I am a 24 year old American who has never been to England.
Unfortunately, this means I can never truly appreciate the significance of what has happened this week. Based on everything I’ve read, it does sound like justice was served this week for the families of the 96 fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough in 1989. My heart certainly goes out to them and I hope they can rest a bit easier now knowing that guilt has been properly assigned for the disaster.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but the Reds are back in action this week after the international break. Saturday marks the return of Liverpool football and they’ll travel to Sunderland for a match with the Black Cats.
When last we left the Reds, they were free falling towards the bottom of the table after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal. Despite having a week to simmer, I still do not feel optimistic about how the season will turn out. The roster is still paper thin and once powerful veterans like Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina are still performing poorly. The situation has not improved much.
That being said, Sunderland hasn’t looked all that great so far this season either. Away matches are never easy, but it’s better than next week’s date with Manchester United. Anything less than a point taken will unacceptable and a win would be huge in restoring the club’s confidence going forward.
Here’s the lineup I would trot out…
Johnson – Skrtel – Agger – Downing
Gerrard – Allen – Sahin
Sterling – Suarez – Borini
It sure is great to have Daniel Agger back! At this point we might as go all in with the “Downing at LB” experiment. Raheem Sterling is no longer a young prospect, but rather the best option available. Joe Allen continues to impress and it will be interesting to see how Nuri Sahin does in his second appearance.
There are a million ways this one could play out, especially due to the emotional impact of the Hillsborough Report. But this one isn’t at Anfield, so I’ll settle for a 1-1 draw and move on to Thursday’s Europa League match at Young Boys.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland