Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
January 12, 2011, 01:24 IST – LIVE! on ESPN
If Blackpool manages to defeat Liverpool, it would be their first League double over the Reds since 1946/47 season. And looking at Liverpool’s dismal away record, Ian Holloway may just be on the brink of making history against their illustrious rivals, yet again! However, things have changed around Anfield Road off late with the return of club legend Kenny Dalglish and the entry of former West Ham United and Chelsea coach Steve Clarke.
The Liverpool team bus will be brimming with belief and confidence as Kenny Dalglish has come in and is determined to turn around the club’s poor run of results. The new manager didn’t quite have the best of starts as his team lost to Manchester United in the FA cup recently but that will have done very little to worsen the club’s dipping form. Liverpool sit currently in the 12th spot with Blackpool just underneath them and there is no doubt that the Reds will only be looking for three points at Bloomfield road.
Team News and Tactical Brief
The Seasiders have the poorest home record in the Premier League, earning 7 out of the 21 points at Bloomfield road. Ian Holloway hopes to retain his top players at the club and is ready to fend off any interest that might be coming in. The Tangerines sit one place below the Reds on the basis of goal difference, having played a game less. Midfielder Elliot Grandin makes his return to the squad after a two week injury lay off due to a hamstring strain. Marlon Harewood is on the road to recovery but lacks match fitness and hence will sit out for this fixture. Ian Hollway would set Blackpool in the 4-3-3 structure, taking the game to the opposition while Liverpool would sit back and defend in two banks of four. Blackpool might just be able to control the tempo of the game, due to the extra man in the center of the park.
Probable Lineup – Kingson, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Varney.
After a frustrating year for the club, new club owners Fenway Sports Group finally took the decision to let go of Roy Hodgson just before the game against Manchester United in the FA Cup. The return of Kenny Dalglish would be a breath of fresh air for the players and the Anfield faithful, but with time slowly running out for the Reds, the Scotsman needs to act soon if things are to change on the pitch for the Reds.
Can Dalglish save Liverpool’s season?
Liverpool do not really have a serious injury crisis, with only Jamie Carragher sidelined due to injury. However, they will travel without club captain Steven Gerrard after the player picked up a straight red for his tackle on Michael Carrick in the FA Cup tie. This will indirectly coerce Dalglish to switch to the 4-4-2 formation with Meireles and Lucas occupying the centre of the park. David N’Gog is most likely to start upfront with Fernando Torres. Fernando has had a dismal season so far and looks completely out of form but Dalglish realizes the player’s importance to the club and has stated that he will do everything he can to lift El Nino back to being one of the most feared strikers in the league.
Probable Lineup – Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio, Maxi, Merieles, Lucas, Kuyt, Ngog, Torres.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Fernando Torres (Liverpool): Fernando Torres has scored just one goal in the past nine games for Liverpool and will be desperate to return to his imperious best against a difficult Blackpool side. With the absence of Gerrard, his partner in crime, Fernando’s abilities will be tested further and scoring a goal or two is bound to uplift his spirits.
Is there a return on the cards for El Nino?
Blackpool FC 1 – 2 Liverpool FC