I'm back from Budapest and bringing you what hopefully will turn out to be an iconic match preview in the build up to a game that is easily the most important one in my lifetime as a Liverpool fan when concerning the league. The Reds prepare to face the might of Manchester City on Sunday whilst also assembling a fitting memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough as we near the 25th anniversary of that fateful day.
As expected Davide Santon comes in at right back, but there's a bit of a surprise in that Dan Gosling is given a chance to add some much needed creativity to the Newcastle midfield and Dan gets a start this afternoon. It looks like Vurnon Anita will play out on the right wing in place [...]
Liverpool make the trip down south on Sunday afternoon as they prepare to face Sam Allardyce's West Ham side. With the Reds sitting proudly on their perch, an away game against a side that can cause problems is a daunting task for Liverpool and as Brendan Rodgers has said many times we must take each game as it comes.
If the "one step forward, two steps backward" pattern that United have established this season is anything to go by, expect the Reds to suffer a catastrophic defeat at Newcastle tomorrow,having delivered one of the most unexpected results of the season on Tuesday night.
The fact United travel to the North East with all the focus on Wednesday's return leg in Munich is extremely surprising, given the general and justified doom and gloom that surrounded the club ahead of Tuesday's 1-1 draw.
Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Sunday as they aim to collect a more convincing win after a somewhat nervy 90 minutes with Sunderland midweek. After confidently beating Spurs on their own turf, Brendan Rodgers will surely have faith in his side to seal the deal in the reverse fixture this weekend.
Alan Pardew has produced a couple of surprises in that he has given a start to Massadio Haidara at left back, and a good move is that Ben Arfa is also in the starting line-up at Southampton today. Ben Arfa - starts today at St. Mary's And as half expected Luuk de Jong is relegated [...]
Liverpool are back on the hallowed turf of Anfield on Wednesday evening as they prepare to face Sunderland. After a thoroughly exciting if somewhat worrying tie with Cardiff at the weekend, the Reds will be looking for a smoother win this time out.
Good news for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has no new injuries to contend with.
Alan Pardew has kept the same starting side from Saturday, when we beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and that made it three wins in our last four games. Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux and Shola Ameobi are again on the bench and they could see some action tonight against a very good Everton side and [...]
It seems that John Carver has been getting along well with Hatem Ben Arfa, who was the difference between the sides once he was brought on after 59 minutes on Saturday, and it turns out that Alan Pardew and John Carver had decided at half time, that if the score was still 0-0 after an [...]
There's no rest for the wicked and so, just three days after producing the sort of performance we had been demanding since August, United turn their attention back to the Premier League, desperately hoping to build on Wednesday's positives to arrive to Tuesday's night derby in slightly more buoyant mood than they've been all season.
Liverpool travel to Wales on Saturday on the back of a brilliant win at Old Trafford. Brendan Rodgers' will be aiming to keep the moment going and avoid a slip up at Cardiff as the Reds aim to keep the pressure on in their ever more serious title challenge. With Chelsea also hosting Arsenal this weekend, it could be another interesting weekend for Liverpool.
We seems to have got the team right this time, and the in-form Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa moves across to right-back for the injured Mathieu Debuchy, and striker Papiss Cisse starts for the injured Loic Remy up front and captain Coloccini returns to lead the side at Craven Cottage today And 17 year-old Adam Armstrong is [.
Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday as they prepare to face old rivals Manchester United in an important Premier League tie. A trip away to United would usually pose some concern for Liverpool fans but with the way this season has panned out so far the majority of the fear has been dismissed and Brendan Rodgers must feel his side can get the better of David Moyes' boys this weekend.
We thought Newcastle had a decent chance of winning the game at the KC Stadium this afternoon, but there's no doubt that it's a severe blow that captain Fabricio Coloccini will not be in the team today at the KC Stadium. Colo has been given compassionate leave to return to Argentina because of a family [.
Liverpool travel to St Mary's Stadium on Saturday as they prepare to face Southampton. The Reds have just come off the back of a dramatic Swansea win and will no doubt be aiming to fix their evident defensive issues in this fixture however Southampton beat the Reds at home earlier in the season and so they will certainly be applying pressure on the Liverpool goal.
Fabricio Coloccini returns to the Newcastle side against Aston Villa this afternoon, and Davide Santon and Luuk de Jong are both dropped and in come local lad Paul Dummett and Papiss Cisse. As expected Steven Taylor drops down to the bench to make way for the captain and both Loic Remy and Chieck Tiote also [.
