Wednesday 4 November 2009 – Champions League
Lyon v Liverpool
One of the myriad of conspiracy theories said Liverpool didn’t really have a stack of injuries for the Fulham game, and that players were secretly rested for this fixture tonight. Well if that was true they didn’t do a good job of resting.
There was a dilemma for Rafa at right-back: Glen Johnson is injured, so is Martin Kelly who came in for Johnson in the reverse fixture and Philipp Degen isn’t registered for the Champions League. So it was a choice between risking youngster Stephen Darby in this high-pressure game, or moving Jamie Carragher out wide into that full-back position he stopped liking a long time ago. Rafa went for the latter and Carragher will of course give it his all.
Thankfully for Liverpool Daniel Agger is fit to start – although he reportedly had to stand all the way to France on the flight over to try and get some respite from his back injury. Agger lines up alongside Kyrgiakos because Martin Skrtel stayed hom with a muscle problem, Emiliano Insua plays left-back.
Rafa hinted that he might start with Alberto Aquilani but the Italian signing is on the bench instead. Lucas and Javier Mascherano start in the middle of the park. Benayoun, Kuyt and Voronin start the game, with the most welcome name perhaps that of Fernando Torres.
All things considered, if Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard had been fit Rafa would have been able to pick more or less his first-choice eleven.
Ryan Babel and David Ngog are both on the bench.
Lyon: 1 Lloris, 3 Cris, 13 Reveillere, 20 Cissokho, 6 Kallstrom, 7 Michel Bastos, 8 Pjanic, 17 Makoun, 28 Toulalan, 9 Lopez, 18 Gomis
Subs: 30 Vercoutre, 32 Gassama, 10 Ederson, 41 Gonalons, 14 Govou, 19 Delgado, 29 Tafer
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 23 Carragher, 5 Agger, 16 Kyrgiakos, 22 Insua, 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas, 15 Benayoun, 10 Voronin, 18 Kuyt, 9 Torres
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 32 Darby, 40 Ayala, 4 Aquilani, 26 Spearing, 19 Babel, 24 Ngog
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere