Liverpool - Blackburn

Liverpool started to raise their shape in correct time as they’ve approached to the final third of the season. The fact is 4th place would save the season as it wasn’t achieved more than that in previous campaigns. Otherwise, club would see a departure of Torres and probably Gerrard. However, they’re four points behind 4th Man.City and have to collect points in games like today’s. Good thing is Gerrard has been returning his shape which means all team plays for about 25% percents better. Rafa faces defensive problems as Skrtel suffered a broken metatarsal in EL, Kyrgiakos remains suspended and Johnson just started with light training. Carragher will return to his natural position in the center of defense, while Rafa will give a chance to Degen or youngster Martin Kelly on right back. The Reds like to play against Blackburn. They have lost only once to Rovers in their last 22 league meetings and only once at Anfield in last 15 games. 

Blackburn hold 12th place on the table, with ten points margin from relegation zone and it seems Big Sam has making an excellent job with, I think it is fair to say, limited squad. They look comfortable, but only thankfully to their record at home where they’ve collected 28 of total 34 points. On the road, they’re defending trying to keep 0-0, but it has only resulted with 8 scored goals (31 conceded) in 13 games! At the same time, their away record against top Premier sides looks more than discouraging. Arsenal (2-6), Chelsea (0-5), Man.Utd. (0-2), Everton (0-3), Man.City (1-4), Aston Villa (1-3, 4-6)! In last two visits two Anfield, they conceded seven goals in total (0-4, 1-3). Also, defense line will miss the skipper Ryan Nelsen. Chris Samba returns after a ban, while Dunn, Basturk, Di Santo and Reid played a midweek reserve game and will appear.

Liverpool desperately need three points and there’s no space for any kind of relaxation. It’s too big stake. They perform much better and consistent than before a month, for example and I expect a confident performance. On the other hand, Rovers feel comfortable in the middle of the table and possible defeat at Anfield wouldn’t be a disaster. I expect little less defensive formation from Allardyce than usual and few goals conceded. Liverpool win with -1.5 handicap.

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