Spurs v Liverpool – One change for Reds

There is just one change for Liverpool this afternoon for the visit to White Hart Lane, Lucas Leiva in for Christian Poulsen from the side that beat West Ham 3-0 at Anfield last weekend.

Something that hasn’t changed is that Liverpool’s supporters go into the game with another set of embarrassing quotes from Roy Hodgson ringing in their ears, the man who was a legend in 1970s Sweden continuing to talk like a man trying to win a bet. How many more comments can he make that a manager of Liverpool should just not be making?
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Tottenham v Liverpool – preview

The Reds travel to White Hart Lane this Sunday as manager Roy Hodgson pits his wits against Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur.

When Fabio Capello’s job as England manager looked under threat over the summer both of these managers were linked with taking the job off his hands. No doubt there is much relief amongst Spurs fans that Capello stayed in his post and they didn’t lose their boss. Liverpool fans (by and large uninterested in England’s fortunes) would gladly hand their boss over to the FA (or any other side) right now.

The mood in the two camps, certainly as far as supporters are concerned, couldn’t be much different – but that could all change on Sunday. How will the game go, who’s going to be in amongst the goals? Will there be any goals?
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Unhappy Liverpool fans want new boss now

When this site and a number of other Liverpool FC fan sites ran a poll to find out the thoughts of fans about the future of Roy Hodgson it wasn’t a surprise to see the “winner” of the poll was “sack Roy immediately”.

What was surprising was how few supporters felt the club should at least wait. Reasons for waiting crop up from time to time in conversation and are often well argued. Yet just 3% of supporters in the poll said no to sacking Roy on the spot.

Hodgson brings frustration to LFC supportersThe sample was pretty significant, almost 5000 votes were received, and an overwhelming majority – 95% – of supporters were in favour of Roy being told to gather his belongings and get into a car to be chauffeured away from Melwood as soon as possible. 2% were undecided.

What must also be pointed out is that the 3% who voted “no” weren’t necessarily voting in favour of keeping Roy on a long-term basis.

Very few supporters seem to be fully supportive of Roy; it’s a position rarely heard in conversations between supporters. It could be argued that those in support of Hodgson would feel a little uncomfortable about standing out and backing the manager against such overwhelming opposition – this poll gave them the opportunity to quietly show that support. Nobody was looking over their shoulder as they put their mark in the box for the poll; it gave fans a chance to ignore any kind of peer pressure and go with what they truly felt was right.

But many of those who say, in conversations, that they don’t want Roy sacked on the spot are not saying they want him here next season. They still want him sacked – just not at this exact moment.
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Poulsen and Meireles get midfield starts

Liverpool v West Ham – teams

Roy Hodgson has had little choice over his line-up for today, the 11 he starts with are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 against a West Ham side that like Liverpool has failed to meet expectations this season.

West Ham came into the weekend at the bottom of the table, Liverpool in the bottom half and just three points above the relegation places.

Although the Reds manager has rarely had a full squad to choose from this season he’s not suffered too badly from injuries, but today he’s down to the bare bones as far as central midfield is concerned. The club’s best two central midfielders this season have been Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard. The Brazilian is suspended today, whilst the club captain is out for at least a month after suffering an injury in a meaningless friendly for England during the week. Jay Spearing might have had a chance to step in but fell victim to an injury nightmare of his own right at the end of yesterday’s training session. Alberto Aquilani was allowed to go on loan to Juventus for the season.

This means Roy starts with Christian Poulsen with another starter, Raul Meireles, likely to be his partner in central midfield. Meireles has been used by and large as a wide player since arriving at the club, a position he’d not been accustomed to previously. Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez also start, likely to be in the wide positions. David Ngog starts alongside Fernando Torres.
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Poll: Should Roy Hodgson be sacked now?

Liverpool Football Club have new owners; they inherited a manager who has overseen an extremely poor start to the season. Many players are understood to be unhappy with Roy Hodgson or with his tactics and coaching methods.

Stories of player unrest combined with poor and embarrassing results have led to calls from many fans for Hodgson to be sacked.
What should happen with Roy?
Top players have been considering their futures and it would be understandable if top-quality targets felt the current set-up under Roy Hodgson just wasn’t for them. Champions League qualification is already close to being written off and with it another selling point that could have been used to retain or attract top players.

