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Iskaral Pust

Football: the winter break

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Tricky game for Liverpool against Arsenal tomorrow.  The Gunners have some defensive absences but Leno, Kos, Sokratis, Kolasinac and Lichtsteiner is the expected back five, which is only one absence from their probable first choice selection.  And Mustafi may be available in the bench.  Lichtsteiner is a lot slower than Bellerin, but otherwise not a defensive disaster for them and certainly no worse than having Lovren in place of Gomez.  Monreal is quality but is being kept out by Kolasinac lately anyway because his attacking play helps so much.  Holding and Movraponas would be distant back-ups anyway.  

Torreira, Xhaka and Guendozi are all likely to play in MF, and Auba and Laca are nailed-on to start, so the only question is whether Ozil, Ramsey or Iwobi gets the AMF role. 

Liverpool are missing Milner and all of the longer term absentees.  I really hope Lovren can handle Auba, plus I expect Arsenal to target the space between TAA and Lovren.

I expect lots of quick transitions and counter-attacks in this one.  Mane’s movement has been great lately but his final ball has been very poor — this is a great chance for him to put that right.  Probably Fabinho, Henderson (very good in recent games) and Gini in MF for us.  Keita and Shaqiri on the bench. 

Another possibility is for Mane to play on the right to pin back Kolasinac and help TAA, and bring in Keita on the left. 

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Holding & Bellerin are both big misses, they would be starting the game. Holding has arguably been our best CB this season, and Bellerin has been excellent too. He might go with a back 3 with Mustafi, Sokratis & Kos, that way Lichsteiner ( who actually has been quite poor over the last two games) might be less exposed. We're probably going to play a back 3 as opposed to a back two. 

Edited by Raja

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3 hours ago, Raja said:

Holding & Bellerin are both big misses, they would be starting the game. Holding has arguably been our best CB this season, and Bellerin has been excellent too. He might go with a back 3 with Mustafi, Sokratis & Kos, that way Lichsteiner ( who actually has been quite poor over the last two games) might be less exposed. We're probably going to play a back 3 as opposed to a back two. 

In that case would Emery omit Lacazette or the Ozil/Ramsey/Iwobi AMF?

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6 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

In that case would Emery omit Lacazette or the Ozil/Ramsey/Iwobi AMF?

Ozil picked up a knee injury against Brighton and didn't make the squad per Ornstein. 

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Probably see Auba flanked by Ramsey & Iwobi, and Laca for Iwobi second half ( if I were to bet money on it) 

Edited by Raja

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Wolves equalized.  Newcastle trying to hang on for a hugely valuable away win. 

Liverpool keep Shaqiri in the line-up for Arsenal.  That’s confident/aggressive but I hope it doesn’t backfire. 

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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Lloris should do better with that second one, no? 

Anyway thought Spurs would be on cruise control after the first 30. What a second half from wolves 

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Wolves have been great in the 2nd half. 

ETA. and Fulham take the lead after missing a penalty earlier on. Ranieri seems to have brought some defensive organisation to them which they sorely lacked. 

Edited by Consigliere

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5 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Liverpool keep Shaqiri in the line-up for Arsenal.  That’s confident/aggressive but I hope it doesn’t backfire. 

Yeah, that's pretty aggressive from Liverpool. I think that's the first time they've gone with Shaqiri plus last year's front three to start a big game.

On the other hand it looks to be a conservative selection from Arsenal. No Lacazette in the starting side and it looks like they'll either go with wingbacks or play Maitland-Niles in midfield.

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In other news.

Word is on the street, that Pulisic will join Chelsea at the end of the season. Chelski will pay a fee of 50m €. Would not really be a surprise, as they were quite interested in signing him for a while.

 

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2 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

In other news.

Word is on the street, that Pulisic will join Chelsea at the end of the season. Chelski will pay a fee of 50m €. Would not really be a surprise, as they were quite interested in signing him for a while.

 

I've seen some rumours that Dortmund want Hudson-Odoi as part of the Pulisic deal. Apparently Bayern are interested in him as well. Not sure how reliable these rumours are.

Hudson-Odoi on one wing and Sancho on the other for Dortmund would be pretty great from an English perspective since Dortmund is both a big club and a club renowned for developing younger players. Hudson-Odoi will be better off moving since there is no roadmap for integrating academy players at Chelsea - these players exist solely as an additional source of revenue for the club in the form of loan fees.

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The Hudson-Odoi Bayern rumour, I'Ve seen, too. But I did not bother to quote it, since the original source appears to be the Daily Fail.

But it might make sense for Bayern. Ribery and Robben are on their way out. Robben has confirmed that it is his last season at the club, and Ribery, well, he has grown quite fond of the club over the years and still tries to convince the bosses he deserves another year. Coman and Gnabry, their successors are a bit injury prone. So Bayern really might want to bolster that position a bit more.

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Really tough for Newcastle today: they conceded an equalizer while Cardiff and Fulham got late winners.  All three were playing tough mid-table opponents. 

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