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Matchday: Liverpool v. Newcastle

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Kickoff from St. James' Park at 17:30 GMT, 12:30 EST.

Ways to Watch:

Match shown live on ESPN (HD) in the UK and Fox Soccer Channel (HD) in the US.


Johnson Kyrgiakos Skrtel Konchesky
Kuyt Meireles Lucas Maxi
Ngog Torres

Bench: Jones, Kelly, Aurelio, Poulsen, Cole, Jovanovic, Babel


Simpson Enrique Campbell Taylor
Barton Tiote Nolan Jonas
Ameobi Carroll

Bench: Harper, Guthrie, Routledge, Lovenkrands, Perch, Smith, Ranger

In the run-up:

Biggest news of the past few days, other than the official site's breaking statement about the urgency of voting for Rebecca Ferguson on X Factor tonight, is the revelation that Christian Purslow had a bit of an agenda when it came to the squad members. Roy Hodgson's shared his response to the situation only yesterday:

“Christian was here for two years and is a big fan with strong opinions about players. He fed me the information. I listened, of course, but made it clear I was not going to act on it. To be fair, when we’ve spoken or texted he has been the first to recognise what a good job it was that we didn’t do these things, because the boys have turned out well.”

It's not a revelation that Purslow had sights set on something different, or that those sights were nothing short of awful. And it's still unclear who exactly was on this most devious of lists---probably not hard to guess that it included a fair few of the younger squad members, along with, as Rory Smith notes in the article (along with a few other names), one of the frontrunners for Liverpool's Player of the Season thus far in Lucas. If the list Smith produced is accurate, at least 3 of the 4 names have been an important part of Liverpool's ability to start to turn things in a direction other than freefall. Good judgment, Cecil.

If it hasn't been done already, this sort of cements whatever legacy Purslow had during his brief time at the club---successful in helping push the sale of the club through and not much else. As we've talked about before, the importance of the former can't be overstated, and Purslow's role in that process was apparently vital. But beyond that, he couldn't be gone quickly enough.

Glad that he left on good terms, and nice that he's texted Hodgson about the error of his ways. But mostly just glad that he left.