20) SUNDAY DECEMBER 30TH : LIVERPOOL (HOME)
Moved forward from Saturday and K.O. at 4pm
Formed in 1892 when Everton vacated Anfield. Ups and downs until back to div 1904/05, where they stayed until dropping into the 2nd Div in 1954, for an incredible 8 seasons, returning under Shanks in ’62, and the rest is history.
They’ve won 18 league titles (from 1901 to 1990); 5 times Euro Cup winners; 7 times FA Cup winners (65 to 06); 3 times UEFA/Fairs Cup winners; once Euro Super Cup winners (77/78); 7 times League Cup winners (‘81 to ’03).
Some names/connections : Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Keegan,Toshack, Souness, Grobelaar, Rush, Dalglish, Barnes, Anelka… Beatles, Cilla Black, Elvis Costello, Echo and the Bunnymen, Pete Wylie,
Matt Busby, George Livingstone (our first Scottish international, I presume!), Steve McMahon, Paul Stewart, Mike Robinson, Mark Seagraves, Joe Fagan, Mark Kennedy, Paul Walsh, Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Keegan, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Didi Hamann.
Rafael Benitez squad includes : Reina, Carragher, Hypia, Finnan, Gerrard, Riise, Mascherano, Pennant, Babel, Kuyt, Torres, Agger (dooo doo doo), Sissoko, Alonso, Crouch, Kewell, Itandje, Voronin, Arbeloa, Lucas, Benayoun, Hobbs, Aurelio,
Last season ; At Anfield in November it was a narrow 1-0 defeat for us, Gerrard scoring for them in the 62nd minute whilst we never looked remotely like scoring. 44,081 (2, 953 Blues)
They lost in the final of the champs league, and finished 3rd.
This season so far : Out went Bellamy, Pongolle, Cisse, Garcia, Fowler, Hammill, Dudek, Peltier, for £21M
In came Torres, Benayoun, Leiva, Mihaylov, Kacaniklic, Nemeth, Simon, Pacheco, Amoo, Purie, San Jose, Veronin for £40m
Currently they’re in 4th place with 36 points from 18 games and 6 wins 2 draws 1 loss away from home. In the Carling they went out at Chelsea.In the Champs league they’ve recovered with good performances and are through to the next stages. In the F.A.Cup they’re away at Luton (again) .
Our form in Manc v Liverpool : Last season we managed a 0-0 draw.making it 3 wins 6 draws 2 losses in the last eleven.
Post war attendances ranged from 17,975 in 70/71 to 70, 640 in the F.A, Cup 5th round in 55/56.
Best win 6-0 in 1936. worst defeat 5-0 in 81/82 .
Other moments: Biggest games were the League cup semis of ’81, when we were robbed 1-0 at M/Rd (Alf Grey) and murdered ‘em 1-1 at Anfield
Comment : Still not the really scary Liverpool we once knew, but they have enough quality in their squad to cause us problems. Our recent record isn’t too bad though so you never know….
STATS: 64 pre-war and 78 post-war make it our 143rd league meeting and here p/w it’s:
Played: 39 Won 10 Drawn 12 Lost 17.
Last Pot: Euro Champs Cup 05.
Last Att: 44,081 (2,953 L’pool)
Wwtwtwshite : Av’d 22,742 in 31/32
Their current home average attendance : 43,880