Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp tips Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool to edge out Swansea on Sunday

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 15th February 2013 view comments

Swansea are probably the last team Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers wants to face this weekend.

The Reds looked like they had turned the corner before the international break, impressing in 2-2 draws with Arsenal and Manchester City, but two defeats in four days, first to West Brom and then away at Zenit St Petersburg, has once again left Liverpool fans frustrated - and Rodgers' former side Swansea will be provide another difficult test on Sunday.

Agger (right): Was exposed against West Brom, says Jamie

Agger (right): Was exposed against West Brom, says Jamie

Liverpool have been consistently inconsistent this season - in fact, they have been inconsistent for the past few years, equally showing flashes of their potential and limitations - and no doubt Rodgers is scratching his head wondering what's going on.

Their 2-0 defeat at West Brom came out of the blue and must have broken so many coupons. I couldn't believe it. People have said Daniel Sturridge was missing but that isn't a good enough excuse to produce a performance like that.

Liverpool have been inconsistent for the past few years, equally showing flashes of their potential and limitations - and no doubt Rodgers is scratching his head wondering what's going on.

Jamie Redknapp
Quotes of the week

Free £10 bet


New to Sky Bet? We're offering all new customers a free £10 bet. Claim now

The defending from Daniel Agger for both goals was awful - he didn't do well enough to stop the movement at the corner for the first and for the second goal he should have known he needs to give a player like Romelu Lukaku a yard because he's so powerful. And I didn't think the penalty awarded for a foul on Suarez should have been given either.

Before that match there was an excitement about Liverpool again and I felt they could push on and mount a challeneg for the top four. But that result has put them back, not only points-wise but also in terms of their belief.

Rodgers tried to talk about positives after the game, but I'm not sure there were any. And I'm not convinced by the idea of playing Luis Suarez on the left and Jonjo Shelvey as the main striker. Suarez has been in great form this season and he's their star striker, so you need to put him up front; you let teams off the hook if you don't put him up there where he belongs.

It looks like Rodgers has improved their forward options by singing Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho - although I feel the likes of Shelvey, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing need to chip in with more goals - but there is still a massive void defensively.

Agger showed his defensive frailties on Monday night and Liverpool have recently gone back to playing Jamie Carragher, who's retiring at the end of the season. They need to find a centre-back of real quality this summer because Martin Skrtel and Agger don't look like a strong partnership to me. I don't think they can rely on them next season.

Swans soaring

Meanwhile, it's a great time to be a Swansea City fan.

When Rodgers left the Liberty Stadium last season everyone wondered whether his successor would be able to carry on his style and maintain Swansea's level. Well, Michael Laudrup has actually improved the Welsh side.

Yes, the arrival of Michu has obviously been a key factor in their excellent season to date, but they've also developed a pattern of play which allows them to be more direct when necessary.

They'll enjoy plenty of possession at Anfield on Sunday - they keep the ball so well - and that will frustrate the Liverpool players and fans alike. Rodgers will also be nervous about the quality Swansea possess. It's certainly going to be a difficult game for the hosts.

However, I just wonder whether the Swansea players will have half an eye on the Capital One Cup final, which takes place next weekend.

With that in mind I reckon Liverpool will just edge Swansea 2-1 - and they'll need that result to boost spirits at Anfield; it's been one step forward and two steps back recently.

Check out Jamie Redknapp's Red Hot Tips each week at Sky Bet

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: Costa's made a difference

Diego Costa has shown the impact he can have at Chelsea, but injuries are a worry, says Jamie Redknapp....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jeff Stelling

Stelling: Fears for Leeds

Jeff Stelling is worried that headline-making Leeds could end up slipping back into League One. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Chelsea agree to loan Fernando Torres to AC Milan for two years, while Liverpool's Daniel Agger is linked with Brondby.

Torres heading for Milan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Premier League preview

Chelsea travel to Everton for Saturday Night Football, while Super Sunday features Tottenham against Liverpool and Leicester versus Arsenal.

Top-four target for van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has set Manchester United an initial target of a top-four finish in this season's Premier League.

UEFA to revamp seeding system

UEFA has confirmed it is close to changing the seeding system for the group stages of the Champions League.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.