Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Barclays Premier League – January 1st 2011

Liverpool 2 Bolton 1

Liverpool played host to Bolton for the first game of the New Year and the 2-1 win – thanks largely to a moment of brilliance from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres – gave Liverpool supporters something to smile about. As long as they didn’t look too closely at the league table that is.

Gerrard was only on the field because of an injury to Meireles. The captain was on the bench at kick-off after – in manager Roy Hodgson’s words – he’d been left “extremely tired” from playing the full 90 minutes of his first game back from injury on Wednesday.

That tiredness meant Liverpool started with Dirk Kuyt on the right instead of out of position on the left, with Meireles starting in his natural role in the middle of the park. Gerrard was a straight swap for Meireles so nobody had to move out of position when the change was made.

Two other changes gave Liverpool a different look to Wednesday; Konchesky was replaced by Aurelio and Daniel Agger was back in the side in place of Kyrgiakos. Continue reading Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Wolves v Liverpool: Gerrard back, Maxi starts

Two changes for Liverpool for tonight’s clash with Wolves at Molyneux including a debut for Maxi Rodriguez and a return to the starting line-up for the skipper, Steven Gerrard.

Manager Rafa Benitez has stuck with the same back-four that kept Spurs at bay just under a week ago meaning Jamie Carragher continues at right-back, with Skrtel and Kyrgiakos deservedly keeping their places in the centre of defence.

Mascherano and Lucas start again in midfield meaning that rather than dropping back Aquilani drops to the bench, making way for Gerrard. Maxi takes the place of Degen on the right with Albert Riera on the left again and Dirk Kuyt playing up front.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has made six changes to his side, but not in the way he did against Manchester United when he made changes that weakened his side having decided his first choice eleven would probably lose anyway. Tonight he’s strengthened having played his weaker side in the FA Cup at the weekend. He includes new signings Geoffrey Mujangi Bia and Adlene Guedioura in his squad, both are named as subs tonight.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Zubar, Berra, Craddock, Ward, Mancienne, Henry, Milijaš, Foley, Doyle, Jarvis.
Subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Jones, Vokes, Iwelumo, Mujangi, Guedioura.

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Insua, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos, Mascherano, Lucas, Gerrard, Riera, Maxi, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Babel, Ngog, Degen, Darby, Pacheco.

Referee: Peter Walton