While tomorrow's game may not be a must-win game, it is certainly, absolutely and most definitelya must-not-lose game. We have lost three games on the trot and five games on the trot at home, so a sixth successive home defeat would be almost unbearable and it would certainly put manager Alan Pardew under enormous pressure, [.
Having spent the first leg defending in the trenches that were dug around their 16-yard box while trying to hit Bayern on the counter, United travel to Germany knowing that, at some stage during the game, they'll have to shed the ponderous and dithering cloth they've worn all season and attack.
The last time Bayern Munich traveled to Old Trafford, they found themselves 3-0 down in less than 20 minutes, only to claw their way back into the game thanks, in no small part, to Rafael's sending off, before Arjen Robben's wonder strike ensured they'd progress to the semifinal.
Such heroics are not likely to be needed tonight, when the German and European champions face United in what is arguably the most unbalanced of the four quarter finals and will likely prove to be the Reds' last Champions League at Old Trafford for who knows how long.
It had to happen eventually and it has. The roles have swapped and for the first time in almost three decades City arrive at Old Trafford as firm favourites. It's them chasing the title (after dreams of a Quad...ops Treb...have been stupendously dashed) and it's United who have got nothing else to play for if not local pride and, small time though it might sound, the chance of scuppering City's title bid.
The final nail in the coffin? Some desperately needed positives or just another routine disappointment followed by the usual post-match interview filled with regrets and coated in mild disappointment? Nobody quite knows what we can expect from tonight, although the chances of United bidding farewell to the Champions League are far greater than to see progress to the quarter finals.
How things change. The last time United traveled to this part of the country, they conceded five goals and scored just as many during 90 incredible minutes and yet the game itself was nothing more than a mere backdrop to what was the day's main event Sir Alex Ferguson's last ever game in charge of Manchester United.
And so onto Greece, for what's likely to be one of United's last Champions League ties for a while, definitely at least until the 2015-16 season and definitely the last the Reds can reasonably be considered favourites for this season, given that Thursdays are increasingly likely to become the new Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The Portland Timbers play their second road match of 2014 hoping to see their offensive fortunes change against a club, FC Dallas, where they enjoyed some success in 2013. FCD is one of the hotter teams to start the 2014 campaign with a diversified scoring group, but they have several questions on defense that should set this match up as a potential high scoring affair.
It could be an adventure when the Portland Timbers travel to Denver, Colorado to play the Colorado Rapids on March 22 in their first of three scheduled meetings. The weather is expected to be wintry - snow, wind and cold conditions - but Portland is hoping to jump start their offense despite the distractions Mother Nature has in store for them.
Week 2 of MLS actions features a matchup between two sides at Providence Park that are looking to rebound from disappointing results from week 1 - the Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire. Chicago lost to Chivas USA 3 to 2 on a very late goal in regulation time while Portland needed to strike in stoppage to level against Philadelphia at home.
The 2014 MLS regular season starts on March 8 when the Portland Timbers host the Philadelphia Union. History from previous Timbers openers should tell us that there should be rain, goals, and smiles from the Timbers Army, but Philadelphia has added some serious pieces to a strong club that would love to leave the Rose City with three points.
"These are wonderful times to be a Manchester United fan, particularly as the Reds look to clinch their 20th title when Aston Villa visit Old Trafford tomorrow." No, I haven't lost my marbles not all of them anyway I simply thought that nothing would illustrate how far we've fallen this season as the different circumstances surrounding this fixture eight months ago, hence the choice to recycle a line from last season.
The importance of the match for both David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers â€“ albeit for very different reasons â€“ and the nature of the rivalry between their respective clubs may mean that Sunday's encounter between Manchester United and Liverpool is more of a battle of stealth than strategy. However, here's a quick look at how the sides, if they continue with the game-plans that have brought them success in recent weeks, may approach the game.
Forget about finishing seventh and having to make do with the Europa League next season, forget about relinquishing any chances of defending the title as early as in December, forget even about the utterly dire football we have witnessed over the last eight months: Sunday's is the game David Moyes simply can't afford to lose.
Seattle Sounders v Sporting Kansas City Preview - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
MLS' national TV and marquee matchup on opening weekend is defending champion Sporting Kansas City traveling to CenturyLink Field to take on the revamped Seattle Sounders. You can tune in to watch the game live on NBCSN on Saturday, March 8, at 3 pm ET/12 pm PT, or follow it on MLSsoccer.