FA Premiership – Preview
Liverpool v Charlton Athletic
Saturday, 4th March. Kick-off 1715 GMT.
Liverpool: Striker Robbie Fowler is back in the squad after sitting out last week’s City game as part of an agreement made when he signed from City. If he’s picked from the start it will be his 300th start in the Premiership. Also available again is Jamie Carragher who was serving a suspension for the last game. Other than players out long-term such as Momo Sissoko and Bolo Zenden Liverpool have a full-strength squad available, with the possible exception of Steve Finnan. The full-back had to pull out of the midweek international for the Republic of Ireland with a neck injury.
Charlton: Midfielder Alexei Smertin is fit again after being out with knee problems and played for Russia during the week. All of Charlton’s internationals came back without any problems. Dennis Rommedahl and Gonzalo Sorondo still aren’t fit to play.
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Kromkamp, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Riise, Traore, Warnock, Luis Garcia, Alonso, Gerrard, Hamann, Kewell, Crouch, Cisse, Morientes, Dudek.
Charlton: Myhre, Young, Hreidarsson, Perry, Powell, Ambrose, Holland, Kishishev, Smertin, Thomas, Hughes, M Bent, D Bent, Euell, El Karkouri, Spector, Andersen, Randolph, Bothroyd, Bartlett, Fortune.
Liverpool have won their last three Premiership games in a row. If they win today they will climb into second place, because Manchester United aren’t playing until they meet Wigan on Monday. In games played at Anfield Liverpool are on a run of 14 games in league and cup without defeat. Their last defeat was the one to forget against Chelsea in October. This is already Liverpool’s best season in the Premiership (note: Premiership, not league!) and the Reds are 19 points above Charlton. Worryingly for some is the fact that the Reds have only scored one goal more than Charlton – but this is balanced by the fact that Liverpool’s defence have conceded twenty less goals.
In meetings at Anfield between the two sides Liverpool have won four of the last five. Last season the scoreline was 2-0 for the Reds, the opposite of the score in this season’s reverse fixture. That game was Charlton’s only win in their last seven league games. The one win at Anfield for Charlton since the start of the Premiership came in 2004.
Today’s referee is Martin Atkinson – he has been in charge of one Liverpool game this season, the 2-0 defeat at Fulham in what was a dodgy October for the Reds. He’s not officiated in any Charlton games so far this season. He’s handed out 38 yellows and one red card in his eleven games this season.