Liverpool vs Southampton – Preview

Reds Take On Saints at Anfield

After a good start to the Champions League campaign, Liverpool must now turn their attention back to the Premier League.

Considering the convincing victory against PSG midweek, it’d be easy to assume that Southampton should be a walk in the park. However, it’s this kind of complacency that the Reds must avoid in order to become title contenders.

While it’s true that this game falls in the middle of a patch of more difficult matches, ultimately each fixture is equally worth three points, so dropping points here would be highly disappointing.

Liverpool – Team News


Jurgen Klopp usually chooses to only rotate when necessary, so don’t expect to see many changes on the weekend. Having said that, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri need minutes, so this could be a good opportunity for them to make their full debuts.

Naby Keita could come back into the team after missing out against PSG, but its questionable as to who would make way for him. Based on form though, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum are just about undroppable.

Bobby Firmino will almost certainly return to the starting lineup, such is his importance to the team, but after his fantastic display in the Champions League Daniel Sturridge may start either instead of Bobby or even alongside him if Klopp feels confident that a midfield duo would be able to control the game.

Southampton – Team News


After a tremendous start to the season Danny Ings will miss the game against Liverpool, as loaned players cannot feature against their parent club.

Manolo Gabbiadini will be the only other notable absence as he recovers from a hamstring injury, but the likes of Nathan Redmond and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg have made impressive starts to the season and will look to fill the void.

Southampton may elect to start only one of Charlie Austin and Shane Long, in order to add another man, likely Oriol Romeu, to the midfield battle.

Pre-Game Analysis

Southampton are a team who like to sit back and hit teams on the counter, and this will certainly be their plan against Liverpool. They will use Højbjerg, Lemina, and possibly Romeu, to help the defence break up play and push into the box when the chance arises.

The Reds have considerable advantages all over the pitch though, especially when factoring the relative lack of pace that the Southampton defence possess.

Southampton will have to take a leaf out of Crystal Palace’s book and sit deep and narrow without allowing the likes of Firmino or Keita to operate in the half spaces.


Southampton will be the latest team to use this method in an attempt to quell Liverpool’s attack, but again, the quality of the Reds should prove too great.

Hopefully this game will see the trumphant return of Mo Salah at his best, but I beleive it’ll be a tight games where chances are scarce.

A hard-fought, but deserved 2-0 win for the Reds.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 19/09/2018


Liverpool vs PSG – Preview

Champions League Resumes at Anfield

After the heartbreaking loss in last season’s champions league final, Reds fans worldwide are itching to see Liverpool go one step further this time.

Standing in their way this time though is a much more difficult group: Napoli, Red Star Belgrade, and Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG, the reigning French champions, boast an incredible attacking lineup that will undoubtedly test Liverpool’s resolve and cause the fans a few nervy moments.

Liverpool – Team News


Considering minimal rotation was made against Tottenham, it’s more likely that Klopp will again put out the best team possible, and then rest his stars either against Southampton in the league, or Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.

Bobby Firmino’s eye injury will almost certainly rule him out as a precaution, giving Daniel Sturridge a chance to make his first start of the season.

The only other possible changes would be to finally introduce Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho; although, Fabinho is the most obvious choice here given his familiarity with PSG from his time in Ligue 1.

PSG – Team News


Gigi Buffon’s red card in his last ever champions league game for boyhood club Juventus means that he’ll miss what would’ve been his first one for his new club.

Likewise, Marco Verratti is still injured which is a big loss for PSG and means that Marquinhos will have to move into the midfield.

Despite two key absences, it’s impressive to see the quality this PSG possesses, in particular Angel Di Maria, Edison Cavani, world cup winner Kylian Mbappe, and of course, Neymar.

Pre-Game Analysis

Many fans are concerned over this attacking foursome and are predicting that this could be a step too far for our defence to handle.

However, as Liverpool fans should know all too well, a great attack doesn’t win you games on its own. The Reds’ midfield have to quality to overrun PSG’s and hamper their possession which would’ve led to chances.

Another aspect to note is that both PSG’s fullbacks are known more for their attacking prowess than defensive nous, a fact that will be exploited by Liverpool’s wingers to great effect considering neither Mbappe nor Neymar are generally willing to drop back and assist the defence.


Both the midfield battle and the exploitation of PSG’s fullbacks will prove to be the decing factors in the game.

This will be another statement by a wonderfully talented team that has slowly but surely started to nail their tactical discipline as well.

Liverpool will finish the night top of the group after a convincing 3-1 victory.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 19/09/2018

Tottenham vs Liverpool – Preview

Liverpool Kick Off Run of Tough Fixtures at Wembley

Liverpool have made a perfect start to the season so far, and so had Tottenham until they were defeated by a plucky Watford side.

Spurs will be looking to ruin Liverpool’s run and get their own season back on track ahead of the mid-week Champions League games.

It’ll be a difficult game to predict after the international break, and much will depend on the freshness and availability of each sides players.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


As mentioned above, predicting a result, let alone a lineup for this game will prove exceedingly difficult.

The only certainties for Tottenham are that Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris will miss the game through injury.The rest of the team however, is highly interchangeable, particularly in midfield and defence.

Davinson Sanchez could be an option despite coming back late from international duty, while Danny Rose and Serge Aurier could feature if Keiran Trippier or Ben Davies aren’t fit to play.



Likewise, the Reds’ lineup will be difficult to pick. Despite the fact that we have a run of difficult fixtures coming up, Klopp may elect to not rotate for this match.

News broke this week that Dejan Lovren will be sidelined for a further month at least, while Adam Lallana picked up a minor injury while away on England duty. Simon Mignloet also suffered a knock, but should still make the bench.

Klopp’s other options that may start ahead of those who travelled include Joel Matip, Alberto Moreno, Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, as well as the more exciting possibilities of Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Pre-Game Analysis

Like Liverpool, Tottenham have been, mostly, securing good results despite sub-par performances. In particular, star striker Harry Kane is yet to hit top form, much like our front three.

Given the stunted attack, the midfield battle becomes even more important and so it will be up to James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum to wrangle Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele, while Eric Dier struggles to contain Naby Keita.

This will be the game where Keita must stand up and cause Spurs serious damage, as his ability to operate between the lines will be key to breaking up their well-drilled defence.


If Liverpool play to their best ability, then we should be able to handle every Spurs throw at us while causing them serious problems at their end.

But it’s unlikely we’ll see the Reds at their best at Wembley due to the hangover from the international break.

Given that, another gutsy performance will be required to get the win, and the Reds will do so in a 1-3 victory.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 15/09/2018

Leicester vs Liverpool – Preview

Final Game Before the International Break

After three wins on the bounce, Liverpool will be looking to make it 12 points from 12 as they travel away to Leicester.

Even with a couple of key absences the Foxes are a difficult opponent who are known for stealing scrappy wins and draws.

It’s up to the Reds to be more clinical than last week against Brighton because it’s far more difficult to defend a narrow lead away from home.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


The big news out of Leicester is the Jamie Vardy will miss the game through suspension, along with a couple of injuries to fringe players.

Vardy’s absence could change the dynamics of the game and Leicester could look to sit deeper because of it. However, both James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira have had excellent starts to the season and should not be overlooked.

Leicester could be vulnerable down the right side of their defence; Mane should has the pace and ability that could give Wes Morgan and Daniel Amartey nightmares.


Team News and Predicted Lineups


Klopp will almost certainly stick with the same lineup that he has chose for the previous three fixtures.

However, some might argue that given the considerable threat that Harry Maguire poses in the air that one or both of Fabinho or Matip should start in place of Gini or Gomez respectively.

Whatever the case, Liverpool must be ready to adapt to whatever game plan Leicester chose to employ for this match and hit them hard with our pace and quality.

Pre-Game Analysis

Leicester have had a strong start to the season. They narrowly and unfortunately lost to Manchester United, impressively best Wolves, and then were able to fight their way to victory after a tough day in Southampton.

Aside from Maddison and Pereira, Papy Mendy has been playing well in midfield, but his partnership with Wilfried Ndidi will be tested by Liverpool’s midfield trio who have been outstanding.

However, Leicester are not particularly strong at the back, and so long as at least one of Liverpool’s front three show up, it should be enough to see a couple of goals hit the back of the net.


Despite this, the result is far from a forgone conclusion and Leicester will be confident of a result, especially given the danger they possess from set-pieces along with Liverpool’s perceived frailty in that department.

Whoever scores the first goal will give their team a big advantage in this type of game, and so long as the defence and goalkeeper maintain their form, that team should be the Reds.

