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Spyin Kop


Robotforaday

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Hiya lads. Noticed the little dig "Did anyone notice that we are top and Liverpool are sh*t?" when coming in. Thanks for that :P At least you're keeping the mancs off top spot, I guess. Well done on your performances so far this season and all that, hope you're looking forward to this weekend's match. Seems like only yesterday we were playing you guys 4 plus times every season.

I hope you don't mind me intruding, but I'm coming from Red and White Kop an unofficial LFC website, where we run a regular feature called "Spyin Kop". The basic idea is to ask fans of the opposing teams a few questions, so that we can learn a bit about the team we're about to face and maybe start a bit of good natured banter. All in the spirit of getting excited about the match ahead. You can see some of the previous Spyin Kops on our website to get a taste of how it works (sorry, I can't link to the website yet because I don't have enough posts. But it's . And of course, we'd be happy to answer any questions you have. (Mods: I hope this isn't a problem? If I've stuck this in the wrong place, just let me know)

So if anybody wants to answer some or all of the following questions, that'd be great.

* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

* Care to predict the score?

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

If anybody's coming to the match has any questions about travel in Merseyside, what pubs are good etc., just give a shout and I'd be happy to answer! Look forward to seeing you guys at Anfield.

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

Its been pretty good, I was frustrated that we lost to City though simply because had we gone for it we would have won but we seemed content with a point, apart from us I think the standard in the Premier League has been poor to watch to be honest. Blackpool have been a highlight though and I am enjoying watching them. United have been interesting without playing well they are still unbeaten but that doesn't seem to be getting mentioned oddly. Arsenal are same old same old to me, Tottenham are playing better than I thought they would aswell and I'll admit I am a little worried about December when we play them because of how the fixtures fall. I think if we come through December with maximum points the title will be ours.

On the Champions League front I really think its our year (touch wood)

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

I love Carlo, when he first came I was skeptical I thought he was a disaster waiting to happen and he has already gone down in history bringing us the shield and the double in his first season. Jose's always gonna be my favourite that Chelsea team on 2004/05 is the best I've ever seen and one of the 3 best sides to ever win the EPL (Man Uts Treble season and Arsenal's unbeatables been the others). I loved Hiddink also and if Carlo left I would want Hiddink back

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Ivanovic is in great form at the minute and Liverpool aren't the best fropm set pieces so I'd say he's the danger man. I'd say Drogba but we don't know which Drogba's gonna show up if he's up for it then beware. Anelka aswell seems to like scoring against Liverpool so he's one to watch.

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

I'd like us to sign a new keeper to back Cech up as I don't rate Hilario or Turnbull. I do worry about the fact our players are getting older and we do have to find someone to replace Drogba at somepoint Lukaku would be a nice addition in the summer, As for getting shut of I wouldn't say anyone to be honest but I do believe Borini won't make it here.

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

It depends on whose available if Essien is out with this toe problem I think we'll be less attacking personally but we shall see. Depends on how we show up on the day

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

Gerrard and Torres are the key men, Torres worries me because of his good record against us so I think he's the danger man. I also rate Reina very highly and if you do go 1-0 up he could be key to you keeping that lead

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

Tbh did anyone, Benayoun is injured and we haven't been able to see what he's about and Joe Cole is not working at Liverpool although I think the manager could slightly be at fault for that. Time will tell with this but neither Cole or Benayoun are getting any younger

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Him missing is massive, he is key to our midfield, he retains possession for us and picks out the best passes in my opinion but we have to move on one day and we aren't a one man team plus the squad has done well without him but this could be a game that we really miss him in i.e. City away

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

Can't help but love him look what he's done for our club he took us from the nearly men to the top dogs. I think his days of huge spending are over though but you can't blame him afterall its his money

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

Many good and bad but a few of the great times:

The 4-2 victory in the FA cup in 97 coming back from 2-0 down

4-0 at the Bridge in 2001, in my opinion Cudicini's finest game for us

2-2 on 2001 (I think) at Anfield was pretty good aswell an exciting game

2-1 at Anfield with Hasselbaink scoring the winner, this was the first hame of the new regime and was a statement

