Liverpool vs Fulham – Premier League Preview

Liverpool have to move on from the disastrous result against Red Star and perform well against Fulham.

On paper, the Reds couldn’t ask for a better team to restore their confidence and the Cottagers are bottom of the table having only earned one win and two draws, while conceding 29 goals in 11 games.

What the result against Red Star did show however, is that Liverpool cannot afford to underestimate lesser opponents, and that will still be the case against Fulham.

Liverpool Team News and Predicted Lineup


Klopp confirmed that Keita, Hendo, and Gomez are fit and available. Gomez could replace TAA at right-back after the latter struggled against Arsenal and Red Star, meaning Lovren may return at centre-back. Matip also played poorly in midweek and is unlikely to feature against Fulham.

Sturridge and Lallana didn’t impress against Red Star either, so are likely to return to the bench. Klopp has played with a 4-2-3-1 in the last two home fixtures with Shaqiri joining Salah, Firmino and Mane in attack.

Klopp has a wealth of options available to him in midfield and may rest Gini and Milner after both players have looked fatigued recently. Fabinho looks set for a recall, while Hendo could also return to the team. Keita is another option in midfield, particularly if Klopp sticks with a 4-3-3.

Fulham Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has given no updates on Fulham’s injury situation with much of the talk surrounding his side’s woeful run of form and his precarious position as manager.

Joe Bryan presumably remains an injury doubt, while Kevin McDonald was substituted with a knock in the defeat to Huddersfield Town and his availability is unclear. Given that McDonald has been named in Scotland’s squad his problem is probably not too serious.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah could lose his place to Cyrus Christie at right-back after enduring a nightmare against Huddersfield. Stefan Johansen, Floyd Ayite and Aboubakar Kamara are among the peripheral squad players available to Jokanovic should he wish to mix things up again.

Pre-Game Analysis

Fulham’s struggles are well-documented and Liverpool are well placed on all areas of the pitch to be able to dominate the game.

However, Fulham’s biggest threat, and perhaps only hope for a result, is their Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. He has scored most of Fulham’s goals, and his linkup play is underrated.

Mitrovic excels at winning the ball in the air and then holding it up for the likes of Andre Schurrle, Ryan Sessegnon, and Luciano Vietto. If Liverpool’s centre-back pairing can stop him from winning these balls and holding up play, then Fulham’s chances of scoring will dramatically decline.


This is a must-win game for Liverpool. The result is by far the most important thing, but Fulham at home presents the perfect opportunity for a return to form, a restoration of confidence, and to silence the doubters.

Fulham will smell blood after seeing the Reds lose to an inferior side, and will be desperate for a result given their current position, but Liverpool should assert themselves early and never give the Cottagers a sniff.

Liverpool will head into the international break having won in a convincing 4-0 result.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea

Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 06/11/2018


Red Star vs Liverpool – Champions League Preview

No Excuses for Anything Less Than a Win

Liverpool head into matchweek four of the Champions League atop of their group and with a solid chance of progression.

The disappointment that some players may be feeling about the weekend’s result against Arsenal needs to be forgotten and moved on from.

Last time Liverpool faced Red Star, Klopp’s side strolled to a 4-0 victory, and the German will be looking for a similar performance in Serbia.

Red Star Belgrade – Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Red Star are a completely different side when they play at home because the atmosphere that the fans create inside the stadium inspires the team to play above their level.

This is how they were able to get a draw from Napoli, who are the only side to have beaten Liverpool in the Champions League so far. Although, PSG were able to thrash them, so once the first goal goes in, the floodgates can open.

As fans will remember from the game at Anfield, Red Star play physical football and that will be even more evident on their home patch. Liverpool will need to be patient, but potent, as they try to silence the home fans.

Liverpool – Team News and Predicted Lineup

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The biggest news out of the Liverpool camp is the Xherdan Shaqiri hasn’t travelled with the squad. This is disappointing as it sets a bad precedence. Sure, there’d been security warnings directed the Shaqiri stemming from his actions at the World Cup, but by all reports, the player wanted to go, so he should’ve played.

Elsewhere, Lovren missed the Arsenal game with a minor injury but should return for this game. This would take Trent out of the spotlight after his nightmare against Arsenal, while Gomez would move to right-back.

