Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Liverpool vs Middlesbrough

Liverpool vs Middlesbrough: Rafa seeking to maintain a good start

Fernando Torres Liverpool SpainLiverpool vs Middlesbrough is a tricky one for Rafa, particularly in the white hot pressure of the Premier League. The expectations on Liverpool are such that Rafa Benitez is one bad result from a wave of pressure, particularly at the start of the season. Middlebrough have started well with a great win at home to Tottenham Hotspur, though many will be expecting them to shortly flop in time-honoured fashion.

Liverpool have some interesting selection posers, especially regarding Xabi Alonso. Benitez was clearly ready to sell him, and the rumours are now that he consequently wants away. All in all, the Barry, Benitez and Alonso saga has led to a miserable transfer season for all concerned at Liverpool. Alonso surely has to figure, in the continued absence of Mascherano. Benitez could even play his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation given the excellent promise of Damien Plessis. Footy focus would go for a line-up of Reina, Arbeloa, Agger, Carragher, Dosenna, Plessis, Alonso, Gerrard, Keane, Babel (if back), Torres.

Liverpool are still lacking natural width, so this formation gives them a bit more fluidity and invention than 4-4-2. Playing Benayoun and Kuyt as your wide midfielders won't land a Premier League title.

Liverpool vs Middlesbrough is in the view of Footy Focus online a banker home win. Liverpool may not be playing very well, but they should have far too much for Middlesbrough. Any side containing Gerrard, Torres, Keane, Carragher, Agger, Reina, and Alonso won't struggle for too long!


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