4-1 at Anfield in 2005, alot had been said by Liverpool about how they had the measure of us and we showed them they hadn't

3-2 at the Bridge in the semis in 2008, getting to the final over Liverpool was massive and although we went on the lose the final the pure joy I felt that night was immense

4-4 at the Bridge, in 2009, unbelievable game really probably the best between the two clubs in terms of entertainment

2-0 at Anfield last season, I knew them we were gonna win the title not an amazing game but when Lampard put that second in I was overjoyed

Bad results would be losing our unbeaten run to you, the champions league semi with the dodgy goal, getting hammered in 96 and 97 at Anfield and the FA Cup semi in 2006

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

Never been

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

God knows as for songs depends whats happening lol

* Care to predict the score?

I'm gonna say 2-1 to us if Ess plays

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

ha ha well did it I don't think it did but tbh Cech could have been off and you could have had a penna so I won't complain (anymore :lol:)

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Another one for you

• How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

Apart from the Man City slip up can’t honestly say we have anything to moan about ?

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

Win’s the double in his first year ? Can hardly be put in the will come good eventually folder ! Jose was the right man in the right place but and to me left at the right time , I have no doubt he will win the league in Spain this year to continue his incredible record I think he has not lost a home game for 6 seasons or something silly . He will end up at Man Utd which will be painful . Hiddink was great for us and I would have been happy if he stayed but Ancelotti has been very good to date . I do hope he stays , unfairly every Chelsea manager will have the burden of delivering the Champions league trophy and unless they do that will be seen by all and sundry as a failure

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Moulda has been on top form and Mikel has played well . I hope you get a chance to see some of the kids we have on the bench , just so you can see we do have a youth team and some very talented young players starting to find there feet in the first team

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

Nope everyone who has been asked to play for the first team has done a good job

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

Cautious I would think , can see it being a tight game with midfield being where it will be won or lost

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

Stevie Me obviously and Torres always seems to score against us

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

Not really a fair question until they both have 10 games under there belt injury and suspension free . I was sorry to see Joe go and bear no malice good luck to him , My only note of caution would be I do feel he thinks he is a better player than he is .

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Not as much as we feared but a fully fit Frank would be the first name on the team sheet week in week out

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

Well wouldn’t you have had him instead of Hicks and Gillette I doubt the majority of fans would turn him away from the boardroom if he came knocking and would love to have him as owner . I am just glad Daniel Levy at Rottenham never returned his calls !! We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for him . We were on the verge of going out of business and whilst other investors were waiting for us to go tits up and then getting the club on the cheap he put his money where his mouth is. He has made mistakes no doubt ( Sheva , Scolari ) but got more right than wrong . Check out the pictures below of him watching the Blackburn game in a pub in New York with Chelsea fans , think this answers all your questions of a bored , non chelsea fan owner

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

Yep and mostly happy . Your not know as yellow sheet city for nothing , the tons of fake tan usually visible the next morning for the lucky ones

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

Yes although it is a very dated ground now and can see why you want to move . Have to say the majority of fans around the ground are much better than the cyber / keyboard warriors you seem to have in bucketfuls

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

We will be bringing plastic flags , fans and songs of course . Hope we don’t get lost on the way to the ground like the 4,000 you had missing last night

* Care to predict the score?

2-1 to us

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

No . But the Ref gave it and we had 80 mins to score didn’t so went out , end of .

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Blimey Bob, good long reply there. You won't get as much out of me.

* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

Brilliant, seems to have much carried on from last season.

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

Since Jose, we seemed to have gone through a few to find the right one, which I now know is Carlo. Guus was great for us too and brought us back from a dodgy period and gained the dressing room and fans again after Avram and Scolari.

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Ivanovic, Drogba of course and Malouda (if fit to play) oh and watch those free kicks from Alex.

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

Not really, Turnbull in exchange for a better back-up keeper if anything.

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

I think we can mix both effectively to get a good game.

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

Torres, but we do have a good habit of shutting out key men.

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

I don't think either of us ended up great in those transfers. Certainly judging on this season so far. I would have guessed Joe might gain an injury for this one, was really hoping to see him go against Alex and JT. Bet he bottles the Bridge visit too.

