Liverpool Message Board
Sorry Hobs mate, this isn't really meant to trump your team selection thread, maybe more discuss the game, and game plan..
Anzhi is an extremely strong team, better than Udinese probably, though when they play each other twice that can be better determined. But, they are top of the Russian league which has good sides, Zenit, CSKA, and they have alot of very very good, experienced, talented players several of which we're familiar with: Eto'o, Samba Zhirkov, Joao Carlos, Lacina Traore, Jucile etc..
So, without knowing their roster too too well, I can say the better players are very good, and it shows in their league standing, along with having Guus Hiddink as manager.. Luckily I've read that Lassana Diarra will miss out, but nonetheless, I expect them to be a strong side..
Having said all of this, we have just gotten our home League victory, second consecutive clean sheet, not lost anyone to injury, and slowly but steadily on the up. So, bearing in mind (like every Sunday while in this) with a match Sunday, of course being the Derby, do we field a stronger than usual Europa side, or do as we have and possibly face a home defeat (no intentions of being negative, just facing a realistic scenario)?
Granted, I have to say that was perhaps the worst I've seen Everton play all season, and they won't have Pienaar available, but all that goes out the window for this one.. So it's really a hard question, not so much because of Europa, but because of momentum, confidence, cohesion and attitude..
Putting out the side that really struggled vs Udinese could see us get played off the pitch, and I'd hate for any of that to carry over. Yes these are professionals, but some are still very young, and over the course of the past 2 seasons, bad things have become a habit for us, you name them..
For me, I think we should start with a stronger side, but certainly mix it up.. I'm certain Rodgers will do, but I would not start Carra/Coates together.. They are not a good duo, and if it's Eto'o, forget it.. Maybe Carra and Skrtel, or BR finally takes it another step and sees Carra as not viable anymore and goes Skrtel Coates..?
Midfield we have options, so Henderson, Shelvey, and maybe Allen or Sahin, so that's quite strong enough..
Then up front, Yesil Assaidi Downing? Not sure that 3 will link up, unless it's Assaidi and Yesil, so perhaps Suso, MAYBE Suarez to start and get 50-60 though I highly doubt it after his thigh injury and int'l forrays..
All thoughts/questions to ponder..
Get away from my Team choice threads Jason! :)
I'll do that elsewhere anyway. It is a good point though, with us losing to Udinese its put us on the backfoot in Europa, this is an important match, I would suggest that we need 3 points out of the next 2 matches with Anzhi to stay in shape to progress from the group. They have great players there but they arent a great team yet although Hiddink makes them a more threatening test.
Guss will have them well set up and hard to break down but the real problems lie in the players, playing up. These guys are drifting round Russia playing against average sides with the occasional test here and there. Somebody like Samuel Eto'o will be coming to Anfield and absolutely relishing the occasion, it is a massive game for them and thats what makes it tougher.