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Liverpool - Sheffield United Preview

To say this game is important for both sides is definitely an understatement, though it's without a doubt more of a must-win for Liverpool if they want to stay in contention for a Champion's League spot. The Blades are ten points clear of the relegation zone, but a win here would almost guarantee them another season of top flight ball. It seems as if Sheffield United has a voodoo curse of sorts on the Reds, having won two and drawn three in their last six meetings, but have only won once in their last twelve at Anfield. Liverpool is trying to extend their unbeaten streak at home to thirty games and have not allowed a goal there in their last eight matches. Their match at Bramall Lane to start both their seasons ended in a 1-1 draw, largely due in part to a Robbie Fowler penalty conversion.

I hate playing Sheffield United. They frustrate the living shit out of me. The good news is that we are a totally different team than when we first met them. Aurelio is hurt and as far as I know, won't be available, Kromkamp's pretty face is gone (no comment), Hyypia hardly plays, though he might today, and I doubt we'll see Robbie Fowler start, though I wouldn't mind. I guess it's time to play, who'll Rafa start? (I should really make a game of this.)

Pepe - No-brainer

Riise - why not
Carra - Of course
Agger - ditto
Finnan - same old story on the defense

Mascherano - the debutante
Xabi - still well rested
Gerrard - no explanation required
Pennant - I hope so

Bellamy - the legend continues
Kuyt - hardest workin' man in the business

Bench - Zenden, Hyypia, Crouch, Arbeloa, Dudek

Sissoko to sit out and rest for our two upcoming big ones.

I think Sheffield will try to make this an ultra-physical affair and without Sissoko, I'm less confident in our ability to match them. I'm not optimistic about coming away from this one with anything more than a draw. Let's hope we do better though.