It will be tough and there will be some nervy moments, but Liverpool will head into the international break as 2-0 winners.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 25/08/2018

Liverpool vs Brighton – Preview

Expectations High at Anfield

Liverpool achieved an excellent result away to Crystal Palace last week, and so it will be important to not undo that hard work against Brighton.

Albion are a decent side in their own right who should not be underestimated by any means as Manchester United found out last week when they were convincingly defeated.

The Reds should have far too much talent across the pitch to see a repeat of that result, but ultimately it’s up to Liverpool to turn up and get the job done.


Team News and Predicted Linieup


There’s been no changes to Liverpool’s injury list this week. Everyone who was fit still is, and everyone who wasn’t are still making their returns.

Klopp has been consistent so far in terms of team selection and that will likely be the case again against Brighton. However, there is the possibility that some or all of Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge, and Fabinho could make their first start for the club.

With all due respect to Brighton, this is likely the best chance so far to experiment with the lineup and give those of the periphery of the squad a chance to shine, while also easing the regular starters into the season.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Brighton have a few key injuries leading up to the game at Anfield. Club captain Bruno will remain sidelined alongside winger Jose Izquierdo and striker Florin Adone.

One of their best and most influential players, Lewis Dunk, suffered an ankle injury against Manchester United, and while the injury isn’t as bad as first feared, it’s unlikely he’ll feature in this game.

New signing Leon Balogun will be handed his first Premier League start in a real baptism of fire. Brighton also have the option of utilising their highly touted new winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh who is yet to displace either March, Izquierdo or Knockaert.

Pre-Game Analysis

Despite drawing confidence from their heroic efforts against Manchester United, Brighton fans and players alike will be all too aware that a far greater challenge awaits them when they take on Liverpool.

Shane Duffy has been in top form, but his new centre-back partner could struggle to handle the Reds’ attack on his debut. Overall Brighton do compare quite evenly with West Ham – a few dangerous players, in this case Gross, Knockaert, March, and Montoya, but a severe lack of pace in midfield and defence.

Liverpool will have to do more than in the first half against West Ham to create space for the attackers to run into, but I don’t anticipate Brighton using Palace’s tactics which were so effective for most of last week’s game.


Brighton will come into the game on a high, but Liverpool will want to score early to deflate them and their away fans.

Once the first goal goes in, then the floodgates should well and truly open as Brighton try to chase the game.

A 5-0 victory at home will put the Reds another step closer to being legitimate title contenders this season.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 25/08/2018

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool – Preview

First Big Test of the Season Beckons

After an excellent opening game for both teams, this week’s fixture will prove to be a significant challenge to defense and resolve.

Former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has worked wonders since taking over Palace, and their players and tactics represent a relative blueprint for how to frustrate and take points off of Jürgen Klopp’s team.

After City’s demolition of Huddersfield, it’s time for the Reds to prove that they can get over the hurdle of teams that defend deep so we can keep up with the leaders.

Crystal Palace

Team News and Predicted Lineup


Crystal Palace made only a handful of signings over the summer to flesh out their squad; Jordan Ayew and Max Meyer being the most notable, but none are likely to start this game as they are lacking match fitness.

Regardless, Palace will field the same strong team as they did last week when they impressively defeated Fulham at Craven Cottage. Absentees such as Scott Dann are unlikely to come back in even if they are deemed fit.

Cheikhou Kouyate might be the only fringe player to get a look in after an impressive cameo last week and the fact that he is more mobile and physical than James McArthur which could be cause for consideration in Hodgson’s pre-game thoughts.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Liverpool fans were shocked this week when fan-favourite backup player Ragnar Klavan was sold to Calgiliari. He wouldn’t have factored into this game but he was a handy squad player and his presence could be missed as the season rolls on.

There’s no fresh injury news coming out of Liverpool, meaning that the lineup should be more or less the same as against West Ham. The only exception being the expected debut of Fabinho ahead of either James Milner or Gini Wijnaldum.

Given the fact that Palace will make life much more difficult than the Hammers will, Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge could feature much earlier than they did last week.

Pre-Game Analysis

The main themes of this game are twofold: Will Liverpool be able to breakdown Palace’s deep defence, and will the Reds be able to handle the quick counters and high balls that they’ll be peppered with?

Alisson and Fabinho, if he starts, will demonstrate why we spent so much money on them as they will have to take on extra responsibilities. Wilfried Zaha is the biggest threat, but Christian Benteke will be keen to make an impression on his old club.

