Liverpool preview + Beattie?

Before we look ahead to the Liverpool match, there is news (though not officially confirmed) that James Beattie has been signed for 2.5 million. If indeed this is true then my suspicions will be very much confirmed… that Tony Pulis is a genius.

Rumours were abundant concerning the likely transfer of Harewood. In my opinion, we already had around 4 of him. James Beattie has always been touted as a natural goalscorer along the same lines as a Robbie Fowler or Kevin Phillips. I really do believe in this signing (not only because he happens to share the same birthday as me, but) because he can bring an extra dimension to our attack. He is the type of player you can always have faith in to be there at the right place at the right time. Not only does he bring this intelligence but he fits into the Stoke City mould, being himself a strong and powerful lad.

For a quite measly sum of 2.5 million, this is yet another major bargain for us. A former England international, he was highly rated in his Southampton days. He seems to be one of those players that thrive on confidence, and you would put your season ticket on Pulis supplying him with exactly that. 

If he does sign, then this would leave Pulis with a quite pleasurable dilemma on his hands. Does he go with the established and quite potent Fuller and Sidibe (Fudibe) or does he establish Beattie as a first choice? And don’t forget the goal-hungry Dave Kitson! Further down the pecking order lies Creswell and Pericard, a position they would understandably not be content with, and willing to fight against. 

For potentially little under 5 million, we would have brought in two experienced Englishmen with huge premier league experience. With these signings, i personally can’t see us getting relegated at all, which draws us back to the previously labelled ‘genius’ of Pulis.

Now we can look ahead to the Liverpool game.

We are without the previously mentioned Fudibe duo, which you think will give us Kitwell or if you’re feeling extravagant- Kitcard. Our visitors are without Arbeola and dirty tackle recipient Xabi Alonso. Crucially though, a man named Fernando Torres has emerged from Mark Lawrenson’s bedroom wardrobe to feature. We should be able to handle him however, much in the same way we prevented Cristiano Ronaldo to showcase his ballet.

While Pulis has called on his team to put in a strong performance, Rafa benitez has referred back to the game at Anfield. In the words of Rafa,

 “For us, it was unlucky. For them, they worked very hard. For us, we will try our hardest. For them, they will falter. For Alex Ferguson, he’s a wanker!”

Etherington will be making his debut, which i personally am quite excited about. We should be able to put out quite a strong side with the inclusion of recently returned Lawrence. His dog has come out for his first inteview since that shocking tackle and claimed that he is not a malicious dog, and has sincerely apologised for the incident. Arsene Wenger meanwhile has launched a blistering attack on it, calling for it to be put down.

If  i were Tony Pulis, i would have a 451 formation to overpower Liverpool’s midfield and hit them on the counter.

                                                 Kitson

Etherington        Lawrence             Diao          Tonge       Delap

         Wilkinson          Higginbotham        Faye         Griffin

                                                      Sorensen     

The ball will be highly contested in all areas of the pitch today. A really interesting one for the neutrals too. There is absolutely nothing to say we won’t manage a shock, as we are superb at home. For me, the breakthrough will come down our left hand side, where Etherington can muster up all the enthusiasm that comes with arriving at a new club and expend on giving the stand-in right back a real problem.

I will be predicting a 1-1 draw.

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