Liverpool welcome Hull City to Anfield after a narrow 1-0 success at Elland Road. French U-21 striker David Ngog scored in the 65th minute to ensure the Reds progress further in the League Cup. Rafa Benitez fielded a severely weakened second string team, so as to provide sufficient rest for the first teamers.
The Reds have now 5 successive victories in all competitions, and will be looking to stretch this sequence of a winning run as we enter a very crucial period that involves games against United, City, Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea in the space of 9 EPL games.
Games with Hull City stretch as far back as to 1905 in a friendly fixture, where a 6-2 success inclusive of a hat-trick from Jack Parkinson did the damage. Before their promotion in the 08/09 season, the very last time we played Hull was nearly a decade ago in the League Cup 2nd round, in an aggregate 9-3 victory over the Tigers.
However, fast forward 10 years and we’re seeing a revamped Hull side. They’ve climbed the tables, having been in League 2 in 2003/04, it has been a dramatic turnaround of fortunes with Phil Brown on the top of their humble rise to the Premier League in just under a couple of seasons.
In last season’s home fixture, we had only a 2-2 draw to show for all our efforts, with Steven Gerrard on the double. Jamie Carragher conceded an own goal before that on 22nd minutes, to give Hull a shock lead. Despite pushing for a winner, we were unsuccessful and had to eventually settle for a draw. It is notable to note that Hull has never achieved any previous successes at Anfield.
In April this year we’ve made amends for 2 dropped points at home, by securing a 3-1 success at the Kingston Communications Stadium. A goal from Xabi Alonso on the stroke of half time, with a double from industrious player Dirk Kuyt ensured we left with no regrets.
Head to Head (All Competitions)
Liverpool – 11
Draw – 3
Hull – 0
Liverpool – 6
Draw – 1
Hull – 0
Fabio Aurelio made his comeback from injury against Leeds at Elland Road. Daniel Agger is back in the squad after injury, but Rafa still remains cautious of him playing, and might play a bit part in the game against Hull.
The only absentee from the squad now is Alberto Aquilani. Mascherano will play because The FA has decided to not charge him for supposedly violent conduct on Beckford in the midweek’s League Cup clash.
Hull also have a few injury concerns, the most notable absentees being that of Jimmy Bullard and Richard Garcia. Ian Ashbee is out with a long term injury – and might miss the whole season.
Liverpool have notched up their fifth consecutive victory in all competitions, the latest casualty being Leeds in the League Cup. In the last Premier League game though, Liverpool took the lead twice against a resilient West Ham side, but eventually Fernando Torres scored the winning goal to ensure Liverpool picked up all the three points.
The Reds will look to take up all the points against a Hull side before a game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 4th October.
Meanwhile, Hull City remain rooted firmly second from bottom, having only picked up 4 points from their opening 6 fixtures, the latest being a 1-0 defeat to fellow relegation favourites Birmingham. Before that, they suffered a demoralising 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Black Cats.
Stephen Hunt, is their top scorer in the league with 2 goals, with one of them coming in the opening-day defeat to Chelsea where he was booed by the crowd for his horrific head collision with Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Business in the league cup ended for Hull this midweek, after being thrashed by Everton 4-0.
Liverpool- (from) Cavalieri, Degen, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Dossena, Aurelio, Spearing, Mascherano, Riera, Babel, Ngog, Reina, Gerrard, Torres, Skrtel, Voronin, Plessis, Johnson.
Insua might make way for Aurelio to make his EPL comeback after injuring his foot during the summer. The Brazilian came through the game against Leeds unscathed and might be therefore thrust into action against Hull, although a bench role looks more likely.
Possible starting XI – Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Lucas, Mascherano, Yossi, Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres.
Hull – (from) Duke, Mendy, Zayatte, Cooper, Barmby, Boateng, Halmosi, Featherstone, Ghilas, Carney, Vennegoor, Warner, McShane, Geovanni, Marney, Fagan, Cousin.
Hull played an under strength team and Hull boss Phil Brown was made to pay for his team selection with a thumping at the hands of Everton. Hull will look to go all out for this game, and will therefore field a strong XI.
As Brown said after the defeat:
“We have a massive game on Saturday – nobody expects us to get anything – and then it a massive October for us, The Premier League is obviously the priority. It always has been and always will be.”
Possible starting XI – Myhill, Mendy, Dawson, McShane, Zayatte, Olofinjana, Marney, Kilbane, Geovanni, Altidore, Vennegoor.
Liverpool would look to stretch their win to 6 games; in midweek important players like Gerrard, Torres were rested in order to make sure they’re fresh for this weekend’s tie against Hull. Torres is on a flyer at the moment, last week was a relief for him after an unusual goal drought, together with poor performances for the past few games. Yossi Benayoun is also expected to return back to the side, his trickery will cause Hull problems. Hull don’t have much firepower or confidence at the moment, they’re down, shattered and low on team morale, and perhaps they might be suffering from the second-season syndrome. Rafael Benitez will fully expect his men to do the job, finish off the game as soon as possible and so do I.
Liverpool 3-1 Hull