We couldn’t have a much tougher start to the season and yet I don’t have the sort of feeling of dark foreboding that normally accompanies our opening game.
For a start we’re at home and last season looked far more comfortable when taking on the top four sides, than when we face the so called minnows of the Premier League.
Our recent record against Liverpool has not been great though, even taking our somewhat flukey 2-1 win in the league and our Carling Cup victory at White Hart Lane, into account. Those home victories were our first against Liverpool since 2004 and I do even want to go into our record at Anfield…
Liverpool are somewhat injury ravaged, with Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel all struggling, whilst Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio and Alberto Aquilani are all definitely out.
So it may be that it is Liverpool who are struggling to field two central defenders, whilst we now have the luxury of giving a debut to Bassong alongside King. Our only real injury doubt is Jermaine Jenas, so I’d expect Huddlestone to partner Palacios in midfield.
It’s one of those games where no result would be a shock and even a defeat wouldn’t represent a disaster. I think that we’ll get a draw, which with some more winnable fixtures to come later this month, would be a decent start… and we know how much we need one of those.