It's the penultimate game of the premier league season at Anfield, and another opportunity for the reds to regain top spot against one of the worst sides to have ever graced the division. As far as football goes this is as close to a foregone conclusion as it gets, but there's still a job to be done. Huddersfield have the worst goal difference in the league, they have scored the fewest amount of goals and conceded the second highest. Couple that with the fact it's a Friday night game at home under the lights, you can only see one winner. I don't like to underestimate opponents, and with previous Liverpool sides, I wouldn't be so confident as to write this down in black and white. However this current Liverpool team is something else, on another level to the rest of the league, and quiet frankly, Huddersfield are a championship team. But before I continue with this games preview, let's talk about Man-Ure.
I don't think anyone really believed united were going to get anything from that game did they. I don't think even their most optimistic fans believed. I didn't watch the game, so I can't comment on it too much but from what I've read and heard, I don't think the players or the manager believed either. We all just hoped, but to be honest I'm glad. If some of their own fans are so pathetic as to say they would rather lose the derby than see Liverpool win the title, then they deserve Europa League. So now all the pundits, the experts and the social media trolls believe City have clinched the title, amazingly doing so with three games to go, but only one point clear. I'm no genius but that doesn't sound mathematically correct. I want to refer back to one of my previous posts a few weeks ago, where I analysed the title run in, and each sides remaining fixtures. When I looked at their games I never thought to myself ooo Spurs and United and thats it. I thought Spurs, United, Burnley and Leicester. Even Brighton won't be smooth sailing if they're still in a relegation battle.
So Burnley, Sean Dyche has set his whole team up to be a pain in the ass for the top teams. They love to fight and play dirty, they'll get stuck in. City will be in for one hell of a war there. If you take a glance at the form table, Burnley are right up there, in a much better position than united. Have a read of all the Chelsea players and coaching staff moaning about Burnley's tactics after their game the other day, they hated playing against them. Then after Burnley they have Leicester under Rodgers, a difficult side to play against. They picked up points at Anfield and they beat city previously in the league. Rodgers will want that scalp as well. He has an ego and he will want to feed it with getting one over Guardiola and this City side. My point being here is that the title race is nowhere close to being finished, and we have to keep believing and supporting our lads through this amazing season. Our goals don't alter, our ambition doesn't falter, we aim to win every game till the end of the season, regardless of what City do. Either we will be champions or we won't, but we will be proud!
Now back to the Reds, the only question before this game really is what side will Klopp choose. Is he going to have one eye on the Barca tie and rest a few players, and also give a few others the opportunity to give him a head ache before that tie. Or does he continue playing with his strongest side, and once the job is done, make some early substitutions. I think we're at the point of the season now where the lads are in absolute peak condition. They could quite easily play a game every three days, but the intensity of a semi final tie against Barcelona can't be underestimated. I do expect to see a few changes, but not wholesale. I predict Gomez will come in for this one, and either Matip or Trent will be dropped to the bench in his stead. I think this will be mainly to give Joe more minutes under his belt and see how he handles it. I don't think it necessarily means he will be starting vs Barca, but if he comes in and shows the same form as when he got injured, it'd be hard not to pick him for the tie. I think the midfield 3 of Fabinho Hendo and Keita will get the nod. It will be interesting to see if Lallana is back in time for this one, if so it wouldn't surprise me if he is chosen over Keita. Gini and Milner I suspect will be brought in for the Barca game, probably in with Hendo. I know a lot of fans groan about that, but it's Klopp's go to for the big games and I suspect we will see it again. I believe Salah might be on the bench for this one, after him travelling to New York midweek and Divock starting in his place on the left and Mane on the right. Could we see Shaqiri feature in this one from the start? It's been a long time since he's been on the starting 11 team sheet, so who knows if we will or not, but it would be a good game for him to stretch his legs. He could be an important impact sub for the games to come.
My Predicted 11: Ali, Trent, Gomez, Virg, Robbo, Fab, Hendo, Keita, Divock, Bobby, Mane.
Score Prediction: 3-0, all the goals to come in the first half.
Let us know what your predicted 11 is for this one, and your scoreline prediction in the comments below. Cmon you Reds!