Preview: Costa Rica hoping to return to winning ways
La Sele have lost all of their last three matches and will be hoping to round off their preparations for the World Cup on a winning note with a positive performance against Paraguay. Costa Rica have failed to score in any of their last three defeats, with their previous encounter against South Korea ending in a 1-0 loss. Their other defeats include a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Chile as well as a 1-0 to Australia who have also successfully qualified for this year’s World Cup to be held in Brazil.
Preview: Red’s hoping to move up in the league table
With Manchester City not playing this weekend owing to their participation in the final of the Capital One Cup, Liverpool have the chance to leapfrog the Citizens for the third spot and might as well finish this week in second place if Arsenal loose in their Premier League encounter against Stoke City.
Brendan Rodger’s men have been in ravishing form and their four goals against Swansea last time out allowed them to overtake Man City as the league’s top scorers.
Preview: Liverpool back on the pitch after being out during a European week
Champions League football; these are the three words resounding on the minds of Liverpool’s board, management, players and supporters worldwide. The five-time European winners have been out of the continent’s most prestigious competition for too long. However, they are on track to fulfilling their dream of a Top Four finish in the Premier League this season.
Fired up for Sunday’s fixture at home to Swansea City, striker Luis Suarez explained to Liverpool Echo:
Preview: Recent defeat and Champions League will be on Arsenal's mind
It was not too long ago that both Arsenal and Liverpool met at Anfield. Things did not go so well for the Gunners, who headed home with a heavy defeat, with four of Liverpool’s five goals coming in the opening 20 minutes of the match.
They will now get a chance to bounce back against the Reds, but this time at the Emirates.
One of Arsenal’s concerns will be their upcoming fixture against Bayern Munich. The North London side will go head-to-head with the German champions mid-week, which could cause Arsene Wenger to make some changes to his squad.
Preview: Reds looking to close down gap between the top three
After a scintillating performance over the weekend which saw Liverpool record a highly impressive 5-1 victory over title favourites Arsenal, Brendan Rodger’s men will be hoping to continue their good form in order to close down the gap between themselves and the top three.
Liverpool’s powerful performance against the Gunners saw them dethroning Arsenal from the top of the league and considering the form they are currently in Liverpool will be fancying to have a go for the title and perhaps make it a four horse race for the title.
Preview: Liverpool will try to break a bad streak against the Gunners
It has been quite some time since Liverpool has managed to defeat the Gunners in Premier League play at Anfield. You have to go all the way back to 2007, when the Reds defeated Arsenal 4-1, with a hat-trick from Peter Crouch.
Nearly seven long years since that victory, Brendan Rodgers will hope his squad can change their fortunes.
Earlier this season when these two sides met at the Emirates, the North London side came out on top 2-0. A first half goal from Santi Cazorla was capped off with a brilliant strike from Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh international will not feature due to an injury, but Liverpool's back-four will have to keep a close eye on the Spaniard.
For those familiar with 90’s music, if the Barclays Premier League was a song this season, it might have been the “Wind of Change” the Scorpions so passionately belted out. Arsenal topped the table until Manchester City took over in midweek. United is trying to get into…
Preview: Both managers looking for first Merseyside derby victory
The last three meetings between the two sides finished in a draw including the 3-3 thriller earlier in the season at Goodison Park. This implies that neither Brendan Rodgers nor Roberto Martinez have recorded a victory in the local derby as yet.
Only a single point separates the two sides as Liverpool enjoy a slender advantage over their counterparts but a defeat could allow the Toffees to overtake their counterparts and occupy the fourth spot.
Preview: Some icing on Luis Suarez’s birthday cake?
Brendan Rodgers will want to see his team improve on its defensive capabilities. The Merseyside Reds have not been quiet upfront this year, with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge offering supporters a lot to cheer about. However, there have been several holes at the back.
During the last 180 minutes in the Premier League, Liverpool have conceded as many as five goals – three against Stoke City and two against Aston Villa. As AFC Bournemouth appear to be weaker opponents than the Potters and the Villains, the need for the Reds to improve defensively looks imperative.
Preview: Can Liverpool add yet another win to their repertoire and stay in the title race?
Liverpool allowed a two goal lead to disappear into thin air against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium last weekend. However, they showed enough mental strength to earn their lead back and eventually secure a 3-5 victory. Aston Villa showed plenty of grit in their showing too. Unfortunately for them, their spirited fight back against the leaders Arsenal was not enough to earn them a point.
The Gunners struck twice within one minute in the first half; in the second half, they seemed rather laid back as they focused their attention to closing out the game. Villa had other ideas and pounced on Arsenal’s lackadaisical second half showing. When Christian Benteke scored, the Gunners seemed unsure. Villa attacked with vigor and could have scored another but the leaders held out. If anything, the display definitely brought the best out of their fans.
Preview: Liverpool looking for first league win at Britannia Stadium
Even though the Reds have fared well at the venue in the league cup matches against Stoke which includes the famous 8-0 victory in 2000, the Merseyside outfit have never scored a league victory at the Britannia Stadium.
Since Stoke were promoted to England’s top-tier league in 2008, the two teams have met five times at the Britannia Stadium and not once have Liverpool recorded all three points. This time around Liverpool will be looking to end the voodoo by putting a strong performance against the hosts.
Despite not featuring in European football, today’s football fixture lists are so congested especially in the Premier League that not having a deep squad can ruin a team’s chances of acquiring its preseason goals.
And Liverpool, after making an excellent start to the Premier League campaign, risk undoing all good they have achieved these past few months due to injuries to key players and not having enough players for a particular department. For this reason, Brendan Rodgers needs to identify players he can target in the January transfer window and bring them to Anfield in order to address this concern.
Preview: Will Liverpool prioritize the League over the Cup?
The team from Merseyside topped the table on Christmas only to fall to fourth by the New Year. However, both their defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea came by a single goal. They were unlucky to lose to City and matched the 2011 Champions stride for stride. The games showed that Liverpool can more than hold their own ground against tough opposition.
Now that Champions League football is actually a viable option, will Liverpool sacrifice the Cup for its millions? They reached the FA Cup final in 2012, losing out to Chelsea in a closely fought affair. This time, in the third round, they have a much easier opponent in the shape of Oldham. They will come into this match without three of their important players.
Preview: Reds to tame the Tigers?
The euphoria that reigned among Liverpool fans when the club recorded a vital 3-1 win over Cardiff to enter Boxing Day on top of the Christmas Tree has quickly faded. Competition in the 2013/14 Premier League is so tight that every victory is rewarding and every error is costly.
“We've had two really tough fixtures against two of the strongest squads in the Premier League. To get them back-to-back at this time of year was always a big ask and with so many injuries as well,” manager Brendan Rodgers told the press after Sunday’s defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Preview: Spotlight on Suarez at the Bridge, following biting incident
Dejection reigns in the camp of the Merseyside Reds who were the victims of questionable officiating in Thursday’s super match away to Manchester City. Sterling was wrongly called off for offside while Luis Suarez had a genuine penalty appeal turned down.
The visitors ended up losing the game 2-1, consequently conceding the first spot to Arsenal. This came much to the fury of Brendan Rodgers who interrogated the honesty of the English FA.
Preview: A titanic clash
Manchester City have maintained a perfect home record this season, with eight wins. They’ve conceded only five goals at the Etihad, three of those coming in the epic goal fest against Arsenal in mid-December.
Since their convincing 3-0 victory on the first day of the month, the Citizens have been unable to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League. They struggled to record a 4-2 win at Fulham last weekend, bringing their tally to eight goals allowed in only four matches.
Preview: Stage set for bad boy Suarez to wow the crowd again
As the intense Christmas period arrives, Liverpool supporters have received just the kind of boost they need. The club’s most important player, Luis Suarez, has pledged his future to the club, killing off huge interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid.
According to rumours, the Gunners and Los Blancos were set to rock the January transfer window by rekindling the Luis Suarez saga. However, the Uruguyan has proven that football at Anfield is his focus this season.
“We have some great players and the team is growing and improving all the time,” the striker declared after finalizing his new £200K-a-week contract.
Preview: Roberto Soldado vs Luis Suarez
Ex-Valencia striker Roberto Soldado found his scoring boots at the right time. On Thursday, the misfiring striker finally overcame his frustration to notch in a hat-trick in Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 win at home to Russian side Anzhi.
“I'm extremely happy for him,” said his manager, Andre Villas-Boas, after the game.
“He's been waiting for a moment like this and it finally happened tonight with a hat-trick. It will be major boost for a player who has been very professional and deserves respect.”
This is the time of the season when the true grit of every Premier League club is exposed. And this is the time when a team’s credentials and true aspirations speak for themselves. The same could be said of Liverpool. From December 15, till January 1, 2014, the Reds play five Premier League games starting with Sunday’s away trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
As things stand, Brendan Rodgers’ men are in second place in the league standings and while the position speaks volumes of how well the Merseysiders have done, his squad has already been stretch quite a much with a few key players showing signs of a burn out which result in injuries more often than not.
Preview: Spotlight on Luis Suarez
The Uruguayan is undoubtedly the man of the moment in England. His undisputable talent was exhibited in midweek when Liverpool hosted Norwich City. The game was of high importance – not so much because of the opposition’s size on paper, but because of the Merseyside Reds’ obligation to bounce back from their shocking 3-1 loss away to Hull City last weekend.
Buoyed by his individual great record against Norwich, Luis Suarez went on to do more than what was expected of him. He scored four goals – all of which were stunning – and provided an assist to Sterling as his side rounded up a fantastic 5-1 win.