No Liverpool supporter wants to see protests in the ground against the manager but with chants of “Dalglish” having already begun in response to poor results and performances under Hodgson it may only be a matter of time before we get to that stage.

Should the manager go now or should the club stick with him for the time being? Roy still has two-and-a-half years left on his contract.

Vote here: Should Roy Hodgson leave Liverpool now? >>>

NB: Voting was re-started at 9am GMT Wednesay 17th due to an issue with the previous voting facility from a different provider. Please re-cast your vote if you voted earlier as that vote won’t now be counted.

Soto back, Kelly on bench for Reds trip to Stoke

Roy Hodgson has made just one change to his side for tonight’s visit to Stoke City, and it’s sad to see that youngster Martin Kelly is the one to make way. The good news is that coming into the side in his place is Soto Kyrgiakos, recovered from the bug that kept him out of last weekend’s win against Chelsea and the disappointing draw against Wigan on Wednesday.

Once again this Premier League fixture is one that Liverpool must win and fans will be hoping to see the Reds go out to attack.
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Reds unchanged for trip to Wigan

Liverpool travel the short distance to Wigan tonight for another game that is a must-win. Roy Hodgson has stuck with the same starting eleven that brought Liverpool that important, confidence-building and well-deserved 2-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday.

That means Kelly retains his place at right-back following on from his impressive performance on Sunday, with many people’s man-of-the-match Lucas Leiva given another chance to impress in central midfield.

A lack of one single recognised defender on the bench suggests that Hodgson was limited in terms of what changes he could make, but all eleven starters from Sunday deserved a chance to play tonight.
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Long-term injury blow for Daniel Agger

Daniel Agger looks set to miss a significant chunk of the season after more details of his latest injury setback were revealed by Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson.

Daniel Agger - More injury worriesThe Dane went to see a specialist in London last week where he was told he should avoid training for an unspecified period of time: “Agger could be very long-term,” said Hodgson. “They can’t put a date on it and at the moment he can’t train – he has just got to rest. They are anxious that bone doesn’t form. It’s a calcification issue.

“Training would certainly accelerate the calcification. Now they have to wait and hope the body breaks down the calcifying elements before he can even think about training again.

“He has just got to rest and wait for the next time he goes to see the specialist again.”
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Liverpool 2 Chelsea 0 – now for Wigan

Sunday 7 November 2010 – Premier League – Result

Liverpool 2 (Torres 2) Chelsea 0

Much, much better from Liverpool, this scoreline didn’t flatter and Liverpool thoroughly deserved their win.

It would be easy to find elements to criticise Liverpool for today, to mention how different it might have been had certain incidents gone a different way – but it’s far better to concentrate on the positives.

Lucas Leiva was the man of the match, but he had some stiff competition from the scorer of both goals, Fernando Torres. Pepe Reina was as busy in the second half as Torres was in the first and he’ll be as delighted with the clean sheet as Torres will be with his brace. Meireles, Gerrard and Kelly all played far better today than most of the side have played in any game this season; Dirk Kuyt came back from injury like he’d never been away.
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Liverpool v Chelsea – Kuyt and Kelly start

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt returns to the starting line-up for today’s visit of Chelsea, with Martin Kelly coming in at right-back and Jamie Carragher moving back to the centre of defence.

Hodgson has picked what seems to be his strongest possible back-four, a glance at the subs’ bench confirms as much. Glen Johnson made his return from injury on Thursday night but had to withdraw – late – from today’s game with a minor adductor injury. Soto Kyrgiakos, one of Liverpool’s best players in recent weeks, is missing due to illness. Daniel Agger still isn’t feigning his injury and was unavailable today, along with Fabio Aurelio who seems to be having less luck with injuries than he was before being released at the end of his last Anfield contract.

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is on the bench, ex-Red Nicolas Anelka starting up-front.

The Reds play host to the side from Stamford Bridge in a fixture that should be getting billed as a battle between two league-title contenders. Chelsea of course are favourites for the title, but just 18 months after finishing above them in second place Liverpool aren’t even considered outsiders.

It doesn’t mean Liverpool can’t win today; in fact it’s an ideal opportunity for the 11 who start the game to show the watching owners why they deserve – or deserved – a new contract. It’s a chance for those who think their future lies elsewhere to impress anyone who might be willing to help them with that. It’s a chance for the manager to show the owners that maybe the vast majority of supporters are wrong in thinking he should be moved out at the end of the season – if not far sooner.
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