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

We miss him but looking at our results, it doesn't appear to show we are. He is one of our best but good to see we can still perform without him.

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

He hasn't impacted on the English game at all if you ask me. Possibly paving the way for rich blokes to think about buying a club. That's always happened to an extent, just Roman had a little bit more than most. Roman is a great owner and over the last few years has shown, you don't need to spend the early big money we had to get trophies to a club.

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

4-1 at Anfield. Who let the Drog out!

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

When I was younger and was sh*tting myself. I'd take that as pretty negative.

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

No plastic flags no, the true fans will be up there. Though we could bring up the Premiership Trophy to show you if you want!

* Care to predict the score?

You are going to be all out for this one for sure so its going to be hard to call. Either a Chelsea win or a draw.

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

Course it didn't!! There is a good Sky analysis video that proved it didn't. Please don't let us remember that again.

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

None, apart from the City game. And that was more disappointment than anything. I felt we were well worth at least a point.

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

No I don't think Abramovic will get bored, either with Ancelotti or with Chelsea FC. The evidence is there for all to see that he truly loves the club. You can say we should have kept Mourinho, but his track record is one of staying a couple of years here, a couple of years there. Scolari was a massive mistake.

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Ibramovic. I think Malouda is injured, but Frank Lampard might be on the bench.

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

Not at the moment. No complaints.

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

Depends on the as yet unknown injury situation.

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

A fully-fit Torres, obviously and Pepe Reina.

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

If it wasn't for Benayoun's injury, then I think we'd have had much the better of it. Joe Cole endlessly flatters to decieve.

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Not as much as we would a couple of years ago.

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

Far more positive than certain people would have you believe. He's invested his own money, in the first couple of seasons paying well over the odds (one price for Chelsea, another for anyone else) and much of that money stayed in the game. As I wrote above, it's obvious he loves the club. From the word go, people have been saying we'll be up sh*t creek when he gets bored, which from where we stand, looks EXTREMELY unlikely. He doesn't give interviews, however, and it's this silence that fuels media speculation.

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

Several. Recently the Champions League epics,many more frome years gone by. One season we played you 4 times (League Cup away and FA Cup home), with honours even. We lost both away games 2-0 and the home games 4-2 in the Cup and 3-1 in the League.

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

Not since the '70s and back then it was a hairy place to get caught on your own. Also another time I went to Goodison with Arsenal in the Cup. That day Liverpool were also playing at home. After the game both sets of fans joined up against Arsenal, forming an "escort" most of the way back to Lime Street. Times change, eh?

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

Poor old Liverpool FC. Can't even afford to give their fans flags. Aston Villa can manage it.

*Care to predict the score?

One of my superstitions is that I never do.

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

No it bleedin' well didn't!

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Ah, don't worry about it, I've been called worse! Thanks for the answers so far, lads. Interesting stuff. Always a pleasure to hear people who like to think about their football!

I'm not going to answer your questions, because my fellow members can be very cruel, and you would hear their laughter all over the civilised world if I ventured an opinion.

However, while you are here, even if you intend to stay for only a day, why don't you take the time to look around the site at the many interesting and varied threads.

P.s. Can't have been Lofty - not enough swearing!

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

Thoroughly enjoyed it partly because we've been winning most games of course but also because we've been playing a lot of good football

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

Carlo will be here for a while yet. As for Roman getting bored with him? Nobody, but nobody really knows what goes on in his mind because he's never opened up to the fanbase.

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

No one player in particular to watch for because the team have been playing as a group. I think we have around thirteen players who have scored for us so far this season and we've only played 15 games or so

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

None but we really need to keep Cech fit. Lose him and we've got a problem

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

We'll play whatever style is needed to win. The first goal will be crucial - if it's us we'll play it tight and look to catch you on the break and vice versa to be honest

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

I don't think Reina gets anywhere near the credit he deserves. St Stevie and Torres are the other obvious two choices but there's one other player who has always caused us problems and that is Dirk Kuyt - I'm hoping he's still injured?

