Saturday, November 24, 2007

Newcastle vs Liverpool - Testing Times for Sam & Rafa

Its a big big game on Tyneside for these two managers.

Sam Allardyce is under a bit of pressure at Newcastle with underwhelming results and football , criticism from the chairman, rumours of disquiet amongst the players and a yet to be convinced Gallowgate. I really think that this job is a make or break one for Big Sam. Crack this and he's a freeman of the city of Newcastle and even bigger clubs may come calling. Go the way of all the others and he's back to managing the Bolton's of this world.

Rafa Benitez meanwhile has had a very public spat with Liverpool's new owners. The Liverpool Echo (widely held on Merseyside as being the voice of the club) has an interesting angle. They are saying that Rafa has "asked to be given the freedom to operate in the transfer market without restrictions, to be allowed to sell players no longer deemed of any great value to fund the acquisition of players whom he feels can make a real difference." They also say the Americans are wanting harmony restored however I think this has a long way to play out and I wouldn't bet against it all ending in tears for those Reds fans amongst us.

As for the teams Newcastle have Michael Owen, Abdoulaye Faye, Stephen Carr, Claudio Cacapa, Celestine Babayaro and Damien Duff all out but Shay Given is fit and Nicky Butt is back from suspension. Liverpool meanwhile have Harry Kewell pushing for a start with Daniel Agger a maybe to come back. Fernando Torres is also back to start for the first time in four weeks.

My gut feel - Liverpool to win and pile on more misery for Big Sam!!!!


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