The midfield could be a combination of many players. Adam Lallana will surely be asking to start so that he can prove he deserves a more permanent role, and the same could be said of Sturridge up top.

Pre-Game Analysis

Klopp’s formation and lineup will be under scrutiny in this match as he has a number of difficult decisions to make.

Fabinho, for example, should arguably be dropped after his performance against Arsenal, but then again, he’ll get better with more game time, and it’s difficult to imagine a more appropriate match for the Brazilian to be used in.

Whatever the lineup and formation, Klopp will look to silence the home fans by playing the Serbians off the park from the get-go.


A win would certainly make Liverpool’s path to progression much easier, and depending on the result in Naples between Napoli and PSG, it could make the top spot of the group much more attainable.

Liverpool most likely won’t be able to win by as big a margin as last time because Red Star are far better at home, but the result should be the same.

It may take some time to break down the Serbs’ stubborn defence, but Liverpool will ultimately walk away as 2-0 winners.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea

Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 06/11/2018

Arsenal vs Liverpool – Premier League Preview

Big Test for Both Sides

Two of the Premier League’s most inform teams will do battle at the Emirates, and the stakes are exceptionally high for such an early point in the season.

For Arsenal, the hosts, this is their greatest test since Unai Emery’s philosophy has started to bear fruit. Much has been made of their long unbeaten run, but it’s been quite some time since they’ve faced a team of Liverpool’s quality.

For Liverpool, this is a must win game. Not only because it is against a top-four rival, but because both Chelsea and Manchester City picked up all three points at the Emirates. If Liverpool want to stake their claim as genuine title contenders, then anything other than a win must be seen as a failure.

Arsenal Team News and Predicted Lineup


Arsenal limp into this fixture with some key absences. Their defence are on their last legs, although their formidable attack is as potent as ever.

Mohamed Elneny, Laurent Koscielny, Kostantinos Mavropanos, and Matteo Guendouzi will all miss this weekend’s fixture. While the likes of Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Nacho Monreal, and Sokratis will be assessed as close to kick-off as possible.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles could come in to replace Bellerin if he’s not fit to start, while supposed Liverpool transfer target Aaron Ramsey could be brought into the midfield in Emery elects to add more numbers in the centre of the park.

Liverpool Team News and Predicted Lineup

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It will likely be too soon for either of Jordan Henderson or Naby Keita to be in contention against Arsenal, but other than that, Liverpool’s lineup will be strong.

The rest of the team more or less picks itself, especially the defence, and to a lesser extent, the midfield, given the poor recent showings by Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana.

The only doubt is whether Klopp will elect to retain Xherdan Shaqiri meaning that Liverpool will lineup closer to a 4-2-3-1. This would be a bold move by Klopp, but one that could play dividends.

Pre-Game Analysis

If Shaqiri plays, and Klopps trust Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho to control the midfield as they’ve done in the last two games, then Arsenal’s makeshift defence will be put under even more pressure. If Milner plays though, it will mean Liverpool have a better chance of nullifying the impact of players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal have a record of starting slow this season, which may sway Klopp’s decision to try and kill the game early with a Shaqiri-spearheaded blitz. However, Emery is a shrewd manager and will have planned for Klopp’s attack well.

Liverpool will need to punish Arsenal if they linger on the ball too long, as they are a side who prefer to play out from the back. However, if they get the ball further afield, then they have every chance of scoring goals.


Both managers will have had their eyes on this fixture for many weeks now, and as such, both will have prepared game plans that they believe will secure the win.

Liverpool will be the more desperate of the two for a victory, but that’s not to say Arsenal won’t be giving it a real crack at home.

Ultimately, Liverpool’s defence should be able to repel Arsenal’s formidable attack more often than not, but the same won’t be said of the Gunner’s defence against whichever attacking combination Klopp prefers. A well earned 3-1 victory for the Reds will make a  real statement going forward.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 27/10/2018

Liverpool vs Cardiff – Premier League Preview

Liverpool Prepare for Desperate Cardiff

The Blue Jays picked up an important win against an equally unimpressive Fulham last week, but Liverpool should have no problems with the relegation favorites.

That was reflected midweek when manager Neil Warnock admitted that his side’s task was “nearly impossible”.

Jurgen Klopp will be aware that Cardiff’s plan will be to sit back and hope for a lucky goal, but with the return to form display against Red Star, there shouldn’t be any problems whatsoever.

Liverpool – Team News and Predicted Lineup


Liverpool don’t have any fresh injury concerns, but a number of players could be rested after a hectic run of tough games.

Both fullbacks have earned a break, and there isn’t too much risk involved in allowing Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne a run in this game. Similarly, Adam Lallana should be given another opportunity to start against lesser opposition.

However, Klopp  should consider starting all, or most, of Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino, Sadio Mane, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Fabinho to ensure they can build on their last performances and take a great deal of confidence into the Arsenal game next week.

Cardiff – Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Cardiff aren’t contending with any major injuries, althought the likes of Harry Arter are dealing with knocks.

Warnock will likely try and take a page out of Roy Hodgson’s book and play with two very low banks of four.

Although, Cardiff don’t have anywhere near the quality of Crystal Palace, so it’s hard to imagine this system working as well as it did at Selhurst Park.

Pre-Game Analysis

It’s difficult to see this game going any other way. Cardiff will sit back and hang on for dear life, while Liverpool will eventually find the cracks in their system and force them open.

Once Liverpool have found the net twice, it’ll be interesting to see if Klopp pursues a result of last season’s ilk and punish Cardiff when they come out to try and salvage a result, or if he instructs his men to simply see the game out.

Either way, the Reds will score goals in this game, and will finish the match as comfortable victors.


It may appear to be overconfidence, but it’s purely logical analysis of how the game should go. Of course football is played on a pitch, not paper, but given both sides’ respective forms, this one should be a sure thing.

It’s harder to predict the lineup for this match than the result. Liverpool will almost certainly win.

The only question is by what margin? I’m going for a 4-0 routing with all three of Firmino, Salah, and Mane getting on the score sheet.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 27/10/2018

Liverpool vs Red Star Belgrade – Champions League Preview

Scousers vs Serbians

In the midst of an injury crisis Liverpool now face a different kind of challenge; a must win encounter against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

As such, the importance of the result outweighs the performance, but you can’t help but feel that this is a perfect chance to regain some attacking swagger, especially when you consider how easily PSG dispatched the Serbs.

Jurgen Klopp will have to carefully consider how many players he can afford to rest, and how much benefit will those players actually receive from missing out on a chance like this.

Liverpool – Team News and Predicted Lineup


Sadio Mane has returned to training, but it’s probably not worth risking him at this stage, especially considering the fact that Xherdan Shaqiri played so well on the weekend.

Jordan Henderson came off injured against Huddersfield and as a result, will almost certainly not feature in the Champions League game, and perhaps not even in the EPL game which follows.

Adam Lallana may also benefit from Liverpool’s midfield injuries despite his poor showing against the Terriers. Hopefully he’ll be better in a game that should be of a lower intensity.

Red Star – Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Red Star have a number of injury concerns of their own to deal with, which isn’t an ideal situation when you’re travelling away to Anfield on a European night.

Captain Vujadin Savic was withdrawn against PSG, and hasn’t returned since, and Filip Stojkovic is also in doubt.

Marko Marin is perhaps the club’s most familiar name, as the former Chelsea man will also miss out due to injury.

Pre-Game Analysis

Red Star are a very physical side and attacker Richmond Boakye is the main benefactor from this style of play, scoring five goals in his last four league games.

The Serbians also managed a respectable draw at home against Napoli where they were able to use their physicality and grit to frustrate the Italians. However, they were then annihilated 6-1 by PSG.

Even a weakened Liverpool should outclass Red Star and run riot over their midfield and defence, while comfortably swatting away counter-attacks.


Shaqiri, Mo Salah, and Bobby Firmino will enjoy a familiar night of chances followed by chances. All Liverpool fans will be hoping that this is the night where they get their mojo back.

Fabinho’s introduction should assist this process by providing a solid base from which Liverpool can commit significant numbers to each attack.

Liverpool will reclaim the top spot in their group with a convincing and relieving 4-0 victory.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 24/10/2018

Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool – Preview

Normality Resumes After Painful International Break

You could set your watch to it. Boring, pointless, international break happens, and suddenly Liverpool players start dropping like flies.

Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita all suffered injuries on international duty, while Virgil van Dijk traveled despite having not fully healed from a rib injury.

Unfortunately there’s little that can be done about that now, and dwelling on that won’t help with dispatching Huddersfield who will surely smell blood in the water.

Huddersfield Team News and Predicted Lineup

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In all fairness, David Wagner has as many injury headaches as Jurgen Klopp does this week. Terence Kongolo, Tommy Smith and Danny Williams will all miss out, while the likes of Ramadan Sobhi, Abdelhamid Sabiri, and Isaac Mbenza are in doubt.

Philip Billing should shake off his knock in time for the game and will likely be used in a trio of central midfielders as Wagner has preferred a 3-5-1-1 formation when playing against higher quality opposition.

Either 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 is his usual preference, but the Huddersfield boss set up with a three-man defence with wing-backs in midfield against Chelsea and Tottenham earlier this season.

Liverpool Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Surprisingly, despite Liverpool fans’ worst fears, Klopp has only categorically ruled out Keita for this fixture, meaning Mane, Salah, VVD, and potentially James Milner could all start.

Salah, VVD, and Milner all trained mid-week, which is a good sign, despite the latter suffering a hamstring strain only a couple of weeks ago. Mane however has a broken thumb which, while painful, wouldn’t necessarily rule him out. The player himself will likely make the call on the day.

This uncertainty in the attack and midfield opens the door for the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge, Fabinho, and a returning Adam Lallana whom Klopp spoke very highly of during the week.

Pre-Game Analysis

Liverpool, despite a few hiccups, sit equal 1st on the table, while Huddersfield are languishing in the relegation-zone after a winless start.

However, this doesn’t guarantee the Reds anything. Aaron Mooy and Christopher Schindler are excellent players, while Chris Lowe and Phillip Billing have been in good form this season, and Alex Pritchard can be very dangerous on his day.

This game will be won and lost in the centre of the park as Wagner will overload his midfield. It’ll be up to Liverpool’s midfield trio to play their way out of traffic and give the attackers the service they so desperately need.


This game has to be the first step to getting our season back on track and return to winning ways. Salah, Mane, and Firmino hitting top gear would be a nice bonus, but the three points are the most important thing.

We can’t afford to drop points against these types of opponents as we’ve done in previous seasons because Manchester City, and to a lesser extent Chelsea, will simply not return the favor to us.

Liverpool should walk away from this one as 3-0 winners.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 20/10/2018

Liverpool vs Manchester City

Potential Game of the Season at Anfield

The countdown begins. This is a fixture that both sets of fans have been eagerly awaiting since the end of last season. Ultimately, it could be a decisive moment in the title race.

Liverpool’s form is poor coming into this one: two losses and a draw in their last three. However, City are yet to hit top gear this season either despite some flattering scorelines.

Both sides will be hoping to assert their dominance in this match and make a real statement to the rest of the league.

Liverpool – Team News and Predicted Lineup


Despite the fact that Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Naby Keita’s midweek injury was not too serious, the midfielder is still unlikely to feature in this match.

Keita is the only injury concern going into the game; however, Klopp’s men will be undoubtedly tired as the German isn’t blessed with the extensive rotational options that his Spanish counterpart has.

It’s difficult to imagine that the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge or Fabinho will be given the chance to start this match due to its importance.

Manchester City – Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Pep Guardiola hinted that Benjamin Mendy and Kevin de Bruyne may return from injury in time to feature at Anfield.

Mendy is the more likely of the two to start, considering the only real alternative would be to throw young Oleksandr Zinchenko to the wolves. KDB is probably not worth risking considering he has mysteriously returned from a three month injury after only three weeks.

However, City have many options in most posistions and their lineup is always difficult to predict. Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, and Gabriel Jesus are just a few of the world class options they could chose to employ.

Pre-Game Analysis

City will surely enter the match as favourites, but then again, no manager in world football has bested Guardiola more often than Klopp.

Some pundits have suggested that if Liverpool in their current form are going to walk away with a result, then we’ll have to adopt a more conservative approach in this game. This is nonsense. If we’re going to win, we’re going to do it our way.

City aren’t going to change their approach despite what happened last season, and they;ll be better for it. An analysis of a game of this nature is basically redundant given the chaotic nature of the previous encounters.


