Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Match Preview: Brighton vs Liverpool

Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat to Tottenham when they take on Championship high-flyers Brighton in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

The Reds made a bright start to the season but their good early work has been undone to some extent following back-to-back losses against Stoke and Spurs in the Premier League.

Having gone down 4-0 at White Hart Lane on Sunday, Kenny Dalglish will be determined to return to winning ways at the Amex Stadium and make it through to the last 16 of the Carling Cup.

And Dalglish will be boosted by the return of inspirational captain Steven Gerrard, who is poised to make his first appearance in six months following groin surgery.

New signing Sebastian Coates is likely to be given a full debut in central defence while Craig Bellamy could get his first start since returning to the club last month.

Midfielder Charlie Adam and defender Martin Skrtel serve one-match bans after red cards against Tottenham.

Brighton will use the match as an opportunity to further measure their progress, having earned promotion to the Championship at the end of last season and made a fine start to life in the second tier.

Gus Poyet's side were beaten 1-0 by Leicester on Saturday but remain third in the standings and will now hope for a further boost by claiming a famous cup victory.

Poyet has admitted Brighton will need a 'perfect' performance if they are to prevail, but he will be forced into at least one change for the visit of the Reds.

Former Tottenham defender Mauricio Taricco, now Albion's assistant manager, is poised to start at left-back as Marcos Painter is suspended.

Painter was sent off for two yellow cards during Saturday's defeat at Leicester and serves a one-match ban.

Striker Will Hoskins has finally recovered from the hip injury which has sidelined him since the opening day of the season, while former Spain midfielder Vicente has been building up his fitness after joining as a free agent last month and could be added to the squad.

Poyet must also decide whether to risk young defender Lewis Dunk, who is one booking away from a ban.

Dalglish Seeks Response At Brighton

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish says his players are determined to repay the fans for the club's disappointing loss at the weekend when they take on Brighton in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

Liverpool slumped to a 4-0 Premier League defeat versus Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday in a game at White Hart Lane that saw Reds duo Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel sent off to leave the Reds with a mountain to climb.

Dalglish is now seeking a response from his charges in their midweek outing at Championship side Brighton, with club captain Steven Gerrard's pencilled in return from injury set to boost Liverpool.

He said: "The fans supported us fantastically and I think the boys will bear that in mind and look forward to repaying them in some way. Sunday didn't please anybody and the players were really disappointed.

"We have got to get ourselves right and concentrate on ourselves. We are pleased to be in the Carling Cup and our intention is to stay in it for as long as we possibly can."

Poyet Seeks Perfect Performance

Brighton boss Gus Poyet admits his side will need to play the "perfect" game if they are to beat Liverpool in the Carling Cup.

Championship hopefuls Brighton welcome Liverpool to the Amex Stadium in their third round tie on Wednesday night.

The Seagulls have already knocked out Liverpool's Premier League rivals Sunderland in the previous round, but Poyet believes his side will need a little luck if they are to send Kenny Dalglish's troops packing.

"We need to be at the top of our game and be a bit lucky, and maybe if Liverpool isn’t then we've got a chance," said Poyet.

"If both teams play at the same level Liverpool should win because they are quicker, stronger and better technically.

"We have to make sure we are better than them on the day and take our chances. You need practically the perfect game to beat them - but we are going to try."

Danny Wilson Keen For Liverpool FC Chance To Impress In Carling Cup

Danny Wilson is hoping to get the opportunity to impress Kenny Dalglish in tonight’s Carling Cup tie against Brighton.

The 19-year-old Liverpool defender’s only appearance so far this season was in the last round at Exeter City.

“Hopefully the manager decides to play me again and I’ll look to take the chance that comes along,” he said.

“If you’re not getting a run of games and are only given one opportunity then you need to make sure you take it.

“Brighton has just come up from League One and is going well in the Championship. It will be a tricky game but we just need to focus on ourselves. If we apply ourselves in the right way we are a match for any team.”

Wilson, who cost £2million from Rangers in the summer of 2010, has been limited to just nine appearances for the Reds so far.

“I’m delighted to be here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he added.

“I feel like I’ve improved as a player but I haven’t played enough games. I haven’t got control over that.

“I can only try my hardest. The more games I get the happier I’ll be with my progress.

“It’s difficult for me with all these top players ahead of me but I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think I was up to the challenge. I’m only 19 and I’ve still got time on my side.”

Liverpool & Spurs Still Pursuing £20m Brazilian

Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas is still in the sights of Liverpool and Tottenham, it has been claimed.

