Yasir, I am bracing myself for that. Inter-Toto Cup is a serious possibility if we fail to finish in a UEFA Cup standing in the League. With the way we have been performing this season, I am not joking.

In fact, I am psyching myself for it and that explains for my avatar. :)
 

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last 3 matches already have already caused me a bomb on my bets! no other way can they repay me only by beating mc! i am very heavy on this! come on!:fero:
 
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Houllier better scrap this 5 man midfield nonsense, Owen hates it and won't score playing in it. Sinama MUST start with Owen, let him take Cheyrou's position, and leave the other 4 midfielders in place. Defense and keeper will be like they were against Bolton.
 

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Sinama's been injured, had he have rushed him back for the last game then Houllier would have been hammered for desperation for rushing back a kid into the first team.

The 5 man midfield has been used out of a lack of strikers available rather than a total desire to play it IMHO. Of course knowing GH, there is always room for strange decisions in line ups. If one thing has been consistent it's been his ability to puzzle most of us with some of the strange line ups he's picked at times.
 
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And he couldn't have just played Kewell upfront with Owen?? he HAD to play a 5 man midfield?? Le Tallec was also incapable of playing upfront??

Sinama was ready to go, Owen looked 10 times happier and livelier when he was joined by FLO. Flo and Owen MUST start together this weekend, with LeTalent, Didi, Stevie and the Jewel in midfield.
 

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I still think this system has lots of potential judging from the chances we created in the derby and against Newcastle. Also, I'm not sure it was because of FSP that Owen picked up his game. (He didn't really look like scoring when he came back to the 4-4-2 system.) The whole team moved into fourth and then fifth gear when Gerrard began to take the game by the scruff of the neck, i.e., after our second equaliser.

Having said that, I'd like to see Pongo starting with Owen against City, Owen may have a hard time against Distin and Van Buyten alone because Distin has bags of pace and Van Buyten is a tower of strength.
 
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that sounded like a bit of a Houllier statement, "we are creating lots of chances, so i am right to play this system", FACT is, we need to score goals, I'd rather create 5 chances and score 2 goals, than create 20 and score none.

Owen lifted his play when Flo came on, he began making his runs down the channels and dragging the defense around, knowing that Sinama was there to help him.
 

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Well, we played 4-4-2 in the three games after Owen returned and only scored one in each of them. All I am saying is that this formation is not to blame for Owen's bad form and by going back to 4-4-2 we won't be guaranteed to win.

Playing 4-2-3-1 suited our players more because Le Tallent is more effective further up the pitch than in a right midfield role and Cheyrou is at his best making runs into the box from behind the striker. Our two best games, by a long way, since Owen returned have come using this system.

BTW, does anyone know if Diouf will be back for the Portsmouth game on Sunday because Senegal are out of the ANC?
 

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Liverpool Matchday Squad: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Henchoz, Carragher, Kewell, Gerrard, Hamann, Le Tallec, Cheyrou, Owen, Pongolle, Luzi, Murphy, Riise, Biscan, Traore, Welsh.

Man City Matchday Squad: James, Arason, Distin, van Buyten, Dunne, Wiekens, Jihai, Bosvelt, McManaman, Sinclair, Reyna, Wright-Phillips, Tarnat, Sibierski, Barton, Fowler, Macken, Anelka.

---------

Luckily for us Anelka is still injured for them and is doubtful even though he's in the squad. :)
 
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Red Mist said:
Well, we played 4-4-2 in the three games after Owen returned and only scored one in each of them. All I am saying is that this formation is not to blame for Owen's bad form and by going back to 4-4-2 we won't be guaranteed to win.

Playing 4-2-3-1 suited our players more because Le Tallent is more effective further up the pitch than in a right midfield role and Cheyrou is at his best making runs into the box from behind the striker. Our two best games, by a long way, since Owen returned have come using this system.

BTW, does anyone know if Diouf will be back for the Portsmouth game on Sunday because Senegal are out of the ANC?
Owen was barely fit when he came back, and Heskey was in the team getting in people's way. Plus we didn't have Le Tallec and Kewell to supply the chances, AND Gerrard wasn't been given the freedom he has now.

Le Tallec's best games this season have come at RW, playing 4-2-3-1 hasn't pushed him further up the field at all, he's just been given Dioufy's roaming role.

Cheyrou may be more effective more effective coming from deep but in the last two games he's been non-existant. I'd rather have us playing to the strengths of Owen and Sinama, than to those of Cheyrou.

4-4-2 is our best formation, It suits our midfielders and strikers more than any other formation
 

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The truth is that both Managers are under intense pressue at the moment.

If Liverpool come out and be cautious, don't attack in numbers,
and at the end of the day GH is satisfied with a draw then forget the rest of the year - one disppoinmtent after another.

Keegan and his team are virtually on there knees - therefore Liverpool should be really take the game up to City and give them a hiding - no excuses.

If City were play Man U, Arsenal or Chelsea you would be confident of a 4 or 5 goal thrashing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did not watch the match becos it was not shown on TV. Good to see us winning and pushing us up to 4th place when our rivals dropped points. And Man U lost too :D :DH

Here is the match report, some interesting comments there.

FT Report: Liverpool 2-1 Man City

Liverpool were left to thank their lucky stars as England duo Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard fired them into fourth place for the first time this season with a 2-1 victory over Manchester City.

Had it not been for goals in each half by Owen and Gerrard, the Anfield men could easily have been embarrassed by unpredictable City, who have now gone 14 Premiership games without a victory.

Owen's strike, his first in nine games, looked to have put Liverpool in the fast lane to a critical victory.

