Liverpool visit Eastlands in a clash that may have a significant bearing in the race to finish fourth in the Premier League.
The Merseysiders are classed as one of the ‘big four’ but their supporters have endured a long and difficult season which has not been helped by constant speculation surrounding Rafa Benitez’ future and rumours regarding possible takeover bids which would take the club from their apparently warring American owners.
The off-field problems have seemed to take there toll on the pitch and the problems seemed to start following a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in October. Following that game, they were beaten by a fifth minute beach ball goal at Sunderland, but since the beach ball wasn’t actually registered with the club, the credit was instead given to Darren Bent.
A 2-0 win over United at Anfield was a brief respite as hit self destruct. They were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages and had to settle for the Europa League. A 2-0 defeat at bottom club Portsmouth increased the pressure on Benitez and it was soon followed by being knocked out of the FA Cup in the their round. After only managing a 1-1 draw at Reading, Liverpool should have hammered the struggling Championship club. But Reading took the tie to extra time and scored a remarkable 2-1 of the once feared team.
Following that shock defeat, Liverpool have picked up ten points from the last eighteen available and they now sit a point behind City in fifth place.
Manager – Rafa Benitez
The Spaniard has been in charge at Anfield since 2004 and enjoyed a very successful start and for a while, it seemed like the glory days were returning to Liverpool. His first season saw them lift the Champions League trophy, coming from 3-0 down to level at 3-3 with AC Milan, before winning the trophy on penalties.
The following season, he won the FA Cup and a 3rd place finish and the season after. Benitez took Liverpool to another Champions League Final against Milan but lost 2-0. Last season, Benitez took the club to second place and the closest they have ever some to winning the Premier League for the first time.
Ground – Anfield
Anfield was completed in 1884 but was originally the home of Everton. Liverpool moved their when Everton moved out in 1892 and has been their home ever since. Its current capacity is 45, 362
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