After a month’s layoff with an ankle injury sustained whilst on international duty with the Netherlands, Dirk Kuyt is ready to return for Liverpool in this afternoon’s showdown with last season’s champions Chelsea. However if The Guardian’s reports are to be believed, the industrious Dutchman will have to settle for a place on the substitute’s bench this afternoon.
Fernando Torres will return to the starting XI however after being rested from the 3-1 midweek defeat of Napoli – Liverpool’s third win in succession, which means the Merseysiders enter the game with confidence they have rarely had this season. Hat-trick hero Steven Gerrard returns to the fray in central midfield, whilst speculation is mounting that David N’Gog will partner Torres from the start.
Henry outlines Comolli role.
During the 1990s Liverpool’s youth system was a rich and productive one. Bred through its ranks were the likes of Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, David Thompson, Jamie Carragher, Dominic Matteo and, of course, Steven Gerrard; all of whom have enjoyed fruitful careers in the Premier League, European competition and beyond. As Damien Comolli arrives to take the sporting director’s position at Anfield, the attention shifts to what he can conjure with an academy which has endured a fallow decade.
Comolli’s role is to, “identify exciting young talent,” John W. Henry told The Guardian, whether recruited from abroad or found on the pitches of Merseyside. Integrating players into the first team becomes a priority – something Liverpool failed to do in spite of winning the F.A. Youth Cup in 2006 and 2007.
Reds chase Russian striker.
Part of the £30 million New England Sports Ventures are rumoured to have promised Roy Hodgson to spend in January’s transfer window will be splurged on Russian centre-forward Pavel Pogrebnyak. The former Zenit St. Petersburg target-man’s form has impressed since moving to Vfb Stuttgart, scoring 11 times in 35 appearances for Die Roten.
A potential stumbling block for the interests of Liverpool is the attitude of Stuttgart’s sporting director Fredi Bobic. Bobic told skysports.com: “I have been listening to rumours that Liverpool and Tottenham have their eyes on Pavel. It is a fact. However, none of these clubs have been talking to us about him lately. He is a player of Vfb Stuttgart.”