After the 4-1 drubbing of a questionable Chelsea starting 11 that stood dumbfounded in Anfield, the Merseysiders travel southwest to Wales for an away fixture at the Liberty Stadium at Swansea City. The fixture, slated to be an afternoon game (3:00 p.m. GMT/9:30 a.m. EDT), is the final game for both the Swans and the Reds in the 20th Barclays Premier League season.
The last time these two sides went head-to-head, it ended as a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes at Anfield.
Swansea City looks to advance their position in the tables (45 points from 37 games, currently placed 12th) and overtake Sunderland (45 points from 37 games, currently placed 11th) if the Black Cats lose against Manchester United (86 points from 37 games, currently placed second). A win against Liverpool will solidify their position in the mid-table and reinforce their recent promotion with a stay in the EPL for another season.
Liverpool, with a win against the Swans (and with an Everton loss to Newcastle), will be in seventh place in the EPL table. Fulham and Liverpool are currently tied in points (52 points from 37 games), but Liverpool place higher due to superior goal difference at eight compared to the Cottager's minus-one. If Everton (53 points from 37 games, currently placed seventh) were to lose to Newcastle United (65 points from 37 games, currently placed fifth), Liverpool will progress to seventh, finishing above their inner-city rivals.
It wouldn't matter if Fulham won their game against Tottenham (66 points from 37 games, currently placed fourth) because I don't see Fulham scoring more than two goals against the Spurs.
Swansea's current form after six games has been very poor at 1W-2D-3L, scoring eight goals but letting up 12. At home, their form looks slightly better, standing at 2W-1D-2L, fielding 10 goals and letting up 11.
Liverpool's away form is discouraging at best, winning just two of their recent six away games. Their away form stands at 2W-0D-4L. The Reds have scored nine goals but have let up 10. Hopefully they are able to sort this out in Wales and record another win.
I predict Liverpool playing the Swans out of the park, the scoreline at 3-1 in favor of the visiting side. After all, they are coming into the game after a confidence-boosting game.
Andy Carroll's re-emergence as a confident and risk-taking forward will also be a factor, as he seems to now instill fiery motivation in a side that lacked passion. Steven Gerrard should be fit to play after sitting out the Chelsea game on Tuesday, and same goes for Jose Enrique.
This will be a game Liverpool cannot lose, as a loss to what seems the weaker side on paper will demonstrate and underline the lack of tactical prowess of the Liverpool manager and reignite the fans' fire at yet another lackluster Liverpool performance. But, it is the last match of the season. Be prepared for an all-out attack between the two sides.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup: 4-4-2
Defenders: Kelly, Coates, Carragher, Enrique
Midfielders: Gerrard (c), Shelvey, Henderson, Downing
Forwards: Suarez, Carroll
Substitutes: Doni, Johnson, Spearing, Maxi, Sterling, Bellamy, Skrtel
Predicted Swansea City Lineup: 4-3-3
Defenders: Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor
Midfielders: Allen, Sigurdsson, Dyer
Forwards: Graham, Sinclair, Moore
Substitutes: Tremmel, Tate, Britton, Routledge, Monk, McEachran, Gower
Questions for This Game
Will Stewart Downing finally score his first league goal for the Reds?
If Liverpool manage to put the game away in the first half, will we see Raheem Sterling start the second half?
Will we see woodwork No. 34?
If Liverpool don't finish on top of the Toffees, for how long will Everton supporters rub that in their faces?
Predictions for This Game
Plan to see Liverpool attempt over 20 shots at goal. Only seven will be on target.
Andy Carroll will score from a corner.
He will also win 90 percent of his headers.
Kenny will be wearing his Liverpool coat zipped up to his neck.
The match will end 1-1 at half time.
Suarez will receive a yellow card for a cynical foul, but not after trying to nutmeg defenders at least four times.
There will be a swan on the pitch as a joke, not a statement on the current position of the club.
The match ends with five yellow cards—three for Liverpool, two for Swansea.
A free kick taken by Gerrard will be on target.
Possession will be split 55 percent to 45 percent, dominated by the Reds, but the foul counts will favor the home side.
The cameras will show a bearded man eating bread.
The commentators will say something about the poor performance of Liverpool this season.
The phrase, "too little, too late" will be uttered in the last 10 minutes of the second half.
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