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Match Preview: Liverpool v. Trabzonspor, 08.26.10

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Ahead of tomorrow's match in Turkey, it's raining. That's a metaphor.

Grab your umbrella anyway, and let's cover some of the good stuff before getting to the match tomorrow.

Alberto Aquilani Loan Deal Completed

His medical's been completed, terms have been agreed, and he's officially off to Juventus for the year. Oh, did I forget to mention that they slipped in the clause about Juventus being able to make the move permanent at the end of the season for £13.1m? Because that's in there too.

Just complete and utter bullsh*t. Bad enough that he's shipped back to Italy for the year because he needs first team football (which he clearly couldn't get at Liverpool, because they're so deep), and then they slide in terms to make the deal permanent. If there's any other reason than he was so profoundly homesick that he engineered the move himself, I'm going to put my fist through the wall. Unbelievable.

Kristzian Nemeth Leaves for Olympiacos

Well done, official site, you just keep the hits coming. But now, instead of the departure of a creative midfielder who was never really given a chance despite showing clear flashes of promise, it's a young striker who was never really given a chance despite showing clear flashes of promise leaving. Nemeth leaves the club after having spent the 2009-2010 season at AEK Athens, where he played regularly and helped the squad finish second in the Super League playoffs.

To be fair, Nemeth had faded a bit from the collective conscious of the club after spending the last year away, and he was yet to make his first-team debut. Had he stayed he would have likely been floundering in the reserves for awhile longer, and if this is going to help his career, then best of luck. I can't shake the feeling, though, that he could have had an impact down the road. I guess I'll just have to trust that the people making these sorts of decisions are a lot smarter than I am.

Dirk Kuyt to Inter Talks Continue

There's still nothing from Liverpool to report, but apparently Kuyt's agent has confirmed that something's in motion. And he managed to drop this gem:

"The difference between demand and offer is important. It is something between the clubs but Dirk told Liverpool he no longer wants to be involved as this is something that regards his career and life.

"It doesn't mean he wants to leave at all costs, but when a club like Inter comes along it's normal to look into the situation further."

It's not you, it's me. Hopefully the "Dirk told Liverpool he no longer wants to be involved" bit refers to his place in the negotiations and not a Javier Mascherano type of "not wanting to be involved." And I know that opinions on Kuyt are decidedly mixed, the bigger picture here is absolutely frightening. He has seemed like one who's committed through thick and thin (and said as much during the summer), so my fingers are crossed that there's nothing more to this.

And oh yeah, match tomorrow.

1. Who will start for Liverpool?
2. What’s the most important factor for the Reds?
3. Who’s going to win and what’s going to be the scoreline?

Join in below with yours and hold on for dear life.

1. Who will start for Liverpool?

Reina
Johnson Carragher Kyrgiakos Kelly
Poulsen Lucas
Pacheco Cole Babel
Ngog

---In case you haven't read, the squad for this trip excludes Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Daniel Agger, Maxi Rodriguez, and Milan Jovanovic. Various injuries etc., but a less-than full-strength Liverpool in a chance to advance in a difficult continental fixture. Red-headed stepchild, indeed.

---Probably not a complete reserve or youth squad, but a healthy mix of youth and experience has to be on the cards. No other formation than 4-2-3-1 is imaginable, and if you suggest 4-4-2 ironically you got a fight comin'. Comin' today.

---I think Ryan Babel's got to get a game somehow, and after netting in the first leg last Thursday I think he'll start again tomorrow. Cole's a lock for playing off David Ngog, and I'm guessing we'll see Dani Pacheco from the opening whistle as well.

---Still a few different options at the back, which makes it a little difficult to guess. Fabio Aurelio could return, Glen Johnson could be rested, Martin Skrtel could factor...it's all a bit jumbled. Without Agger, though, there's only two back-ups across the entire back line, so I'm guessing they'll go with what's fresh.

2. What’s the most important factor for the Reds?

The formula's pretty simple, isn't it? Suffocate the living sh*t out of the opposition as often as possible, look to break on the counter, hope they don't find a way through a crowded midfield and a solid back line. This one's not going to be pretty---there's no comfort in taking a 1-0 lead to the return leg of a European tie.

Without the big names, this Liverpool squad will have to rely on breaking up play and dominating possession. We saw Trabzonspor dictate the pace in the first half last week, and if that happens tomorrow I don't see how Liverpool can prevent conceding. They'll need to withstand a few tricky spells to be certain, but if they can avoid a track meet for long periods of the match, I think they'll survive.

3. Who’s going to win and what’s going to be the scoreline?

I don't think anybody's going to win per se---Liverpool will find a way to notch one after Trabzonspor level the tie. 1-1 for the match and 2-1 to the Reds on aggregate.

Matchday post up tomorrow morning. Apparently this one's on ESPN in the UK, but stateside it's going to be streams only. News and notes along with stream links tomorrow.