Friday, December 21, 2007

Liverpool vs Portsmouth Saturday 22nd Dec, 3.00pm

They all seem must win games for increasingly embattled Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez. What with two Premier League defeats in a row, one of which was to a major rival, adverse stories about refinancing for the new stadium and the ongoing speculation about his relationship with his American bosses, these are testing times for Benitez.

However if Liverpool have any pretensions about winning the Premier League they simply do have to win these type of games, despite Portsmouth's great form this season. Liverpool have midfielder Xabi Alonso available after he came through his comeback game against Chelsea in midweek. Peter Crouch is now banned for three matches after the red-mist saw him sent off in that game, while Steve Finnan is again absent with a calf problem. Worryingly Daniel Agger is still out with his metatarsal injury. I really do think this will become a real problem for Liverpool if he's not back soon. As good as Sami Hyppia has been, it has to catch up with Liverpool soon. Otherwise the big-guns will be back for Liverpool with the likes of Reina, Gerrard, Mascherano, and Torres all back.

Portsmouth have a few problems with defender Noe Pamarot absent and Sean Davis also out. Hermann Hreidarsson definitely back while Pedro Mendes is also likely to start.

Footy Focus prediction - home win for the Reds!


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