Who would be brave enough to bet on this one? Who knows what Liverpool team will turn out at Anfield, and with the quality of City’s players will it even matter?

My head says City will be too strong for us in this moment, but my heart says this is the perfect game for our front three to remind the league that last season wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

I’m optimistically predicting a 2-2 draw, but honestly, anything could happen.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 07/10/2018

Napoli vs Liverpool – Preview

Reds Travel to Naples

The tough run continues as Liverpool take on second-place Napoli in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s lineup was shambolic the last time these two sides played each other. The likes of David N’Gog, Jay Spearing, and Paul Konchesky lead our dismal team.

A new look Liverpool will have to take on the dangerous Italians, backed by a passionate crowd, inside a hostile stadium.

Napoli Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Napoli will be without winger Amin Younes and former Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches for the game, but still boast a strong lineup with some interesting rotational options.

Arkadiusz Milik is the most prominent of these options as the big Polish striker has the capability of disrupting even the best of defences on his day.

The only other uncertainty will be the formation which Carlo Ancelotti employs for this match. His Napoli side have utilised 4-4 -2, 4-2-3-1, and 4-4-1-1 to equal effect this season.

Liverpool Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Liverpool’s formation and tactics should be fairly straightforward, but considering we have one of the most important games of the season on the weekend against Manchester City, Klopp could be tempted to rest key players.

I do not expect Klopp to do so, but if he did, he could consider rotating the fullbacks. Similarly, he could rest our forwards by playing one or both of Xherdan Shaqiri or the in-form Daniel Sturridge.

The one change I am expecting is in the midfield. I believe Klopp will have faith in Naby Keita to build on his cameo against Chelsea by making his mark in the Champions League.

Pre-Game Analysis

Ancelotti’s side have the quality and tactical discipline to cause Liverpool problems. Their midfield duo perfectly combine industry with outstanding technique, and their wide players cover for each other during attacking plays.

Lorenzo Insigne is perhaps Napoli’s greatest weapon, but Dries Mertens can be just as dangerous. Both players are blessed with excellent feet and a great deal of pace; providing them with multiple ways in which they can score and create chances.

However, one of Napoli’s biggest weaknesses that can be exploited is the fact that they play with a high defensive line. This was the deciding factor in the pre-season thrashing of Napoli, 5 – 0, when Liverpool’s forwards tore them to ribbons by regularly finding space behind the defenders.


Given that Liverpool’s lineup is largely guesswork at this point, it’s exceedingly difficult to make a realistic prediction.

However, if Klopp fields his strongest XI, the forwards should be able to make Napoli pay while our defenders snuff out their opportunities.

If my lineup is accurate, then I can see Liverpool remaining top of the group with a convincing 3 – 1 victory against the Neapolitans.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 04/10/2018

Chelsea vs Liverpool – Preview

Rematch at Stamford Bridge

After the minor disappointment of going out of the Carabao Cup the Reds will be seeking revenge against Chelsea in the league.

Both teams will be fielding close to their strongest XI’s on the day, so there can be no excuses for failing to turn up.

This is Liverpool’s greatest test in the league so far, aside from the win away at Tottenham, as Chelsea are only two points behind us on the table, level with Manchester City.

Chelsea – Team News and Predicted Lineup


Chelsea will welcome back a host of their key players as well as a couple of players returning from injury.

Antonio Rudiger and Pedro need to be assessed closer to kick-off before a decision is made over their fitness, but at this stage ti appears that Rudiger will play will Pedro might be restricted to a role from the bench.

The only other considerations are that Andreas Christensen will likely miss the game through illness, while either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata could start the game up top.

Liverpool – Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Liverpool will field a vastly different starting lineup to the one that lost at home to the Blues in the cup.

It was revealed that Virgil van Dijk had missed training this week as he nurses bruised ribs, and Klopp confirmed he was a doubt. However, van Dijk posted a message on Instagram which suggested that he will be ready.

In the event that he isn’t, either Dejan Lovren, or more likely, Joel Matip will take his place. Klopp also has a decision to make over his midfield three as James Milner looks fatigued, while Jordan Henderson failed to impress midweek.

Pre-Game Analysis

The key aspect in this game will be how well Liverpool’s defence are able to deal with the dangerous Eden Hazard.

