Xabi on bench as Reds aim to end season in style

Liverpool had to prepare for this game as if it the chance of the title would still be on, but with Manchester United getting the draw they wanted yesterday it is now of far more importance to the Baggies than to the Reds.

Liverpool still want three points, because they don’t want to add to their disappointment by dropping into third – victory today would all but ensure second spot. But West Brom still have an outside chance of top-flight survival, victory today would put them one point from safety – but they would still need to see Hull and Newcastle lose next weekend as well as winning themselves.

Rafa Benitez has put Xabi Alonso back in the squad, but after his recent Joey Barton inflicted injury he’s being kept on the bench today. Xabi apart, Rafa has picked what is pretty-much his ‘first-choice’ eleven.

Pepe Reina is in goal as always, Jamie Carragher in front of him as always. Whereas Martin Skrtel has often got the nod ahead of Daniel Agger alongside Carra this season, today Agger gets the nod – despite missing last week’s match after becoming a father. No hint of a grudge from Rafa there. Arbeloa and Insua get the full-back roles, although an earlier team-sheet had Aurelio in the side in place of Insua.

Lucas gets to play in place of Xabi, alongside Javier Mascherano. The Football Writers’ player of the season Steven Gerrard is captain as always and will be looking to boost his goal tally for the season, as will Yossi Benayoun, Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson is on the bench for West Brom.

West Brom: 1 Kiely, 22 Zuiverloon, 24 Martis, 26 Olsson, 30 Donk, 11 Brunt, 31 Mulumbu, 8 Greening, 7 Koren, 21 Menseguez, 32 Fortune
Subs: 19 Carson, 16 Moore, 20 Filipe Teixeira, 23 Meite, 28 Borja Valero, 29 Simpson, 39 Wood

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 5 Agger, 23 Carragher, 22 Insua, 21 Lucas, 20 Mascherano, 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 15 Benayoun, 9 Torres
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 2 Dossena, 11 Riera, 14 Alonso, 24 Ngog, 37 Skrtel, 19 Babel

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Kick-off: 1:30pm BST

14 thoughts on “Xabi on bench as Reds aim to end season in style”

  1. Hi Guys did anyone of you noteced that since Lucas cut hid hair he improved a lot, Thats funny haha

  2. I’d just like to mention the quality of Kuyt’s strike. He’s been massive for us all season but strangely doesn’t attract the plaudits?

    I hope he bags a couple against Spurs.

  3. As a fan of LFC for 65 years I am very saddend to see LFC struggling for money. I just do not understand the thought of selling a player as good as Alonso or buying anything other than top rated players, it was not that way in the 70’s and 80’s.
    David Moore allowed himself to be tricked by a pair of con men who’s only interest is their own wealth and not the wellfare of the club, they do not have the money to do what is necessary to grow the club and are now a very large impedement in the progress of LFC

  4. Well, Jim, any thoughts on the owners and the debt of Kop Holdings…………and whether Rafa will be hamstrung in the transfer market…….and whether the fans need to check their expectations until the refinancing package does or does not go through?

  5. About a year ago a few of us on this website took a lot of stick by suggesting that it would not take much for the rot to set at Liverpool and that once it did, it would very difficult to stop the gradual decline of the club, Leeds being the obvious example of what can happen when finances go pear-shaped. Well, in view of the recently published accounts for Kop Holding perhaps our warnings can now be seen to be realistic rather than pessimistic.
    What credibility do these 2 muppets have left ?? They talk about refinancing but all that means is shoring up their ownership of the LFC while not advancing the club in any way. Sam Wallace in today’s Independent says the Liverpool is a club that its owners can barely afford to own let alone run and that if Rafa wins the Premiership next season it will an astonishing act of management. Aye aye to that.

  6. If Alonso wants to leave he can F**k O** as far as I’m concerned.

    Next season is all about winning the title (not some personal feud with the manager) so if he wants to be a c**t about things then good luck to him!

  7. If Alonso leaves LFC and we do not buy a partner for Torres of the David Silva etc standard then LFC, in my opinion, is in decline again. The lack of money on a number of fronts also points to this. LFC has only bought one top player in the present owners custodianship of the club. Like it or not at least 3 top players are showing signs of disatisfaction with the state of things at LFC, they believe thay can earn more money and win silverware elseware.
    And who can blame them!

  8. Two friendlies. One big signing. Rumours about who’s coming in and out. Our rivals changing teams, losing key players, buying others. The season fast approaching. So much happening. So much to talk about………..

  9. I’m about!

    The team got 86 points last season, so I reckon that there can’t be much wrong with!

    I was trying to get some idea of the depth of the squad with the friendlies.

    From what I saw of Voronin last season at Hertha he was great on the break and running through the middle getting on the end of things. I’m not really a fan of his flicks and stuff, it rarely seems to go anywhere.

  10. Hello Guys,

    It’s been an interesting close season with all the, admittedly, rumours about all four top clubs disrupted with potential lose of key players. Who’d have thought a year after being touted as the best league in the world attracting all the best players, it is no more or at least less likely.

    The fall in the price of the Euro and the immense expenditure of Real Madrid, as well as apparent relationship problem, suggests we’re going to lose Alonso. I didn’t want it and don’t want it but I’m gradually coming round to losing him and starting again, significant financial compensation allowing!

    I think Voronin could be a good player for us, if he comes to terms with not playing week in and week out. All being well, Stevie and Torres is the number 1 partnership. But between Kuyt, Ngog and Voronin we may be able to save x million buying a player for the bench.

    But should we need to buy, Silva’s oft-touted as a potential buy and maybe he could replace Stevie allowing him to slip back, should Alonso go.

    I think next season is going to be even better/more exciting than last. Let’s hope we pick up a trophy – the main one – along the way!

  11. I was very impressed with Kuyt against Singapore!

    It’s difficult to judge against such opposition but he looks like he’s set to build again on what was a great last season for him.

    I also note that he got the captains band when he came on!

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