According to Corriere dello Sport, the Barclays Premier League duo have been joined in the pursuit of the £20 million-rated 19-year-old by Roma, with the latter considering a January bid.

The Brazil international has also been linked with Manchester United in the past, but Anfield and White Hart Lane have since emerged as more likely destinations.

Liverpool and Spurs are alleged to be maintaining contact with Sau Paulo in the lead up to the new year, when both clubs are expected to dip into the transfer market once more.

Spurs are, perhaps, more likely to make substantial investments when the transfer window reopens, having failed to make a significant impact during the summer.

Harry Redknapp added only Brad Friedel, Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker to his first-team squad. However, perhaps more importantly, Spurs did manage to keep Luka Modric from the clutches of Chelsea.

Liverpool, meanwhile, enjoyed a particularly fruitful few months as Kenny Dalglish built a squad capable of qualifying for the Champions League.

Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Alexander Doni, Jose Enrique, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy all signed for Liverpool to aid their quest for European football.

Agger Out For A Month

Liverpool's current problems have been compounded by the news Daniel Agger will be out for up to a month with a fractured rib.

The cultured defender was substituted before half-time in Sunday's 4-0 defeat against Tottenham following a heavy fall.

For all his talent, Agger seems to have been dogged by injuries during his time at Anfield, and now faces a fresh setback having earned a place in Kenny Dalglish's team.

Dalglish confirmed the injury to the club's in-house television station.

"Daniel has got a fractured rib, so he's struggling a bit," Dalglish told

Per Steffensen, Agger's agent, articulated the frustration of the Denmark international who seems to be riddled with bad luck.

"It's the worst possible news. He has broken two ribs, and he must keep still for four weeks," Steffensen told

He added on "Daniel is way down now and I certainly sympathize with him.

"He will miss the two (international) matches against Cyprus and Portugal and there is a match against Manchester United he also misses.

"It's insanely annoying."

Ian Rush Signs Up For Meningitis UK Vaccine Campaign

A Merseyside mum joined ex-Liverpool FC player Ian Rush to campaign for a life saving vaccine.

Sue Burke, 31, from St Helens met the former Wales and Reds striker and charity patron at Anfield, to call for a Meningitis B jab.

Ms. Burke’s nine-month-old son, Cieran, was left profoundly deaf, and sufferers epilepsy among other health problems after contracting the disease.

Ian, who is an ambassador and patron of Meningitis UK, said: “I had meningitis as a child, and was very lucky to survive without any disabilities. Therefore, I am pleased to support this campaign.”

Borrell: We Need Our Best Display So Far

Rodolfo Borrell has called for Liverpool Reserves to produce their best display of the season when they face Wolfsburg in a crucial NextGen Series encounter in Germany tonight.

The Reds needed a late own goal to salvage a point when the two sides locked horns at Anfield last week, leaving Group 2 wide open.

The Spaniard feels it is too early to claim that the clash is 'must-win' but accepts his team will have to step up a level if they are to come away with a positive result.

Borrell told "I think it's more about it being a 'must produce a good performance' type of game.

"Anything can happen when you play against a team with such a strong squad. But we have a very good team too.

"We still have two more games in the group after this one. It's more about putting right what we did wrong in the previous game.

"If we come away with a win then obviously we will be in a much better situation. But it's an improved display we are looking for first of all."

He added: "I think Wolfsburg are very strong but I'm just focusing on my own team.

"They are very well organized. German teams are often like this and I'm expecting a very difficult game, just like it was at Anfield.

"They used two players from their first-team set-up in the 1-1 draw last week, so we know what we will be facing."

Liverpool, Wolfsburg and Molde are currently locked in a battle to secure the second qualifying berth after Sporting Lisbon opened up a five point lead at the top of the standings.

Borrell acknowledges that the Portuguese outfit has been a class apart so far and expects the fight for second spot to go to the wire.

He said: "Sporting Lisbon are better than the other sides in the group. I think they must be up there as one of the favourites to win the whole competition. They have massive quality.

"The rest of the group is very tight. The three squads - the Germans, the Norwegians and ourselves - have different characteristics but we are all better and worse in different areas.

"It will be tight. Okay, we beat Molde away but they also beat Wolfsburg who then drew with us at home.

"It will be close but I think it is important for our players to face these different styles. You can only get positives for your club and for your team."

Borrell remains tight-lipped as to who could feature in his starting XI in Germany but insists that whoever puts on the red shirt will only have one objective in mind.

"We have some physical problems with some players but we will have to wait and see," he added.

"Whether we are missing players or not, the lads I send out there will be going out to give a great performance."