If the Belgian is allowed the freedom and space he was afforded after he came on in the cup game, then he has the quality to make us pay. However, if we can lock him down, cut off is supply, and force Cheslea to go down the opposite wing, then we should be able to score goals of our own and win.

Chelsea’s defence are no pushovers though, but with Jorginho shielding the defence it’s unlikely he will be able to give the centre-backs the protection they’ll require, so Liverpool could produce most of their chances through the middle.


If Liverpool’s defence can perform to the levels which they have been is previous league games, then we should be able to contain Hazard most of the time.

Likewise, if the midfield reaches their previous heights, then Chelsea could easily become overrun, providing ample opportunities for our front men to score.

I think that it will be a tight and toughly contested game, but one that ends in a well-earned 2-1 victory for Liverpool.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 29/09/2018

Liverpool vs Chelsea – Carabao Cup Preview


Although fans will have one eye on the Premier League fixture with Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly see this as an opportunity to present his first piece of silverware to the Anfield faithful.

Last time out, Liverpool recorded an impressively casual victory over Southampton, while Chelsea laboured to a 0-0 draw with West Ham.

Both Klopp and Maurizio Sarri will be tempted to rotate their squad for the Carabao Cup due to the importance of the league fixture, but make no mistake, both sides will be well up for the battle at Anfield.



Virgil van Dijk is the only newly injured player, and will be sidelined due to some bruising on his ribs which Klopp confirmed this week as being “uncomfortable, but I don’t think it’s much more”. Klopp confirmed in the press conference that Simon Mignolet will start in goal and Dejan Lovren “looks ready” to play.

Klopp is not known for heavily rotating his squad all in one go, regardless of the prestige of the competition. Therefore, it’s unlikely we will see the likes of Nat Phillips, Rafa Camacho, and Curtis Jones given their debuts, even though they impressed the manager during preseason.

Instead, Klopp will probably look to bring in senior players who are on the periphery of the squad, such as giving Fabinho his long-awaited debut, while maintaining influence from some of his key men. Other ‘stars’ could come off the bench if things are going pear-shaped, and likewise the youth players may get a run out if the game is going exceptionally well.


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The Blues on the other hand do have a couple of injury concerns to consider: Antonio Rudiger and Pedro will almost certainly miss the game through their respective shoulder injuries.

Sarri commented that Rudiger’s injury is “nothing serious”, and that he would only be out for “maybe three or four days, no more”, meaning he could return for the league fixture. Pedro however is unlikely to return in time for the weekend.

Sarri recently commented that the likes of Reuben Loftus-Cheek are “not ready” for first team football, meaning experience squad players such as Ross Barkley will get their chance to shine. Although, some considerable rotation will be required given that his side played their European and Premier League fixtures a day after Liverpool’s games, and even had their flight cancelled on the way back from Greece after defeating PAOK 1-0.


Liverpool FC Training Camp In Evian

It’s difficult to analyse a game where it’s entirely unknown which players will feature from either side; but what is certain is the fact that the tactics will be largely the same regardless of the players expected to fill each role.

Sarri’s Chelsea is far more aggressive than his predecessors’ sides, and don’t conform to many of the stereotypes associated with Chelsea teams. This Chelsea like to play with a pressing and possession-based approach, but crucially, Sarri opts to utilise a very high defensive line. This is where Liverpool can really cause damage, as we did when Napoli’s high-line was torn to ribbons in pre-season.

Chelsea’s midfield, led by their maestro Jorginho, are able to ping accurate passes behind the opposition defence for their wide attackers and overlapping fullbacks to run on to, potentially subverting Liverpool’s pressing game. Their compact system could also stifle players such as Naby Keita, who thrive on having the freedom to move in the spaces between the midfield and defence.



Regardless of the players that Klopp puts out, Liverpool should have the tactical edge to advance to the next stage of the Carabao Cup, and give Chelsea some questions to answer before the weekend.

Sarri himself admitted that Liverpool are “a step forward” from Chelsea, and said “maybe in one year we will be at the same level”, further emphasising where the two clubs are currently positioned.

Therefore, I predict Liverpool will head into the weekend’s league fixture having won 3 – 1 in a highly entertaining cup match.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog and Fields of Anfield Road – 25/09/2018