The Liverpool vs Swansea City match will take place this Sunday, February 23, 2014 (5:30 AM Pacific, 13:30 GMT). It will be a clash between mentor and protégé as Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool welcome Garry Monk’s Swansea City to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Despite being knocked out of the FA Cup under unfortunate circumstances, Rodgers has his spirits high and is hoping that their elimination from the competition will prove to be a silver lining in their league aspirations. Liverpool are favourites for a Champions League spot this season, but on current form, no one would blame them for aspiring to win the league as well.
Swansea City are the visitors on Sunday and Liverpool will be quietly confident of all three points at Anfield, where they have simply been irresistible in the last few months or so. However, complacency could be Liverpool’s worst enemy, as Swansea can be dangerous on their day and the Reds will certainly have to be at their best.
After the shock sacking of Michael Laudrup, Swansea City have shown signs of improvement after the appointment of Garry Monk. Under Monk, the Swans are yet to be beaten in the Premier League and recently earned a fine result against Napoli in the midweek Europa Cup clash, where they were unlucky not to win the game.
However, an away trip to Anfield to face Liverpool will provide the ultimate litmus test for Monk’s managerial abilities. Although the Swans getting a result looks improbable at the moment, they certainly have enough quality in their ranks to cause the mighty Reds a couple of problems and should head into the game without fear.
Brendan Rodgers has been handed a huge boost with the return of Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson from injuries. The duo should directly slot into the starting lineup in place of Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho while Martin Skrtel and Jon Flanagan complete the back four.
Jordan Henderson was given a rest in the FA Cup clash against Arsenal, but the dynamic young midfield should return to the starting lineup with Joe Allen making way. Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho will complete the midfield while Raheem Sterling provides the width down the right hand side.
The deadly combination of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will start in attack, with the two interchanging positions down the left and central positions.
Swansea City have a couple of injuries to contend with ahead of the clash. Star player, Michu, will probably not recover in time to start the clash, while Alex Pozuelo also looks set to miss out due to a hip injury.
The team that started against Napoli in the Europa League did a wonderful job and it would not be a surprise to see the same lineup being name on Sunday as well, barring fatigue.
Michel Vorm should start in goal behind the solid back four consisting of Ben Davies, Chico Flores, Ashley Williams and Angel Rangel. Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer will be deployed on the wings while Pablo Hernandez looks set to provide the creative spark from midfield.
Leon Brittion will start in a deeper midfield position and it will be interesting to see whether Jose Canas, Jonathan De Guzman or Jonjo Shelvey will handed a start alongside the diminutive midfielder. The imposing figure of Wilfried Bony will be leading the line for the Swans.
Liverpool (Probable XI): Mignolet; Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Sturridge, Henderson, Gerrard, Coutinho, Sterling; Suarez
Swansea (Probable XI): Vorm; Davies, Chico, Williams, Rangel; Routledge, Britton, Hernandez, De Guzman, Dyer; Bony
Liverpool: W D W W L
Swansea City: L W D L D
17/09/2013 Swansea City 2 – 2 Liverpool
17/02/2013 Liverpool 5 – 0 Swansea City
25/11/2012 Swansea City 0 – 0 Liverpool
Liverpool vs Swansea City Prediction
As it is well known by now, Anfield has been a fortress for Liverpool this season. Teams find it extremely hard to stop the rampant Liverpool attack, especially during the initial stages of the match. Liverpool will again look to attack from the word go on Sunday and if the Reds score early on, then it will leave more gaps in the Swansea defence for Suarez and Sturridge to exploit.
Therefore, the Swans will need to try and contain the Reds during the early part of the game and then look to assert their pressure as the match wears on. The possession-based style of play of Swansea can certainly stifle the Reds but, on the other hand, the Swans will also need to be wary of the dangerous counter attacking nature of Liverpool. Under Garry Monk, Swansea have looked more dangerous from set plays and it could prove to be a source of goals for the Swans as well.
Liverpool will have to work hard, but they have enough quality to see off the Swans.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Swansea City
Liverpool vs Swansea City Television
The match will be televised on NBC Sports Network (USA), for all other countries, check on LiveSoccerTV.