Liverpool Match Preview
Liverpool V Arsenal 16:00 SS1
Well, here we are, the moment has arrived ! The 1st game of the season. Four interminable months of reading posts predicting the end of arsenal, watching a world cup devoid of quality and dreading the announcement that Cesc would be off to Catalonia. Did anything happen of any real sporting significance between the end of last season and now ? The world cup ? Nah… a FIFA sideshow with an unpredictable ball and Vuvuzela din, superseded now by the main event, the premiership.
We now know of course that Cesc is staying, well, we knew he was staying, and the word is that Wenger has been pulling a fast one by saying he will not start. In all probability, he will start, and we wouldn’t put past Wenger introducing VP as well. According to the super information highway, Diaby is also fit. This means that the predicted start of season injury crisis looks to be, well, … a load of old bollocks.
So what of our opponents today, Liverpool ? Well, don’t know about the general feeling amongst gooners, but they do seem to be the lesser of all evils. We all hate the chavs. That is a given. We hate the mancs and fergie red nose. I think we probably now hate the northern chavs, because, they seem to be, well, indecent and somehow grotesque. But the scousers, I think we probably have a soft spot for them. Perhaps it is because of the events of 1989, one famous May night. Not sure, could be wrong. Invite your comments on that one.
Roy Hodgson is now there. Torres and Gerrard have been retained whilst Liverpool have been adding players to their squad. Joe Cole (free transfer), Christian Poulson, Danny Wilson, Jonjo Shelvey (free transfer) and Milan Jovanovic (free transfer) have joined. It seems that Christian Poulson is a replacement for Mascherano, who, at the time of writing, is said to want a move, and is probably on his way out of the club. Does this make Liverpool any stronger ? Difficult question to answer. What one might suspect is that there is renewed optimism at Anfield, which will make them a very dangerous proposition indeed. An in form Gerrard, with the tactically adept Hodgson, we will do well to come away with a point. That is my view. And it is not a slur on our current capabilities or line up; it is just the impetus that comes with a team who are playing for a new manager.
The other factor is that there appears to be not money following money, but money following debt, with megalomanic billionaire investors looking to buy their club. This must be pleasing to the players, who will welcome a change of ownership. The comedy american director duo, Laurel Hicks and Hardy Gillett, backed by RBS, a bank with the liquidity of Enron, are in the death throes of their last act.
Back then, to us. We seem to be well prepared. An excellent pre season in which we won all of our games bar AC Milan. The last one jinxed as I was there. The insistent call for a top class keeper and centre back shows no sign of abating. This means that we go into the game with either Almunia or Fabianski, and Koscienly. I saw Koscienly against AC Milan, and his performance was top top class. Let’s not make too many hasty judgements about the guy until he has had at least 20 games. The team ? Well, it is difficult to predict because we know that there are late fitness tests on Denilson, Song, VP and Cesc. Assuming they are all available, perhaps the line up will be something along the lines of:
Almunia, Sagna, Clichy, Vermaelen, Koscienly, Song, Diaby, Cesc, Nasri, Arshavin, Chamakh
Subs: Fabianski, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Walcott, Eboue, VP
If either Denilson, Song or Diaby are not available, then expect to see Wilshere or Frimpong.
Enjoy the game, wherever you are.