Liverpool v Norwich key battles

At the risk of more egg on my face, here are some predictions for Saturday…

LFC should have taken all three points against Manchester United last weekend. They were the better team for the majority of the match, and their last five minutes of attack still amazes that it did not produce a go-ahead goal at the death. Steven Gerrard made his renewed presence felt with his goal, while Luis Suarez continues to make defenders frustrated all the way around and is sure to make no friends against Norwich City this weekend.

Lucas Leiva will be missing the match due to a five-yellow card suspension. That will likely see both Dirk Kuyt and Andy Carroll return to the first team, while Charlie Adam and Gerrard will be the main two in the middle in a more attacking-minded Reds squad. With both Manchester sides involved in the Manchester Derby this weekend, Liverpool have a chance to regain some points in the table if they can get a result in front of the Kop.

Stewart Downing vs. Kyle Naughton
If Kyle Naughton retains his place in the Norwich side as the right fullback, he will be facing off against Stewart Downing. Downing will hope to exploit the youngster’s inexperience in hopes of proving cross after cross for Andy Carroll, who is expected to return to the starting XI with Lucas Leiva being left out due to suspension.

Steve Morison vs. Martin Skrtel
Steve Morrison was been slowly building confidence at the top of Norwich City’s attack. Martin Skrtel will be tasked with shutting him down and should have a great physical battle with the Canary striker.

Anthony Pilkington vs. Martin Kelly
Anthony Pilkington has been sensational for Norwich City since he joined them this summer, and so far, he looks to be their signing of the summer window. Martin Kelly is expected to start, while Glen Johnson will probably finish off the match in a cameo if the Reds are in the lead.

Luis Suarez vs. Russel Martin
Luis Suarez has been the lifeblood of the Reds’ attack this season, and against Manchester United, he proved he could create space and pester a defense from the word “go.” Russel Martin is going to have his hands full trying to contain the Uruguayan that is almost certain to have several chances to get on the score sheet for the match. The one black mark against Suarez is the amount of chance he misses.

Steven Gerrard vs. Bradley Johnson
Steven Gerrard made his full return in dramatic fashion as his free kick allowed Liverpool to come away with a point against Manchester Untied. Bradley Johnson has had mixed reviews since joining the Canaries from Leeds United in the summer and will have a lot to prove against Liverpool’s Captain Fantastic, Gerrard.

Conclusion
Liverpool should have a good shot at taking all three points against Norwich at home, but you can never underestimate a team with a target on their back in the Canaries, who are fighting to retain promotion.

Liverpool vs Bolton 27/08/2011

Image via Wikipedia

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