Author : Prasanna
With the Top spot, a 400th win in the Premier League era at stake and a visit to Manager Brendan Rodger’s former home on Steven Gerrard‘s 400th venture as Captain, Liverpool cannot call for a more significant occasion to mark another win which would make it 4 wins out of 4 to mark an incredible start to the season.
Liverpool have had tricky outings against the Welsh team in the past; barring the 5-0 rout against a depleted side in January 2013; and with Michael Laudrup’s talented side languishing in the bottom 3 following their double blow to Manchester United and Tottenham, they will be poised to give Liverpool a hard time today. Last week’s 2-0 win against West Brom at The Hawthorns must have definitely given Laudrup’s side considerable amount of confidence running into today’s game.
So lets take a look at 5 players from the two who could have an impact on tomorrow’s game :-
1. Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool’s leading goal-scorer has stepped up to the plate in the absence of suspended striker Luis Suarez, linking up well with Coutinho and new boy Iago Aspas to propel Liverpool ahead early on in the game. His pace, awareness, passing and most importantly his finishing will be called for once more when Liverpool take the field at Liberty Stadium today.
2. Simon Mignolet
Following his move to Anfield from Sunderland, the Belgian shot stopper has been magnificent pulling off incredible saves and keeping clean sheets from pre-season itself. Following his tremendous penalty save off Jon Walters in the opening game of the season, Mignolet has continued about his job of keeping the ball off the back of the net. If he can continue that today, the Reds can sure as hell favour themselves to return home with 3 points.
3. Pablo Hernandez
The Spanish international enjoyed a quite 1st season for the Swans in the shadows of fellow Spaniard Michu’s giant strides in the Premier League. However, with Michu not yet off to the mark this season, it’s been the former Valencia hitman who has played the impactful role so far for the team and was rewarded with a goal last week against The Baggies in a clinical performance. Laudrup will bank on Hernandez to supply new boy Bony and Michu with as many chances to break a strong Liverpool defense.
The Swans looked a far better outfit at The Hawthorns last time around when the Ivorian made his first start for the team. Although he wasn’t on target, he seemed a potent threat every time he sped into The Baggies’ defense. A Bony vs Sturridge battle might seem a fascinating one to look at tonight and it will be interesting to note who comes out strong.
5. Kolo Toure
The striker battle might seem eye-catching, but with the scoring rate of both teams being low, the difference at the end of the day could be in the “defensive strength”! Here is where the Kolo Toure-led Liverpool defense has been so strong this season. The last three games saw Liverpool play a more defensive second half following an attacking first one, and Toure’s alertness and experience has helped The Reds fill the void left behind by the retirement of Jamie Carragher.
Brendan Rodgers signed a plethora of players during transfer deadline last week, and it is there to be seen if any of them get their Liverpool debuts tonight. In my opinion, if Rodgers is looking for a place for Mamadou Sakho, he could replace him with last week’s Man of the Match Martin Skrtel, which is what seems more likely. There is lots to play for today, for both the sides and it will be very interesting to see the end outcome. With a potent attack force, strong defense and an ever-reliable midfield, I would back a Liverpool win against the Welsh side tomorrow.