Tag Archives: Martin Kelly

Tremendous Torres Helps Liverpool Upset Chelsea’s Title Run

Fernando Torres has struggled for much of the 2010 campaign for Liverpool and his work ethic has come into question. But no one can question his hunger after he scored two goals against the toughest defense in the Premier League, Chelsea. (Courtesy Myo Kyaw Htun)

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool was suppose to just roll over for Chelsea like it did for Blackpool and Northampton at Anfield earlier this year, but it didn’t. Liverpool played with a passion and will to win that has been missing for much of the season to upset English Premier League reigning champions and current leaders Chelsea.

“I think the intensity’s been there in a lot of games but people notice results,” Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports after Liverpool beat Chelsea, 2-0.

The Red’s boss hasn’t had an easy time getting Liverpool on the right track or living up to the fans’ high expectations. Just a few weeks ago the team was in the relegation zone, but now, after beating Chelsea, the Reds are in ninth place, just two points behind fifth place Newcastle and only five points behind Manchester City.

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Injuries Plaguing World Cup Hopefuls and EPL Top Teams

By Kevin Koczwara
There is no substitute for depth in professional soccer. Skill can overcome some hard-ache, and hard-work can definitely make up for a lack of skill, but nothing can make up for a deep bench in the long grueling seasons of soccer. Many teams in the English Premier league are seeing some of their European aspirations heading to the training room instead of to the field, and some players are seeing their World Cup dreams shattered.

This year is different than most because players are training harder, playing harder, and have played more often in the past year or two than regularly. Why is? Simple, the World Cup is coming up and just about every player dreams of putting on their countries uniform and walking onto the grass of a World Cup Final. But they must show their worth in club matches and in international matches. And the wear and tear is showing.

Let’s look over a few teams and players that have been hit enormously by the injury bug, and let’s see who will definitely be sitting out the World Cup because of an injury.

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The Only Derby: Liverpool vs United

Rafa will need to lead Liverpool a win on Sunday against hated rivals Manchester United if he hopes to keep the clubs championship hopes alive. (Courtesy Nigel Wilson Flickr)

Rafa will need to lead Liverpool a win on Sunday against hated rivals Manchester United if he hopes to keep the club's championship hopes alive. (Courtesy Nigel Wilson Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Manchester United head to Anfield this weekend to hopefully put and end to Liverpool’s title chances. A win for United would be the knockout punch for Liverpool, putting them down for the count with little to no chance at winning The English Premier League for the first time in 20 years.

A Liverpool loss would be their fifth in a row and could the final straw for Rafa Benitez — especially with rumors of Jose Mourinho filling his shoes swirling (he isn’t loved in Italy by any measure). Benetiz needs his side to perform the level that everyone expects of them, because it is believed he is at fault for the poor play of recent.

The way the match-up is working out right now is the efficient United are going into a floundering Liverpool–hampered not only by form but by injuries. That scenario could lead to one of two things:  A United blow-out, or a tightly contested game with a lot of cards handed out, and physical play.

Let’s look at all the factors coming into this game:

Injuries

Liverpool have the bigger question marks here.

If Torres isn’t fully fit come Sunday, then Liverpool are dead in the water because they don’t have another striker on their bench who can put the pressure on Nemanja Vidic, and any fear at all in the United back-line. If David Ngog starts, then surely Liverpool will be reaching for some attack and praying to the heavens.

Their best option to fill-in for Torres if he isn’t fit to go would be starting Ryan Babel on one side outside midfield position and Albert Reira on the other, with Voronin and Kuyt playing off one another. Kuyt, despite his stature, wins so many balls in the middle through hard work, can gain possession. And Voronin (I hate that I am saying this) is maybe the best option they have the bench for this situation. He is quick, and assertive. He doesn’t hold onto the ball too long and is looking to show the manager what he is made of. So he is a better fit than say Ngog or anyone else on the bench for this game.

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Champions League: Liverpool Done? AC Milan Miracle Turn Around?

Anfield is a fortress and has been known to intimidate opponents. It has a rich soccer history, and passionate fans, but that didnt scare Lyon on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

Anfield is a fortress and has been known to intimidate opponents. It has a rich soccer history, and passionate fans, but that didn't scare Lyon on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Kevin Koczwara

This match week in Champions League play saw some miracle wins, disastrous losses, and some thumping wins from struggling sides. Overall it was just another match week in Champions League play, and just another poor week in fantasy sports for me.

Let’s Start With Liverpool and Lyon…

Liverpool had a remarkable streak broken on Tuesday, their streak of 22 years without 4 consecutive losses was broken by French powerhouse Lyon. To top off the 2-1 defeat at the hands of the French club, was that the loss happened at Anfield, a fortress in the footballing world.

Anfield has been Liverpool’s home field since 1892(after Everton left for Goodison Park) and Liverpool has had 7 undefeated seasons of home league games there. Last year (2008-09) saw the team go unbeaten at home, which helped them come close to winning their first league title in 19 years.

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