Yet another infuriating Premier League match for Jurgen Klopp and his Anfield outfit to endure during their belligerent and determined campaign dedicated solely to winning all of the available cup competitions. Allegedly. With a Capital One Cup final in three weeks, an FA Cup 4th round replay in just 3 days and a looming Europa League knockout campaign just around the corner, Liverpool lie a massive and conclusive 11 points outside of the Champions League places.
Jurgen Klopp has picked a ‘younger’ side for all three of the FA Cup fixtures faced this season, but following their Premier League capitulation to a rampant Leicester City FC midweek, and with their FA Cup replay against West Ham on Tuesday in mind, would it be considered a shock if he decided to reverse course and select the ‘Klopp Kids’ for this home league game against Mr. Piggy himself, Ham Allardyce?
Mr. Piggy, sorry, Sam Allardyce has even more pressing concerns with his side lying rooted in the Premier League drop-zone, a full 4 points from safety with 14 games left to play. Following the closure of the Transfer Window, Sam has decided to play the pantomime villain and put all his hopes on a Dame to save the day. Dame Ndoye to be precise. If the Dame and Jermaine can’t strike up a potent relationship quickly, you would have to fear for Sunderland’s survival chances.
Jermaine Lens is struggling with a groin injury, while Yann M’Vila is hopeful of overcoming a foot injury to take his place in the team. A rare bright spark for Sunderland this season has been Patrick van Aanholt who has amassed 5 goals and 2 assists from defence, and he will continue to lead from the back at Anfield.
Liverpool are very close to welcoming back numerous first team regulars from injury, but it is still too early for the likes of Coutinho, Origi, Skrtel and *giggle* Sturridge to be included in the first team squad. Indeed Skrtel has suffered a setback in his recovery programme and will be missing for a further 2 -3 weeks. Sturridge has completed 3 training sessions in a row, and a civic reception will be held on the Albert Dock at 1pm on Saturday to celebrate this momentous achievement.
Arguably the biggest issue on Saturday is the proposed protest against the hike in ticket prices at Anfield next season, which was announced by owners FSG this week. A mass walkout in the 77th minute is planned by the Anfield faithful. It must be noted however that a certain section of the Liverpool support have been spotted leaving that early throughout the season, so whether FSG will note any difference is open to debate.