But City, after a dreadful first period, equalised through the excellent Shaun Wright-Phillips and the little wing-back almost grabbed an equaliser in the dying minutes with a chip shot which was hacked off the line by Sami Hyypia.

By then Gerrard had weighed in with a close-range effort to force Liverpool ahead, but they were nervous and defensive in the final moments.

City had all three of their former Liverpool players on show in David James, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman.

The latter was making his first club appearance back at Anfield since his departure to Real Madrid in the summer of 1999. It was also his first start since January 3, which meant Joey Barton was relegated to the bench.

But McManaman was only a flickering light in an ineffective City side who, certainly in the first period, seemed to have forgotten all that passion and glory from White Hart Lane a week ago.

Liverpool, who fielded the side that drew at Bolton on Saturday and had Emile Heskey and Chris Kirkland back from injury and on the bench, were not much better for long spells.

However Owen looked sharp from the start and was clearly intent on getting himself back on to the goal trail. He forced James to dive at his feet in the first minute and ended his goal drought, which had stretched back to October, after just three minutes.

Bruno Cheyrou was fouled by Daniel van Buyten out on the right, and referee Mike Riley played an excellent advantage to let play continue with Dietmar Hamann threading the ball through to Owen.

The striker went past Richard Dunne and neatly clipped the ball over the advancing James for his first goal since his return from injury six games ago.

There was a pace and hunger about Liverpool that had City stretched, and Hamann was next to get in a shot - a 20-yard effort which bent away from goal at the last moment. But Liverpool soon slipped into the sort of display that has tested the Anfield faithful all season.

The visitors' best efforts came down the right via Wright-Phillips, who was happy to run at Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia, but the support from the rest of his colleagues was minimal.

The swirling fog around the stadium cleared considerably during the break - and so apparently did a few players' heads. Certainly Liverpool started the second period with more purpose.

Gerrard saw an effort from the edge of the box blocked by Wright-Phillips and the little City wing-back soon popped up at the other end to score a fine equaliser after 49 minutes.

Michael Tarnat played McManaman into space in midfield and, with Fowler going on a decoy run to his left, McManaman threaded the ball into Wright-Phillip's path and he lashed a low shot into the bottom corner.

But Liverpool were back in front within just two minutes. The ball was lifted into City's box and Owen managed to make contact, with James parrying the effort but allowing Gerrard to lash the loose ball into the net from close range.

Harry Kewell, clearly feeling the effects of his ankle problem, was replaced by Heskey early in the second half.

A minute later McManaman produced a double goal-line block, firstly from an Anthony Le Tallec header and then from Owen's follow-up shot.

McManaman had a far greater influence in the second period but Claudio Reyna and Paul Bosvelt were being totally outplayed in midfield.

Barton eventually replaced Bosvelt with Danny Murphy coming on for Le Tallec in Liverpool's midfield.

City took off the hard-working Jon Macken after 76 minutes, sending Antoine Sibierski into the fray. And he almost scored with his first touch when he rose to flick on a Tarnat free-kick but the ball dropped just wide of the far post.

The introduction of Murphy had signalled Liverpool's intent to defend their lead, and it gave the initiative to City, who suddenly realised they could get something from the game.

With the Kop chanting `Attack, attack!' at their men to underline their displeasure with the situation,
McManaman sent Wright-Phillips in again on the right and his dink over Jerzy Dudek was cleared off the line by Hyypia.

Tarnat then powered in another cross from the left and Sibierski headed just wide of the post. The arrival of another Liverpool defensive player in Igor Biscan from the bench for Cheyrou further annoyed the home fans - but at least there team is back in a Champions League spot.

Houllier: What are the Liverpool fans moaning about?

An angry Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier defended his side's safety-first tactics which secured a 2-1 win over Manchester City and took them into the top four for the first time this season.

Houllier said: 'The whole team deserves credit, I am very proud of my men. We created chances and played football, so what are they moaning about? Football is a game of two teams, and City can be very dangerous as they showed at Spurs last week.'

And on the booing from the Kop in those final minutes, Houllier said: 'I am disappointed for my players because I think their effort deserved more than that.'

He added: 'You have to understand that when you play a good team it cannot all be one-sided. You have to give them respect. There were spells when they were better, I watched them even at Arsenal and they were unfortunate.

'First of all it is a good win, a good three points against a good team who can play good football.'

For City boss Kevin Keegan it was another disappointing night as his side have now gone 14 league games without a victory.

But a defiant City chief, who clearly had the support from the vocal travelling fans, said: 'We played some good stuff second half and were unfortunate to again end up with nothing.

'The second was a bad goal to concede. It was scrappy, a mistake here and a bit of slackness there, but if you do that in the Premiership you get punished.

'But I believe in these players, they have been a very, very unlucky team. But you cannot hide from the results.

'But if you try to tell me there are 15 places between us and Liverpool after this performance, I just do not see it.

'We will just keep soldiering on and try to turn it around at Old Trafford on Saturday in the FA Cup.'
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Jerzy Dudek
Jamie Carragher
Steve Finnan
Stephane Henchoz
Sami Hyypia
Bruno Cheyrou (Biscan 85)
Steven Gerrard
Dietmar Hamann
Harry Kewell (Heskey 59)
Anthony Le Tallec (Murphy 69)
Michael Owen

Scorers
Michael Owen (3)
Steven Gerrard (51)
Shaun Wright-Phillips (50)


From what I read from secondary sources, we did defended with 9 players and a keeper after we took the lead. Whether it is sheer cowardice or a tactical necessary is a matter of debate.
 
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