Interview with Vital Liverpool
1) It's not been a great start to Rogers's reign. Do you think he has the fans on side and do you think he will be given enough time? How long before you think he'll be getting some stick?
The fans are certainly fully supportive of Brendan Rodgers and what he is trying to build at Anfield. Despite the results we can see progress being made and appreciate his slick passing style of play and the fact he is not afraid to give youngsters a chance. Of course, when appointed in the summer, there were some fans who questioned whether he had the quality or experience to take charge of the club. It's still early days but thinking long-term there is a quiet optimism around Merseyside.
2) Were you disappointed to see Kenny Dalglish leave? It would seem that it wasn't just performances on the pitch that ended his time with the club.
Kenny Dalglish is, and always will be, an absolute legend but last season's league performances and finishing position were simply not acceptable. Of course the cup runs were brilliant and personally I would have given him until Christmas before making a decision. Unfortunately expensive signings who flopped and all the off-field issues such as the racism saga also counted against him.
3) What have been the main changes to the system/style this season? Liverpool were very effective when they played us last season home and away.
Rodgers has changed the system to 4-3-3 and implemented a more patient, less direct approach. He also favours a more technical type of footballer hence the departure of Andy Carroll and the purchases of Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin etc.
4) Is there a weak link in the Liverpool team?
Scoring goals is the obvious one but we've also looked less secure than usual at the back of late. Pepe Reina has had a couple of big errors and looks low in confidence whilst the defenders, Martin Skrtel in particular, are still trying to adapt to playing the ball out from the back.
5) What is the likely line up/formation?
Changes have been few and far between in the league so far this season but we have a few issues this week. With Lucas out injured and Jonjo Shelvey suspended, Nuri Sahin is most likely to come into the centre of midfield. Martin Kelly is out long term but Rodgers is hopeful Daniel Agger and Fabio Borini will be fit after all three were injured against Manchester United. Borini is the biggest worry rated at only 50/50.
Likely lineup (4-3-3): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Allen, Gerrard, Sahin, Sterling, Suarez, Suso/Assaidi.
6) Everyone seems to be tipping us to struggle this year, do you agree?
I think you'll be ok. It often takes time for things to fall into place, as we're seeing also, when you have a new boss with new staff and ideas etc coming into a club. Chris Hougton is a good manager and there are many worse teams around for me. I certainly don't see you getting relegated although you might not have as big an impact as last season either.
7) Who are you most worried about in the City side?
Although not one of the game's more celebrated players, Wes Hoolahan is an impressive all-round midfielder who I think you rely on heavily. He leads the side by example and notches impressive figures in the goals and assists columns. It is a massive surprise to me that he only has one Republic of Ireland cap to his name.
8) Prediction for the game?
There have been plenty of positive signs of late to give everyone connected with Liverpool belief that our campaign is finally set to get going. Nobody will be taking Norwich for granted of course but given the preceding league fixtures we've had this match provides a great opportunity to record that elusive first Premiership victory. I fancy a 2-1 LFC victory.