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

Far too early to tell due to unfortunate circumstances. I for one was pleased when I heard Yossi had joined us and he looked to be settling in well untikl his unfortunate injury. Joey blows hot or cold but tends to blow cold far more often than hot.

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Going by our results we really haven't missed him at all. Of course losing a player of such quality is always a wrench but the squad is good enough to cope with such a loss especially now the youngsters have reached the level they have (especially Josh McEachran)

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

Love him to bits. He hasn't had the credit he deserves from the game in general either because he pumped a lot of money into the game in his first couple of years. The likes of West Ham probably would have gone under had we not bought the players we did from them.

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

Clive Walker's screamer past Ray Clemence when we won 4-2 at the Bridge back in the seventies (I was there when we were sh*t :) )

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

Been there a couple of times. Queued up for ages to get in to pay my respects to the Hillsboro victims and to hand over the donation from my workplace.

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

There will plenty of the usual i.e. Have you ever seen Gerrard win the league etc. Plus there might be a couple of new ones but I won't spoil the surprise. As for those plastic flags, I'm delighted the club have stopped doing that now though many others are following suit i.e. Arsenal (5 years and you've won f**k all, 5 years.....)

* Care to predict the score?

No

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

Doesn't matter now. It's consigned to Liverpool 'istory

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Are these going on your site?

That is the idea, yeah. I'd post a couple of links to Spyin Kops we've done in the past, but I don't think I have enough posts to do links. But if anyone wants to take a look at the site, you'll see it's nice and tastefully done! We usually aim to have one of these done for every game, it's a good opportuinity for us to hear about the match from a different point of view;.

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

Pretty good, we've been playing well most of the time, and grinding out results when we haven't been

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

I don't think Abramovic will get bored with him as long as he's successful. I'm not Ancelotti's greatest fan to be honest, I'd have preferred Hiddink to have stayed. The way Ancelotti's Milan threw away a three goal lead against your lot in the CL Final looked highly suspicious to me, but if it was all above board then what the hell was he up to?

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Usual suspects, Drogba, Ivanovic, Malouda (if he plays), Anelka and Mikel.

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

Paulo Ferreira, not just this season but for the last three seasons. Other than that I'm happy enough, especially as Deco has f*cked off

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

Haven't got a clue, all depends on injuries and fitness levels

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

None

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

Not sure about Benayoun, but I was extremely happy to see Joe Cole leave Chelsea. He spends far too much time trying little tricks rather than helping his team

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Lampard is obviously world class, but having said that we ain't doing too badly without him at the moment

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

He attends as many games as he can, and seems as enthusiastic about the club now as he did when he first took over - long may it last!

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

Hmmm, let me see...

69/70 - beating Liverpool 2-1 at the Bridge in the last game of the season, Peter Osgood scoring both goals

73/74? - Peter Bonetti saving a Keegan penalty in front of the Kop

77/78 - beating Liverpool 4-2 in the FA Cup at the Bridge, Clive Walker scoring twice.

77/78 - beating Liverpool 3-1 in the league a couple of months after the cup game to prove it wasn't a fluke

81/82 - beating Liverpool 2-0 in the FA Cup at the Bridge while we were in the 2nd Division, with that footballing legend Peter Rhoades-Brown scoring ;)

90/91 - beating Liverpool 4-2 in the last game of the season

91/92 - beating Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield, with a cracking goal from Vinnie Jones, our first victory there since gawd knows when

The more recent ones have already been covered

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

Went there in the 70's/80's a few times, hated the place. Cowardly scousers using Stanley knives to carve up innocent fans, and even nicking their clothes and shoes. When it came down to a straight fight between mobs though, the scousers didn't want to know. Don't know what the place is like now, but I doubt it's improved much.

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

Plenty of anti-Scouse songs compiled from over the years. Nice dig about the flags, I'll admit we've got a lot of plastic fans these days, but then so have all successful clubs in the Premiership, yourselves included.

* Care to predict the score?

Difficult to call, but I'll go for 3-0 Chelsea

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

Course it did, ya c*nt! :D

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

I've been delighted with how we've been so far, with the changes in the summer, where we were focussing on getting the average age of our squad down, and the wage bill down too, I wasn't expecting a great season. I was expecting this to be a season of transition, and it probably still is that, but to keep the results flowing at the same time is a great sign for us. With McEachran showing he has the ability to be a bit special, this really does make it an amazing era to be a blue in.

