Liverpool's match against Reading at Anfield on Saturday will go a long way in determining if the Reds are capable of turning around their disappointing 2012 campaign. With a 1-3-3 record on the season, it's imperative that Liverpool gets a win on the board to avoid dropping further towards the bottom three teams in the EPL standings.
For Reading, this match will be an opportunity to set themselves even with Liverpool, one of the league's most talked about squads.
The Reds have yet to win a game on their home turf this season. They dropped two matches to Manchester United and Arsenal, along with draws against Manchester City and Stoke City. Liverpool has only earned two points of a possible 12 at Anfield this season.
If the Reds can not get it going at home against an inferior opponent, it would be hard to expect any positive outcomes for the remainder of the season.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know for this EPL matchup.
- Where: Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England
- When: Saturday, October 20th, 10 a.m. EST
- TV/Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
Liverpool Must Overcome Injuries
Liverpool has been through a tumultuous season thus far. With Fabio Borini out three months with a broken bone in his foot, the Reds must get increased production from Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Suso in the wider areas of the field.
The Reds have only scored nine goals in seven games this season, which puts them in the bottom half of the league in offensive production. Without Borini to help man the striker position, some of the younger players on the roster must step up and produce.
Sterling and Suso will be called upon to help facilitate some offense from the midfield and get the ball to Luis Suarez with an opportunity to put it on set.
With that, Liverpool will continue to miss Lucas Leiva, Martin Kelly and John Flanagan. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina's status is also unknown. The Reds will be far from full strength for Saturday, which will undoubtedly inhibit their ability to emerge as victors.
Reading Must Play A Defensively Minded Match
Reading has allowed a staggering 13 goals through only six matches so far this season. With Liverpool limping into this matchup without Fabio Borini, it may be prudent for Reading to insert midfielder Jay Tabb into the lineup and play a 4-5-1 formation.
With Mike Leigertwood returning to the lineup for Reading, the Reds would have a hard time controlling the ball in the midfield and getting it down to their offensive end against a 4-5-1. If Reading can snag a goal off a counterstrike out of this defensively minded formation, we could see an upset at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool has not won at home this season. They have only totaled six points through seven games, which is tied with last season for the worst total in team history. However, the Royals have only won two of their last 23 away matches in the EPL. Something has to give in this one. Liverpool wins 1-0.