View on the Opposition - Liverpool

Mathew Stone gives us the lowdown on Saturday's opponents Liverpool
Liverpool fan Mathew Stone gives us the lowdown on Saturday’s opponents Liverpool FC

Seven points and three clean sheets after three games, not a bad start to the new season!

"Definitely, I think it’s been a better, more solid season than many fans expected before the first game. Certainly, it’s a much better start than last year. So there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic."

Who of the new signings has most impressed you so far?

"Christian Benteke has looked good, he’s slotted into the team seamlessly but also Joe Gomez has done very well.

"He sort of went under the radar compared to the big money moves, no one really knew what to expect from him. But he’s gone straight into the first team and hasn’t looked out of place. He made his debut against Stoke City which was a tough game but he held his own."

We’re now into Brendan Rodgers’ third season as Liverpool manager, how do you think he has done?

"He’s done alright, considering we came so close to winning the league Liverpool fans should probably give him more credit but at the same time I think there’s a sense of disappointment that they haven’t won anything.

"I think he deserved another season to prove himself. He hasn’t had the easiest of jobs, but considering he’s lost his best player at the end of each season, he’s done OK."

Do you think the fact both Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling left is Rodgers’ fault?

"If you’re very critical than yes, but realistically no. Nowadays there’s very little you can do when the likes of Barcelona come calling. Added to that, the way Steven Gerrard left I think could have been handled better. There’s also a case to say of lot of the Suarez money has been squandered too." 
What do you think is a realistic target for Liverpool in the league this season?

"You have to hope for a top four finish, I don’t see why not. At worst we might finish fifth but we should certainly have a good crack at the Champions League places. Apart from Arsenal we haven’t played particularly well but we’ve got the point, that’s a big difference from last season."

If all things click into place, do you see Liverpool challenging for the title?

"I think this season it’ll be a bit of stretch. There were a lot of comings and goings in the summer, usually whoever wins has quite a settled a side. I think it all depends on how the forwards settle. If Benteke and Firmino forge a strong partnership then maybe, it’s not absolutely impossible but it is unlikely. I see this season more as a building block to a challenge next season really."

Where do you think Rodgers’ priorities lie this season, the league or the cups?

"I think the cups, the fans would love to celebrate some silverware and I’m sure Rodgers would like to win something. I think we will put emphasis on the domestic cups, the Europa League is a bit hit and miss depending on who we get drawn with."

Looking ahead to the game this Saturday, which of the West Ham players are you wary of?

"Dimitri Payet scares me a little bit, but if I’m honest that’s about it. I’m usually pretty confident against West Ham at home, we’ve got a great record. I’m actually glad we’re playing West Ham now because under Slaven Bilic, I think they’ll get stronger as the season progresses."

What is your prediction for Saturday’s score?

"I’ll say 2-0 Liverpool, I reckon Benteke might pop up with one and maybe one of the new boys, James Milner or Firmino."