Tuesday, 11 December 2007

The Old Hammer Trick, Eh?

Well there's only one major story today, and unfortunately, it's about Liverpool, so here's a preview of Grand Slam Tuesday Group A (tm) in which Marseilles face Liverpool in a bid to qualify for the next round.

Liverpool played poorly against Reading and will need to be at the top of their game tonight to resist the French. Djibril Cisse and Boudewijn Zenden, despite being in and out of the team so far this season, would be expected to make the classic old boy revenge (and I'm not talking about ripping teeth out with a hammer, as in the film Old Boy). Cisse has been rightly castigated for being rubbish season, and Niang has instead been providing threat up front. Valbuena has provided creativity and their league form is slowly coming around.

Marseilles manager Eric Gerets said: "It will be a fast-paced match and in my opinion, Liverpool are going to try to pass the ball around three times quicker than they did on the first match between us".
It must be a mis-translation, I'm sure he meant 3 times further, eh, Stevie G?

Rafa Benitez says it's the most important game of the season so far, and he's right, but there's a lot more of them to come over the coming months, especially for a man under fire like he is.
Liverpool have scored 22 goals in their last six games and should go into this game with confidence, the Reading result not withstanding. Carragher, Torres and Gerrard should be well rested after their 70 mins on Saturday, and providing Ricky Hatton didn't keep them up too long I am predicting Liverpool to get the result they need, a win. Liverpool should play with "controlled fury"* and at great pace, and Marseilles should have no answer. Any other approach and I fear the Pool could be in big trouble.

Either way it should be a great game of football, and I'm most interested in seeing what hairstyle Cisse is sporting and whether Zenden has learnt how to control a football.

In the other games tonight:
FC Porto v Besiktas - 2-0. Porto should have enough quality for the win to see them through

Chelsea v Valencia, - 2-0. Valencia seem to be a shambles. It's called Karma, Koeman!
Schalke 04 v Rosenborg, 2-1. Schalke have done well this far, the dream ends for the Norwegians.

Olympiakos v Werder Bremen and Real Madrid v Lazio. All 4 teams can qualify but Real are a certainty, 2-0, and I've a sneaky feeling Werder could win in Greece, but the smart money is on a draw that will send Olympiakos through: 1-1.


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* Copyright Stephen Hunt


JJ said...

"I fear the Pool could be in big trouble", there's a sentence I never thought I'd read in one of your blog's boss.

I think they should beat them, Real v Lazio could be a cracker too. Champions League minus Celtic, always worth watching.

Mark said...

point taken but the fear comes from having to listen to furious/loyal pool fans and neutrals banging on about liverpool should things go wrong. i don't think my nerves are up to it

JJ said...

Good point, well made.

Mark said...

Zenden - rubbish, naturally.

Cisse - his hair was the least impressive thing about him last night

Valbuena - for a playmaker he can't pass the ball

Liverpool - all excellent, even Kuyt

and the results, i got 4/6 right, chelsea being worse than expected, and Olympiakos getting a great win

JJ said...

Well played boss, will leave the predictions to yourself in future. Didn't watch eamo and the lads afterwards as all I heard when i turned over was 'the great sides, the sides that graeme played in'.

At this stage dunphy is becoming mighty tiresome with this souness-infatuation-induced argument, it's his 'ronaldo/great player' this year. Winning four nil away in a place where no english side has ever got three points in the champions league sounds pretty decent to me.

Mark said...

and by the way, what's all this shit about continental teams being great passers of the ball? didn't see much of that last night

JJ said...

Indeed boss, all that passing which makes the french league the lowest scoring in europe must be a joy to watch.

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