The fullbacks of both teams will have their work cut-out for them as their opposite numbers possess immense pace and quality on the ball. This game will ultimately be decided by who defends better, despite the attacking prowess that will be on display.


This is a tough fixture for any side, but it’s especially difficult for Liverpool as Palace have many quick, powerful players who thrive on the counter and putting in crosses for Big Ben to nod home.

However, we are Liverpool, we shouldn’t be afraid of anyone and with our new signings we should be able to beat anyone, home or away.

Palace will make life difficult, but Naby Keita will be the difference as they will struggle to simultaneously snuff him out in the midfield whilst ensuring our front three have no space to run into. A hard earned but uplifting 2-0 victory to the Reds.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 20/08/2018

Liverpool vs West Ham – Preview

Exciting New Season Begins at Anfield

Football’s finally back. With the close of the transfer window, Liverpool fans have plenty to look forward to after the high-profile arrivals of Naby Keïta, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker.

Last season ended in agony after defeat in the Champions League final and an unfortunately low, fourth-place finish in the league. This season however, optimism has given the fans an appetite for trophies.

It’s important to not get too far ahead of ourselves though, first up is the new-look Hammers, and West Ham fans too are eyeing the 2018/19 season with enthusiasm.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Liverpool unfortunetly find themselves in the midst of a miniture injury crisis before a ball’s been kicked.

Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dejan Lovren are unlikely to be involved due to their extended foray in the World Cup. They’ll be joined on the sidelines by the injured Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip.

Joe Gomez is also carrying a knock but is tipped to play, unlike Fabinho who could see his debut delayed due to a muscle strain. Daniel Sturridge and Shaqiri could feature as well though, but it is more likely that they will come off the bench when needed for now.

West Ham

Team News and Predicted Lineup


West Ham have made what feels like a dozen new signings, and quite a few of them should make their debuts at Anfield.

The front three and midfield more or less picks itself while the newer signings are bedded in, although it’s possible that Javier Hernandez and Pedro Obiang could force themselves into the lineup.

The only surprise should be whether Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena start ahead of Arthur Masuaku and Issa Diop.

Pre-Game Analysis

It is crucial that Liverpool start the season with a bang in order to put early pressure on Manchester City; anything less than three points at home against a new West Ham side must be seen as a failure.

West Ham’s danger man will undoubtedly be Marko Arnautovic, but if the Reds can shut him down, then West Ham’s chances of scoring will fade dramatically.

While everyone gets back up to speed and on board with Klopp’s style, a larger share of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of our front three to help the team over the line for the first run of games. The likes of Cresswell and Balbuena may badly struggle to contain the threat they possess though.


It could be a nervy day for a few players on both sides, and an early goal for the home team could help settle those nerves in our favor.

It’s a tricky game to predict given how interrupted our pre-season has been and how little we know about this West Ham side, but the expectation has to be to win.

West Ham fans feel that this is the best possible time to play Liverpool, and they may not be wrong, but I’m predicting an emphatic 3-0 win on the opening day for the Reds. A good start to what will hopefully be a great season.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 12/08/2018

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

Reds Return to Action at Selhurst Park

Now that the international break is finally over it’s time to get back to what really matters, Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League.

Liverpool will tomorrow square off with Roy Hodgson’s resurgent Crystal Palace in a game where both sides will be desperate for a good result.

Palace are still facing the possibility of relegation, whereas the Reds will be keen to keep the pressure on both Spurs and Chelsea who are behind them in the race for a top-four finish.

Crystal Palace

Team News and Predicted Lineup


Former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson will have the job of trying to derail the rampant Reds, but he could find himself outgunned.

Some of his key players are under an injury cloud including the likes of Jefferey Schlupp, James Tomkins and most importantly Wilfried Zaha.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek may feature in a five-man midfield if Zaha is out, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah or Martin Kelly could replace Tomkins.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Both Emre Can and Dejan Lovren had minor injuries before the international break and will likely be given more time to recover.

Andy Robertson picked up a knock for Scotland, but he should be able to start, unlike Joe Gomez who picked up a potentially serious ankle injury for England.

The team more or less picks itself with the injuries mentioned above, but Alberto Moreno could give Robertson a rest, while Gini Wjnaldum could start in the midfield.


An interesting theme to this game is that there a number of ex-Reds who could feature aside from the manager, including Mamadou Sakho, Martin Kelly and Christian Benteke.

