Shrunken Violets?

Liverpool vs. Toulouse

Champions League 3rd Round Qualifier, 2nd Leg

8:05pm (3:05pm EST) Tuesday, August 27

The Lowdown: Victory at Sunderland was not without its price. The club has confirmed that Carra has suffered a broken rib and a pneumothorax, which for those of us who don’t watch House or ER, is a collapsed lung. Jamie won’t have to undergo any special treatment for his injuries, but is ruled out of Tuesday’s return leg with the Violets. Sami Hyypia is also among the walking wounded with a broken nose, but will not be forced to sit out, likely stepping in at centerback. That is, assuming he has full sight in his left eye, which was a problem on Saturday.

One player who will definately not be filling in on the backline on Tuesday, or ‘forever’ for that matter, is Gabriel Paletta. The 21-year old is returning to Argentinian football after being sold to Boca Juniors for an undisclosed amount. While young and talented, I always felt he was prone to mental lapses, but assumed it would be something worked out with time and experience. Interesting that Rafa chose to pull the trigger on him after such a short spell at the club. He must have not seen enough promise. Best of luck to Gabby back home.

The possible shortage at centerback may force Rafa to wade back into the murky depths of the transfer market before the window closes on Saturday. He’s even admitted as much:

We are thinking about finding more players and maybe we will have to look at this situation again.

(edited) Stevie G will not be available for Tuesday’s action. 

Things aren’t looking much better for the other team involved in this match. Since the first leg, Toulouse have lost a home match to newly promoted Strasbourg (3-1) and drew at Nice (1-1). And to add insult to injury, or actually, injury to insult, The French club are not without their share of health problems. Captain Dominique Arribage (knee), defender Daniel Congre (shoulder) and defender Albin Ebondo (thigh) will all be missing for the return leg. Defender Jon Jonsson limps into Tuesday’s affair with a lingering calf injury.

Toulouse manager Elie Baup sounded off after the draw with Nice:

So far I had not found the virtues my players showed last season: never surrendering, never accepting a defeat. We will try to surprise Liverpool and all the people who think our case is sealed. We are not going there for sightseeing and hope to leave with no regrets.

5 Questions TBA:

  1. Will Sami be healthy enough to start and last 90 minutes or will the Reds be forced to defend with a makeshift centerback pairing? (paging Jack Hobbs…)
  2. Will/should Stevie G play or will Rafa hold him on the bench, only to deploy the captain should a dire situation arise? Turns out, he will not play any role.
  3. Will Crouch and Benayoun see some quality time on the pitch?
  4. Will Babel continue on the left or will experience reign supreme with Riise’s restoration?
  5. Are the floodgates going to open now that Momo has scored? Will his game be completely and utterly revolutionized, his offensive talents unlocked and he’ll now score at will and for fun? *smirk*

For those of you in the U.S., this game will be shown on GolTV. Judging by all previous accounts, should you choose to watch their coverage, you may want to do so with the sound on mute. 

In other news, Fabio Auriello has returned to light training following his Achilles injury. Having him back in the squad before the New Year will certainly be a boost and provide Rafa will one more option.


4 Responses to “Shrunken Violets?”

  1. 1 jamie August 27, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    You can mute it, but it’s comedy gold to listen. I may even take notes this week.
    Get Well Soon, Jamie!

  2. 2 Tony August 27, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Speaking of comedy gold: Momo scoring “at will and for fun.” Whooo!

  3. 3 Johninho August 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Here’s a thought – Toulouse aren’t that good – why not go with a back three? Use the extra mid to push the tempo, or put Kuyt, Voronin and Torres in the front together?

    Because, to flip the script on pre-Norman Dale Hickory, Indiana, “you can’t score if yer pickin’ the ball out o’ yer net!”

  4. 4 Agent Johnson August 28, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Should be no worries. Torres will dominate this battered defense.

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