Teams: Liverpool v Man City – Insua starts

It’s Liverpool’s final home game of a season that has been full of incident on and off the field. It’s unfair to class it as a meaningless fixture, and that applies especially to Emiliano Insua who is given a chance in the first team. Rafa has high hopes for the youngster, and he may find himself used in more meaningful fixtures next season.

The game still makes no difference to Liverpool’s final league position, which is fourth, but three points in front of a full house would help Liverpool end the season with a gap from the top more respectable than last season.

It’s a day of farewells of course, as the last home game of the season always is. Some of the names won’t be back at Anfield – unless like Manchester City’s Didi Hamman (sub today) it’s in the shirt of an opposing team. And it’s not just those on the field who might be making their last appearance at the ground as a representative of LFC.

Insua’s fellow full-back for today is Steve Finnan, with no sign of Wednesday’s pair John Arne Riise or Alvaro Arbeloa. Carragher and Hyypia play centrally today, both players knowing that they will be in danger of playing far less games next season than this with Daniel Agger set to come back from injury and Martin Skrtel – on the bench today – putting in a strong claim to be his partner.

Xabi Alonso is strongly rumoured to be on his way, the rumour strengthened by Liverpool’s bid for Gareth Barry, and he’s on the bench today. His place is taken by Lucas, playing alongside Mascherano.

The front four that have become pretty-much first choice is on show today, Babel, Kuyt and Gerrard all starting, with Torres recovered from the tight hamstring that had been given as a reason for his withdrawal on Wednesday night.

Yossi Benayoun, Andriy Voronin and Charles Itandje make up the rest of the bench, Rafa deciding not to give any chances to any of Insua’s fellow youngsters, most of whom will be involved in the North v South reserves play-off final at Anfield on Wednesday night against Villa.

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 4 Hyypia, 23 Carragher, 48 Insua, 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas, 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 19 Babel, 9 Torres
Subs: 30 Itandje, 10 Voronin, 11 Benayoun, 14 Alonso, 37 Skrtel

Man City: 25 Hart, 16 Corluka, 22 Dunne, 3 Ball, 17 Jihai, 12 Vassell, 7 Ireland, 6 Johnson, 15 Petrov, 11 Elano, 27 Benjani
Subs: 1 Isaksson, 28 Gelson, 30 Castillo, 21 Hamann, 24 Garrido

Referee: Mark Halsey

8 thoughts on “Teams: Liverpool v Man City – Insua starts”

  1. Notice also that Crouch doesn’t get a look in, definatly reckon that he is on his way at the end of the season. If Crouch goes the good that will come is that a new striker will arive at Anfield, maybe Voronin will leave as well. Reckon the score will be
    Liverpool FC 3 – 0 Man City FC.

    I heard Noel Gallagher haveing a go at Frank yesterday on Soccer AM.

  2. Edward – I do think that you have a point but if you buy a world class player to fill in the space where I mentioned yesterday then you can always sell them on at a later date without losing a penny, its the same with Torres we could sell Torres in a few years for 25 – 30 million so in reality all we had to pay was his wages. I still think though that we definatly need a player to fill in where Yossi and Pennant play, that is where we are lacking.

  3. Didnt realise we’re a selling club! I’d rather see him score 30 goals a season for the next 6/7 years playing for us, bringing home the trophies. That is priceless! If we’re sucessful with him here or any expensive signing for that matter, 20/30 million in the grand scheme of things will be small change from the potential global revenue gained by being successful

  4. Kopite999 – I was not implying that we sell Torres, what I was saying that we could spend about 20 million + on a new player until we ahd one of our youngsters come through from the acadamy instead of haveing to do without until they are good enough for the first team.

  5. I felt really sorry for Peter Crouch today. Spurned on Wednesday and I really thought he’d get a run out today. It comes to something when a freebie gets selected ahead of you. What is it with Rafa and Voronin?

    Rafa shows a complete lack of respect for Peter and I wouldn’t be surprised if he asks to leave after the way he’s been treated recently.

    I expect Voronin, Alonso and Kewell will leave. Pennant will probably get another 12 months and Benayoun is good enough for now.

    If we get Barry then that will improve the midfield. I’d like to see Babel played more centrally and we could do with a quality attacking left winger. 4-4-2 would be better than 1 up front. I can’t get my had around only playing one up front against lesser teams.

  6. Ray, I think that maybe Rafa deliberately left Crouch out to force him to leave. I can’t think of any other reason why he he wouldn’t have given him a run out, unless I suppose he’s assured him privately that he will play next season and the run out for Voronin was a farewell one…

  7. Martin,

    That was definitely Voronin’s last game but I’m not sure he warranted a run out ahead of Peter. Even if he is staying it was still a poor deciison by Rafa.

    And I bet Gerrard was impressed at being substituted! I like Rafa but some of his decisions leave me perplexed.

    I hope Peter stays but I suspect he’ll be part of the deal that brings Gareth Barry to Anfield.

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