Liverpool v Swansea City – Match Preview

Liverpool will be without talismanic captain Steven Gerrard once again for Saturday’s game against Swansea City at Anfield with the Welsh side still searching for a first away win.

The absence of Gerrard is a massive blow to boss Kenny Dalglish who admitting that his side will have to be extremely patient if they are to beat the Swans. The Reds returned to winning ways last week coming away from the Midlands victorious after beating West Brom 2-0 at the Hawthorns. After two successive draws at home Dalglish’s side produced a resolute performance to see off the Baggies and extend their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions. £35 million record buy Andy Carroll was on target for the third time this season in last week’s victory and there are signs that a partnership with Luis Suarez is beginning to form. Charlie Adam is also stepping up his game in midfield whilst Jose Enrique could turn out to be one of the buys of the summer after his solid performances at left back. It’s the loss of Gerrard, this time to an ankle infection, that will force Dalglish into a change in midfield. However it shouldn’t derail Liverpool’s hopes of beating Swansea with a win potentially moving them into the top four. Their record against the Welshman is impressive and some fans will remember the 8-0 hammering they handed out in an FA Cup third round tie in 1990. The Reds are unbeaten at Anfield this season and Brendan Rodgers’ side picking up only one point on the road all season the Kop faithful should be confident of celebrating a win on Saturday.

Victory away from home is becoming something of an alien phrase for Rodgers and his side with four defeats and a draw away from the Liberty Stadium. Whilst it’s not a problem at the moment for Swansea it could come back to haunt them later in the season as they are currently relying on the unbeaten record at home to keep them in the top half of the table. It could have been so different two weeks ago had they not surrendered a two goal advantage at Wolves. They travel to Merseyside this weekend with the knowledge that they haven’t beaten Liverpool at Anfield in 15 top flight meetings with their only victory coming in an 1954 FA Cup sixth round fixture. Despite their dreadful away record Swansea have been solid and kept true to the fluid passing philosophy that Rodgers employed when he took over as boss 18 months ago. Record signing Danny Graham, who struggled early on, has grown into his role as the Swan’s number one source of goals and is looking to score for the fifth successive game. Scott Sinclair and Nathan Dyer provide plenty of width and pace on the flanks whilst Joe Allen’s performances seem to get better every week in the centre of midfield. If Rodgers can get them and the rest of the starting eleven in sync then they may just stand a chance of claiming a very valuable point at Anfield if not all three.

Key Players

Charlie Adam – It’s been a huge step up for Adam since his summer move from Blackpool and after an initial struggle he is starting to show the type of form that made Dalglish spend big on his services. His passing range and vision from the centre has been impeccable in the last month or so and he’s also weighing in with some goals. Could be the natural successor to Gerrard.

Ashley Williams – Whereas Grahama and Sinclair bask in the plaudits they get for scoring goals it’s Williams who should be lathered in praise. The big Welsh defender has been solid and uncompromising at the back and he’ll be integral to snuffing out Carroll and Suarez this weekend. His aerial tussle with the former is one to keep an eye on.

Prediction: 2-0 

  • Charlie Adam is Liverpool’s top ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in 33rd place
  • Charlie Adam has also covered more ground than any other Liverpool player, covering 104,702 metres so far this season (121.18 metres per minute)
  • Swansea’s top performer in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index is Welsh international defender Ashley Williams who is ranked 56th in the Barclays Premier League having won 71% of his 21 tackles attempted.
  • Williams has also made 15 clearances and 19 interceptions so far this season, putting him in the top 20 in the Premier League for both, along with 10 blocks, putting him in the top 1o

 


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