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

I would certainly hope he is. Mourinho is a massively difficult person to replace, not just in terms of his ability, but his character and aura, too. Grant did well enough with Mourinho's team, and possibly deserved another season if I'm honest, it's just after Mourinho there was a huge vacuum of personality which Grant just could never fill. Scolari was a mistake, and although we started very well under him, it just fell apart in a big way. Hiddink brought us back from the brink. He was sensational in every way. He turned Malouda's entire Chelsea career around and brought the best out of pretty much everyone. You could ask for nothing more, especially from what was in effect a caretaker manager. Carlo though, what a man. Look at that left eyebrow, go on look. It has a mind of his own, truly the sign of a genius. He wanted to bring in his favoured 4-4-2 diamond, but was quick enough, and sensible enough to realise it wasn't working and change his plans. We now have a slightly odd asymmetric 4-3-3 system, which works wonders for us. His tactics are great, his substitutions are usually right, and he's bringing the youngsters through for us, which takes a massive amount of financial pressure off. He's exactly the manager we need now, and for the next few years. He's the type of manager who is here to set us up for the long term, and hopefully will be here to see it through.

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Mikel. He has been brilliant this season, and many supporters of other teams haven't seen enough of him to notice yet. Kalou, could well show off how he's improved, although I'm not sure if he'll start. He's got the ability to drift past players, only his finishing lets him down, really, which isn't particularly bad, it's just erratic.

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

As has been mentioned by the others so far, we haven't really had a weak link show up yet. Turnbull is a bit of a weak link I suppose, but he's a backup. I'll admit I've been a little disappointed with Sturridge's attitude in a couple of performances, but he's young and hopefully age will improve that.

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

I think we're going to have solid look to the central midfield, and rely on our front three to provide the threat. Mikel, Essien and Ramires giving a solid look in the middle, Zhirkov, Anelka/Kalou and Drogba as the front three.

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

The obvious ones are Torres and Gerrard. Gerrard will try his hollywood passes and shots all game, which when they work galvanise your entire team, and Torres is still top class, despite his injury problems.

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

As Loz said above, I don't think either of us did well out of the deal. You got a player whose best years are seemingly behind him, and hadn't played well for us for the last 2 seasons. We got a player who'll be out for half the season. If Joe turns it around you may well get the better of it in the end, however I'm not convinced he will.

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

I don't think it'll be much of a difference, we'll just be a slightly more conservative side with Mikel, Essien and Ramires as the central three. The creativity will have to come from the front three, but against the better sides that is no bad thing. It makes us less likely to concede and allows the front three more freedom to catch you on the break.

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

I'm starting to get tired of this whole typing thing, so my answers will start to get shorter now... Roman is probably the best owner any fan could hope for... he had a well thought out plan from the start. He knew how much he'd spend at the start to get us to the top. Once we got there, he had us set up with a top quality infrastructure, youth, wages under control now, the ingredients for long term stability. He isn't an owner who takes decisions lightly it seems, and pays to have the right advisers around him. He's all we could ask, hope, or dream of. As far as his impact on the English game, he really hasn't changed that much. Many complain that he raised prices and that may be there, but prices were always rising anyway. He may have given other billionaires the idea to try what he did so well, but that's about it. People kept on moaning about it ruining football, but in my (probably biased) view at least, he did it in the right way.

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

Geremi scoring the fourth past you in a wonderful 4-1 win.

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

I'm not one for the away days, being a poor student, it's not really something I can do.

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

Where's your famous atmosphere?

* Care to predict the score?

I'm not one for predictions, but it'll be close all game. Until we score, and then catch you on the break to seal the deal. 0-2

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

No, but it was given, so we have to deal with it and move on.

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

Top of the league and doing great in CL. Can't complain much. Sure, there have been games where we haven't been great, but we've mostly managed to win anyway, which is good.

The losses against Newcastle and City are the only real downers this season....so far.

