Christmas is over and Liverpool host Garry Monk’s Swansea City side in what is sure to be a difficult encounter.
Both these sides won their Boxing Day fixture by a goal to nil. Garry Monk has done a great job at Swansea and has retained their prestigious, easy-on-the-eye style of football. Without doubt, for me, their danger man is the Ivorian striker, Wilfried Bony. Liverpool were linked with the powerhouse in the summer and I was praying he would come to the Reds. However, Bony is at Swansea and has done brilliantly this campaign and is the top goal scorer out of everyone in the calendar year of 2014.
Liverpool and Swansea crossed paths not so long ago in the Capital One Cup. The away side, Swansea, were leading for a fair bit of the game, through Marvin Emnes. However, an inspired late comeback from Brendan Rodgers’ side, started through a Mario Balotelli goal. Dejan Lovren latched on the end of a free-kick to ensure Liverpool’s progress into the next round. I’m sure the Welsh outfit will be keen to get revenge on Liverpool.
The rumoured side is this:
I am excited by that side. Steven Gerrard needs a rest and will be fresh for Leicester, this way. Emre Can played well against Burnley when coming on. The German looked assured and experienced in the back three.
Alberto Moreno and Javi Manquillo both deserve their chances. I think, on his day, that role will prove to be perfect for Moreno. Manquillo’s inclusion allows Henderson to move to the middle, too. Henderson seems almost quite wasted out on the right. Lucas Leiva seems to be an important part of Liverpool’s play, at the moment. The Brazilian is rumoured to have kept his place in the side, alongside captain for the evening, Jordan Henderson. I think the pair will be massive to who wins this game. Henderson will have to push forward at times to help the likes of Lallana, Coutinho and Sterling and Lucas will have to drop deep to help the defence.
Mamadou Sakho was arguably the man-of-the-match in the narrow win against Burnley. Dejan Lovren isn’t quite ready for this, so Sakho retains his place. I hope that Lovren doesn’t get in the tea, when he comes back, not straight away, anyway. Martin Skrtel looked very easy on Friday and that sums up his season so far. However, the Slovak retains his place in the line-up, at the expense of Kolo Toure.
Raheem Sterling will be looking to continue where he left off versus Burnley. Philippe Coutinho was fantastic, too. Coutinho has really made the games his own in the last couple of games. When Coutinho plays like this, he’s virtually unplayable. Adam Lallana will have a good game, I think. Lallana is suited for the home games like this and has shown in his shirt time at the Reds that he can be a game-changer.
Simon Mignolet will replace the injured Brad Jones. Whatever you think of Mignolet, he’s a lot better than Brad Jones.
PREDICTION: I’m going for a 3-1 Liverpool win. Raheem Sterling to score a brace and Adam Lallana notching the first one in.
Choose your Liverpool team here.