Zaha and Benteke are stylistically similar to Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku who were able to defeat Liverpool a few weeks ago.

However, the Reds will have learnt from the mistakes made in that game, and they will be more than confident of being able to crack Palace’s defence multiple times.


This will be a big test for Liverpool, as they have to overcome three factors that have led to dropped points in the past.

The game is against one of our ‘bogey teams’, it’s an early kickoff, and it’s straight after the international break.

Regardless, this Liverpool team has been breaking bad habits this year and will do so again on the weekend with a 1-3 win.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 30/03/2018

Liverpool vs Watford – Preview

Time To Bounce Back

After the disappointing loss last week at Old Trafford, it is more important than ever to play well and pick up a win.

Last night it was announced that Manchester City will be Liverpool’s opponent in the Champions League quarter-finals, and that the games will fall either side of the Merseyside Derby.

Now is the time to rebuild form and pick up as many points in the league as possible, particularly against mid-table teams.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Nathaniel Clyne won’t be match fit, but everyone else should be available for tonight’s match.

Jordan Henderson will probably come back into the team, as could Gini Wijnaldum at the expense of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Joel Matip and Joe Gomez could also be options to replace Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold after their poor showings against Manchester United.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Conversely, Watford have been plagued by injuries and absences lately, and will be without many key players.

Gerard Deulofeu, Nathaniel Calabah, Tom Cleverley, Younes Kaboul and Christian Kabasele are just a few names that continue to be sidelined.

On the other hand though, the likes of Will Hughes and Heurelho Gomes could return and the tactics and formation could thereby be tweaked.


This game will ultimately boil down to which unit can get the better of the other between Liverpool’s attack and Watford’s defence.

If Watford can frustrate Liverpool, they also have goalscorers in the team that could cause an upset including Troy Deeney, Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will be itching to put in an improved display after lacklustre performances against United.


Despite the disappointing performance last week, Liverpool should have no problems turning Watford over at Anfield.

If Liverpool start well, then Watford could again lose convincingly on the road as they did against Arsenal last week.

Liverpool will roll on with a 3-0 victory.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 17/03/2018.

Manchester United vs Liverpool : Preview

Battle for Pride and Second Place


Given that Manchester City are running away with the title, the next best thing would be to finish 2nd.

Finishing 2nd would mean that Liverpool have placed ahead of United for the second season running, even after Jose Mourinho’s fabled ‘second season’.

This fixture is undoubtedly the greatest rivalry in England, and one of the biggest games in world football.

In recent history, this fixture has been somewhat even, mainly due to Mourinho’s insistence of making an exciting fixture as dull as possible, leading to many draws.

It remains to be seen if the controversial Portuguese manager reverts to the same tactics given Liverpool’s red-hot form and ability to find the back of the net with regularity.

Manchester United

Team News and Predicted Lineup


United are missing several players through injury including Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, Anthony Martial is also a major doubt.

Paul Pogba picked up a leg gash in training which could keep him out, if so, Mourane Fellaini could come into the team.

The rest of the team will be the same lineup that’s featured in the last few weeks, but Mourinho could switch to a 4-2-3-1 as he did in the closing stages of their match against Crystal Palace.


Team News and Predicted Lineup


Gini Wijnaldum is unlikely to feature as he recovers from illness, and Jordan Henderson is a doubt after suffering a dead leg against Porto.

The back five and front three pick themselves, but the midfield could be subject to change depending on availability.

If Henderson is fit to start then either James Milner or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will drop out of the team, but Dejan Lovren will almost certainly start ahead of Joel Matip.



Bias aside, it is clear that Liverpool are currently a superior team to United, they’re lucky to be in second place, but it is impressive how they are able to pick up wins and draws when they’re playing badly.

United’s plan will the same as usual under Mourinho, try to nick a goal while sitting back and defending for their lives.

Jurgen Klopp’s men will have to be in top form to break their stubborn defence down and snatch 2nd place from United’s hands.



When the two teams faced each other earlier in the season, United were flying, and Liverpool were struggling.

Even then, United could only just hang on for a draw, but this time the tables have turned; Liverpool are playing tremendously and United are just scraping by and they have a crucial Champions League game in a few days.

This time around, Liverpool will break through Mourinho’s bus and silence Old Trafford with a 3-1 win.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


Cieren O’Dea


Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 10/03/2018.