He looked fantastic
Liverpool supporters around the world have been counting down the days until striker Daniel Sturridge was fit enough to run out for the club again, and though we’ve seen some false dawns, it’s starting to look like he’ll be fit enough to face West Ham United when they visit Anfield on Saturday.
Although he didn’t expand on exactly how much of a part the 25-year old is expecting to play, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was upbeat in regards to the prospect of being able to name him to the side. “No question,” said the Northern Irishman when asked if his absence has had an effect on results. “I think it’s had a huge impact on our season. “He hasn’t played and the team struggled for a few months, but thankfully we’ve now nailed down a way of working and returned to our football ideals.”
Fighting to be fit
The blow of going out by such a thin margin in the League Cup on Tuesday may be starting to abate somewhat, but there could be some longer term ramifications to come out of the match with defender Mamadou Sakho facing a fitness test ahead of the meeting with West Ham on Saturday.
The Frenchman, who was withdrawn in the 57th minute after picking up a back injury, has enjoyed a resurgence in the Reds defence since boss Brendan Rodgers switched up the formation. The former Paris St. Germain captain has become an integral part of the three-man back line that the Northern Irishman has favoured as of late alongside Emre Can and Martin Skrtel with results improving markedly. Although the 24-year old has said he’s OK, there’s still a degree of worry out there that he won’t be fit enough to face the Hammers at Anfield this weekend.
Video courtesy of MrBeanyman
It took extra time and a whole lot of nerves, but Chelsea made up for their weekend capitulation to League One side Bradford City in the FA Cup by sneaking past Liverpool to secure a spot in the League Cup final. Against the best team in the land, the Reds put in more than a good account of themselves over the two legs despite coming up short — yet again — in front of the net.
An inability to find the net at the weekend put Liverpool in a precarious position by allowed Bolton Wanderers to snag a replay in the FA Cup, and that worrying trend carried on as the Reds were knocked out of the League Cup by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Despite being arguably the best team in the land, it took the Blues until extra time before they could fashion a winner with Branislav Ivanovic’s free header from a Willian free-kick from the edge of the box enough to secure Jose Mourniho’s men safe passage to Wembley Stadium. On the back of such a pulsating affair, it’d be a bit harsh to say that Liverpool’s defending let them down again — to be fair, this one should have been wrapped up long before the Serbian nodded home.
We’ve got confidence
Cup competitions always pose a huge question mark, but following the surprising results at the weekend, the second leg of tomorrow’s League Cup semi-final has become even more unpredictable.
After dominating Chelsea in the first leg, Liverpool followed up that performance with a scoreless draw against Championship side Bolton Wanderers at Anfield, allowing the Trotters to secure themselves a lucrative replay. While the added strain of an additional fixture crammed into an already bursting schedule is a conversation better suited for another day, it’s a talk that the Blues wouldn’t mind having after they were dumped out of the competition by League One side Bradford City in front of their own fans.