Happy New Year 2013! Lets hope it starts with 3 points! As ever, please circulate this email amongst other LFC fans, and please contribute to the conversation! We need more Reds from Bahrain, Qatar and Muscat!
In preparation for the big game against Man Utd on the 13th, can we come up with ideas to get the Hyatt packed with LFC fans?
Can anyone get Standard Chartered to help promote the club in Oman?
As it is a late kick off, I will be watching in Champs in City Centre, Doha.
The Reds begin 2013 with the visit of Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland. Despite the outbreak of a virus, we ended 2012 on a good note with a 3-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers. That win saw us end the year in 9th place – eight points adrift of 4th – and 10 points above the relegation zone.
Earlier this season, Sunderland and LFC played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light – with Luis Suarez cancelling out Darren Fletcher’s strike. The corresponding fixture last season also finished 1-1, with Suarez giving the Reds a 12th minute lead after missing an earlier penalty before a spectacular goal from Sebastian Larsson on 57 minutes earned the Black Cats a share of the spoils.
We are yet to suffer defeat at the feet of Sunderland at Anfield in the Premier League (11 games; five wins, six draws) and you have to go back to October 1983 to find the last occasion the Black Cats took all three points at L4: a 0-1 defeat courtesy of a Gary Rowell strike.
John O’Shea is injured so Titus Bramble will take his place. Bramble is famously unreliable, so Suarez should be able to have a good day if we can isolate the defender for special attention.
Adam Johnson will be on their right wing, so would have faced Enrique, but could face Downing or Glen Johnson instead. Downing is not great at defending so I would prefer a real defender on our left. (Flanagan, Robinson, Wisdom, Coates, Carra are all available, but unlikely to be used.) Fletcher will face up to Agger/Skrtel again, and hopefully the 2 defenders will deal with him better than they dealt with Jones from Stoke 2 games ago.
We have an unlucky and unpopular referee (amongst the Kop) for this fixture, referee Phil Dowd. Phil Dowd has refereed two of our fixtures this season and both have been defeats away from Anfield: 0-3 at W.B.A. and 1-2 at Tottenham.
Defenders: Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Downing
Midfielders: Lucas, Gerrard (c), Allen, Suso, Sterling
Hopefully the norivirus will not affect any more of the team although Enrique will miss the match with a hamstring injury. Winger Stewart Downing, who has filled in at left-back previously, may be asked to provide cover again, although if he is leaving this window to Boro, he may not be risked. Downing has played 7 of the last 8 games, and may have saved his job. But if not, Wisdom might go right back and Johnson moved to left back. Cole should be leaving for QPR, subject to agreement on wages, so he will not be risked. Henderson started last game so I can see him being rotated for Lucas. With
Suso sitting out the last game, I can see Suso and Sterling playing either side of Suarez.
HOTTEST JAN RUMOURS
Daniel Sturridge – Chelsea
Tom Ince – Blackpool, gone quiet recently, but should move by end of Jan
Jack Butland – 19, Birmingham, £ 6 MM
Kevin Gameiro – Paris St-Germain striker
Holtby – Schalke, 22, talks for a summer move
Nicolas Isimat Mirin – 21 defender, Valenciennes, £3m The other central defender is going back to Brazil, so they wont want to lose both defenders in one window
Benat – 25, Real Betis midfielder, back up plan for Snijder
David Villa – 31, Barcelona, loan move rejected, £ 16 MM transfer, very expensive and Villa has not found form since injury
Wesley Sneijder – 28, Euro 10 MM transfer, in contract dispute with Inter, wanted by Man Utd, has a wage of around Euro 200,000 per week!!! (Hence the contract
Xabi Alonso – 18 months left at Real Madrid, and might not extend. Summer move perhaps
Modibo Diakite – Lazio defender out of contract in the summer
Kaka – Real Madrid, not playing under Jose