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

As long as we're doing well I can't see us kicking out Ancelotti. In his first season he gave us the double and we're started strong this season. Can't complain. He's done alot of good for us.

Because of that I can see him getting more time to fix things if things go wrong in the future. I hope he stays for a long time.

But I must admit that my heart still belongs to Hiddink - even though he won less and only spent a few months here.

Could say that if I love Hiddink then Ancelotti is my mistress.....I guess.

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Malouda has been great so far. Not sure if he'll play against you though.

So instead I think I'll mention Mikel who has been brilliant all season. Doesn't get much of the headlines, but is a vital part of the team. Deserves more recognition.

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

None that I can think of. Sturridge still has alot to prove, but he's still young and I can see he's got potential.

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

It'll be 4-3-3 and I would be very surprised (and very disappointed) if we played very defensively. We have been slow starters in quite a few games, but in the end we will attack.

Line-up will be: Cech; Ivanovic, Alex, JT, Cole; Essien/Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov; Anelka, Drogba, Malouda/Kalou

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

Gerrard and Torres. Those two are the stars of Liverpool and the ones who can single-handedly win games for you.

Torres might not look to be at his best at the moment, but in a game like this he can pop up anywhere and score a goal. Big players turn on their magic in big games.

I also want to mention Kuyt. He might not be the best player in the world, but he works really hard and through that hard work he can cause problems.

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

Hard to say actually. I haven't seen much of Cole in Liverpool and Benayoun didn't play that many games before he got injured. Since I support Chelsea I want to say we got the better deal, but I think I'll wait awhile before I pass judgement.

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Lampard is a brilliant player so any team would miss him. It's a bit like if Liverpool would be without Gerrard.

But luckily the team has played well without him so far. So even though we do miss some of the qualities he has (passing and shooting for instance) we still manage to make things work. I mean, how many games have we lost without him? Not many.

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

I'm very happy with him. Unlike some other owners Roman really seem interested in the team and he wants what's best for Chelsea. He also seem like a nice guy.

Not sure how much of an impact he's had on the English game though. Either more than I think...or less.

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

That crazy game in the Champions League. We had 2-0 from the first leg I think and I remember that one here on theshedend was really cocky and started talking about who we would face next. Many told him off because we still had one game to play and 2-0 could easy turn into 2-3 or something. Besides, we didn't want to jinx us. ;)

Then the game started and after like 20 minutes Liverpool had 2-0. I remember feeling very nervous then.

But in the 2nd half Drogba gave us hope and then Alex stepped up and scored an amazing free kick to make it 2-2.

Lampard then gave us the lead, but you didn't give up and made it 3-3 and then took the lead. Finally Lampard scored his second and it ended 4-4. A very entertaining game.

Another game I remember - well I remember the final score and how happy I was, but I can't remember anything else from it - was when we won 4-1 at Anfield.

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

No, haven't been to Anfield. Wouldn't mind going there though. Maybe next season...if you're still here then ;)

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

When it comes to football songs I have the memory of a stick....that has been in the fire too long. Don't know why my minute olive-sized brain can't collect that kind of information.

* Care to predict the score?

It'll be a tough game.

Chelsea wins - 2-1

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

My brain has blocked out that incident.

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I think this thread is as good a place as any to pass on this message posted at Vital Chelsea:

For those of you travelling to Liverpool this Sunday, we`re asking for a favour.

We`d like you to put aside our rivalry, with Liverpool, and take time out to stand silently by the Hillsborough Memorial and pay your respects to those who perished following the team, and game, they loved.

They may have followed another club but they too were from families, like ourselves, and although many years have passed since that awful day, for some of those families, the pain is as raw as ever.

It`s not too much to ask for is it?

All I'll add to that is that there but for the Grace of God...

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I think this thread is as good a place as any to pass on this message posted at Vital Chelsea:

All I'll add to that is that there but for the Grace of God...

The question that has to be asked is, would Liverpool fans pay their respects if it were Chelsea fans who were killed? Personally, I doubt it very much.

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* How have you found the season so far? I can't imagine you have too much cause for complaint.

So far so good, picked up more points from the fixtures this year than we did last. That is a huge plus.

