When was the last time we had a Saturday 3pm kickoff?
I don’t remember, but it seems like it’s been ages and it’s nice to have one today. There’s just something that seems right about it and late Sunday night kickoffs just don’t do it, do they?
I haven’t heard much about Liverpool lately, so I had to look at the league table to see where they actually stand. Imagine my surprise then, to find that they’re only five points above us, having played one game more.
That sort of puts things in perspective really, because even though I think we’ve been playing poorly for months and results have definitely been poor, what does that say about the rest of the clubs in the Premier league?
Not a lot, it would seem and I still struggle to see that we’re ninth in the table.
So, where I was fearing a major backlash after us thrashing Liverpool at home, now I’m not so worried.
It would seem the Reds are not the same team they were, yet they’re in the middle of a European tie against Real, so they’re not doing too badly.
They have a lot of players out, in Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi.
That’s some list and it partly explains why they’ve not been as strong lately.
There’s nothing wrong with Liverpool’s attack though and they definitely have players who can hurt us.
Hopefully, our defence can stand firm and keep them out, but I suspect we might concede a couple today.
On the plus side, their defence is vulnerable and we have the capability of hurting them too.
The big news for us is of course Jack Grealish being out again and not looking like he’s likely to be back until May at the earliest.
It’s ok though, because Smith said it’s not a long term injury(!).
I seriously wonder if there had been copious amounts of alcohol involved before he came out with that statement.
If what will turn out to be three months isn’t a long term injury, I’d hate to see one that is.
Still, it’s just another example of the BS he has been speaking for months now, I suppose, so I’ll just leave it there.
I think a lot depends on how Smith sets the team up today and indeed, who he plays.
We all know it’ll be pretty much the same personnel as always, but he does have choices in how he plays them.
Our best bet is to actually go at Liverpool and put their defence under pressure from the off.
This would involve McGinn getting further forward.
If that doesn’t work, there’s always the option of putting Davis on. Not to score goals, but to bully the defence and create space for Watkins.
I see goals in this game and hopefully we’ll see a more lively performance from the lads, which will hopefully lead to us getting some too.
I’m going for 3-2.
I’d like to think we can actually edge this one, but I don’t quite have that confidence, so I think it’s going to go against us.
I actually think the performance is probably more important than the result today. We wouldn’t normally expect to get much from this game, after all.
What we don’t want is an abject poor performance and a heavy defeat.
But then, I don’t think we’re going to get one.
Up the Villa!