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Premier Player
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Discussion Starter #1
From BBC:
Benitez to pick strong Reds team
Liverpool v Watford

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says he will not rest their senior players in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Watford at Anfield.
"It is important to put out a strong side that can win and get us to the final. And there is a trophy at stake here, which we want to win," he said.

"We have used the young players and they have done very well.

"But without playing at Burnley our players have had the chance to rest, so that means we can use our senior men."

He added: "If we'd played at Burnley in the FA Cup on Friday perhaps the side against Watford would be different.

"But we now know we have two games this week and there is time between them for the senior players to recover."
 

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MoMo
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Pretty strong line up:

Jerzy Dudek, Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Djimi Traore, John Arne Riise, Antonio Nunez, Steve Gerrard, Didi Hamann, Luis Garcia, Neil Mellor, Florent Sinama Pongolle

Subs: Harrison, Biscan, Potter, Warnock, Baros

Kick off.
 

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MoMo
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Crap first half. Gerrard doesn't seem to care much about the game, he's jogging around most of the time, FSP, Mellor and Luis Garcia have been really poor. In all honesty, I think Nunez was our best player in the first half, he delivered 3 very good crosses, which could've ended up as assists if it wasn't for our incompetent attack.
 

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Liverpool 1-0 Watford

Steven Gerrard 56'

good result I guess now we have an advantage going into the second leg. hope Raf uses the youngsters again, instead of the first 11.
 

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don't see rafa putting the youngsters in the match unless the seniors has played a game 2 days before the 2nd leg. We aren't sure of the final yet, sth wihch I think Rafa wants.
 

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Likewise, I dun see Rafa using the youngsters since the game is not safe. However, given the fixture congestion, no thanks to the cancelled game at Turf Moor, Rafa may have to give the senior players some rest between now and end of Jan. We will be playing mid-week plus weekend games, so there will be tired limbs and bodies by then. Hopefully Mori will sign this week to ease the burden on some of the senior players.

paw;)
 

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International
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I think Rafa should plonk in the youngsters for the return leg. As much as I know that the League Cup's our best chance of qualifying for European competition, we should put the EPL as a higher priority. The Champs League place is still up for grabs and barring any rise in form from the Mancs, we should have a pretty good chance of getting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Actually, I think Rafa will start mixing..

U'll see a half side of seniors and other half of kids in the Burnley game.. and then the Watford game will see a solid senior defence but kids ahead of them (ala the Spurs game but with maybe Pellegrino getting a start with Traore in the middle)..

I thought it was a game that was more about physical footie than chances and goals.. To be honest, I was impressed by what Watford offered.. quick on the flanks.. and the lad on the left was doing excellently.. I'd also like to raise two thumbs up to the Watford fans who were at Anfield.. they made it clear that they were simply enjoying that their team was in the semis and at Anfield..

I beg to differ about Nunez.. 2 of his crosses were due to good passing and vision by Gerrard.. and he had two crosses into the crowd.. I know I don't like the guy.. but I'm getting to the point where I totally believe he's useless!! Hope he doesn't start against the Mancs..

Who was our MoM.. hard to determine really.. Gerrard came in and out of the game.. Hamann was solid defensively but his passing was missing.. Riise and Finnan were pinned back.. Traore saved us on 2 occassions but slipped too often!.. Carra his usual self.. Mellor and Sinama showed why we need Baros and Moro to start soon.. Sinama has good movement but needs to work on his first touch.. while Mellor needs to start understanding that jogging around the pitch won't enable u to score.. LG tried the fancy far too often.. I'm wondering why he doesn't use his speed and really work like a winger instead of all the dribbling he does..

But my main issue in the match was.. we kept passing the ball back far too often.. Watford were visiting the mighty Liverpool.. and rarely would they pass the ball back.. their players would either try to run past us or dribble their way.. Now correct me if I'm wrong.. but our lads should be more skilled, more experienced and ready (we've rested for a week).. Why are we THAT cautious? We'd have 6 players attacking.. the ball gets passed from Nunez to Finnan.. and he thinks for a sec.. then goes 'what the hell.. why risk it' and passes back to Carragher.. VERY frustrating..

Needless to say.. Rafa didn't enjoy the game.. or the result.. from BBC:

Benitez is disappointed with Reds

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez admitted his side were not at their best during the 1-0 Carling Cup semi-final first leg win over Watford at Anfield.

Benitez said: "I was disappointed at half-time, we were losing the ball too easily but we improved. We had problems but in the end we controlled it.

"I am happy in the end, the win is the most important thing.

"We knew it would be a difficult game, they ran a lot, played well and with confidence and they were organised."

Benitez praised the contribution of striker Milan Baros, who came off the bench during the second half after a month sidelined with a hamstring problem.

He added: "He gives a different option for the team, he runs, he is quick, and it isimportant to have different possiblities in attack.

"We have lots of confidence in this game, we know it is important for us totry and do our best.

"We have the advantage, we can play well at home and away."
 
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