* After the managerial changes you've made in the past few years, is Ancelotti for keeps? How do you guys think he compares to Mourinho, Hiddink, etc.? And, more importantly, do you think Abramovic will get bored of him?

Roman doesnt get bored of managers. Its press rubbish, just like when they said for years he would get bored of the club and leave etc. Ancellotti is here as long as he continues to challenge for trophies. Its a results business

* Who are the Chelsea players that we should be looking out for on Sunday? Anybody who's particularly shone this season other than the usual big names?

Mikel. While he is branded a sideways 5 yard passer he has dominated in midfield all season. He will continue to be overlooked by pundits and rival fans but his contribution has been vital

* Any poor players this season? Anyone you'd like to get shot of?

Turnbull was poor in the one start he got. But i wont hold it against him too much, any player that hasn't played in such a long time will be a bit rusty.

* What kind of style are you likely to play against us? Attacking, defensive? Any idea of the possible formation or lineup?

4-3-3. I think we will try to control the game early on. Attacking football. The line up will contain the usual suspects

* Which Liverpool players do you rate? Anybody you think likely to cause you problems on Sunday?

Torres, Gerrard & Kuyt. If essien is deemed fit i will expect less of a threat from Gerrard. Kuyt and torres tend to cause us problems. Kuyt at the backpost has the jump on ashley every time while torres pace and quick feet is a tricky one to handle

* Over the summer, we got Joe Cole off you (currently injured and likely to miss the match) and you got Benayoun of us (who's got a long term injury apparently). Who did better in that deal?

We did. While he unfortunately picked up a long term injury, Yossi will return and provide us with more than Joe could have. He is past his prime but it would appear neither his agent or himself knew this hence the crazy wage demands and shown the exit.

* How much are you likely to miss Lampard? Does having him out of the lineup change much?

Yes, we create very little through the middle of the park now. With yossi also injured it means out midfield trio will consist of Mikel, Essien, Ramires/Zhirkov. None of them are play makers that can cut defenses open with passing. Yuri also vacates the middle of the park and floats out left, which leaves Malouda to wander off and pop up in unexpected positions.

* It's been 7 years since Abramovich arrived in English football. What are you guys thoughts on him? What do you think of him as an owner, and what do you think of his impact on the English game?

Great man, great owner. He made some mistakes and has learned from them. While he didnt set the best example with huge transfer fees and wages, he has since shown clubs must work within budgets and invest in the youth academy which is producing good players for us now

* Do you have any particular memory of a previous meeting between our clubs?

The day we finally beat you in the CL semi final

* Have any of you been to Anfield, and do you have any memories (positive or negative) of the place?

No

* Any good songs that we're likely to hear from your fans? Will you be bringing your plastic flags?

Im predicting a Kalou goal so i expect the "He crossed the ball from the left, it landed right on riise's head" to sing loud.

* Care to predict the score?

0-2 Drogba & Kalou

* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

If the ball had continued to travel at the same speed continuously from that moment until now, it still wouldn't have crossed the line yet. ::ChELSeAFaN::

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Even if they wouldn't it doesn't mean we can't.

I know its a touchy subject but until Liverpool fans themeselves take some responsibility for what happened that day then I struggle to empathise with them. This is different to the sympathy I feel for the family and friends of the victims, its just the fans who demand respect then do very similar things to that day again, like at Athens, the bridge etc.

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* And finally, did that ball cross the line?

Irrelevant. The ref's real howler came seconds before:

baroscechfoulov8.jpg

Baros had already been booked and should have had a second yellow for that dangerous foot-up. We always get shafted by refs in CL semis.

Mind you, we got shafted in our last defeat up at Anfield, too:

article-1133875-0343B03B000005DC-901_468x354.jpg

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I know its a touchy subject but until Liverpool fans themeselves take some responsibility for what happened that day then I struggle to empathise with them. This is different to the sympathy I feel for the family and friends of the victims, its just the fans who demand respect then do very similar things to that day again, like at Athens, the bridge etc.

I agree.

But for me it's quite simple. I pay my respects for the ones who died, not for the ones who are alive today. The ones who died should not be punished for what the scousers of today might or might not do.

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