Date: 5th February 2009 at 11:55am
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You cannot put everything down to ‘bad luck’ from what has gone on in the past few months, but we really have had a lot of this – but ‘could’ this luck be starting to turn in our favour?

Gerrard out? Torres struggling?
Any player that is forced off with a hamstring injury, be that a strain or a pull, is going to need some super human effort to be fit for another game some 3 days later, so if Steven Gerrard is able to be fit in time to face us on Saturday it will take that said super human effort – if risked then Liverpool run the risk of causing more damage, I feel they will not risk him, they cannot afford to risk a player of his importance…

Fernando Torres looked well off it last night, well what ITV showed anyway! Hopefully this continues to be the case on Saturday, if he even makes it? He too could be struggling to overcome his recent hamstring injuries and ‘maybe’ he too might not be risked?

Crazy Rafa likes to rotate things around and has been known to do this again ‘lesser sides’, and we could be a side that is taken lightly and no risks decided…

The main miss for them, for me, would be Gerrard – he is the heartbeat of their side, remove the heart and you remove the major vessel. Almost everything goes through him, and without him Liverpool often look an ‘ordinary side’. Hope that is not tempting fate!

Shawn Wright-Phillips facing a suspension?
Had we played Citeh when we should have they would have been missing several key players, including Robinho – he will be back to face us a week Saturday, well assuming nothing untoward happens this weekend, but he is looking a little troubled, be that his ‘off the field’ problems or the fact that he is sulking as Citeh have not signed the type of players he would have expected?

Shawn Wright-Phillips is looking like he could well miss out as he might be facing a suspension with the FA looking into an incident involving him that saw Rory Delap sent off for kicking the ball at him. Should he be suspended then a genuine threat down their right, our left, could be removed. Down our left we could struggle with his pace – if we countered this with pace, we could struggle to match him defensively, him missing out altogether for Citeh would do me nicely!

Delap suspended
Do not get me wrong, Stoke are a well drilled, well organised and generally well disciplined side but the ‘long throw’ that Rory Delap posses causes problems – and with our defence as it is now I could see it causing no end of problems.

The said player’s sending off against Citeh will see him sit out this game through suspension! It is a 2 or 3 game ban for a straight red card right?

Stoke are no ‘one trick pony’, but when you see an opposition keeper putting a ball out for a corner rather than putting it out for a throw in – as a keeper did against them back along, I cannot recall who though? – you know that this is a weapon that people fear.

Providing that everyone does the job that is asked of them on that day, with this major weapon taken away that ‘should’ be one less thing to fear when we go to the Britannia – that said, with all due respect, should we be fearing anything going to Stoke, despite their fine home record this season?

Things that ‘could’ and probably ‘would’ have worked against us seem to be turning to go for us – of course these missing elements could inspire the said clubs and make them all the more determined, but hopefully not…

Of course all these factors mean nothing if we do not take advantage of them, but in all fairness, despite some criminal defensive mistakes, we have started to look better – we are just a side playing without confidence, the boost that a win will give us ‘should’ see the next level taken and further wins follow them and with new players also arriving, as I have faith they can do a job, that will also help.

My old favourite, ‘actions need to speak louder than words’ is now said though – and lets start against the scousers on Saturday, and I am sure a certain beanpole of a striker will have more than a point to prove to the ‘fat Spanish waiter’.

We also have to ensure that we give the side our full backing and support. We know that we are the best supporters out there, lets prove this again, and then retain this – not turn at the next given opportunity or rest on laurels!

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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