Saturday Live Game Cafe!

Welcome, people, to FOAR’s Live Game Cafe.

Joe’s unavailable at the moment due to some *ahem* unavoidable commitments – don’t do anything I wouldn’t Joe – so it’s your lot to suffer my pathetic attempt at entertaining you a bit before today’s games. Please keep your shoes on, we haven’t fixed the ventilation system yet.

Speaking of today’s games – here they are.


12:30 BST (13:30 CET)

Arsenal vs Hull City

We’ll of course be hoping the Tigers can extend their run of very good results after staying undefeated at Old Trafford and beating us, by pulling off another surprise against the Gunners.


Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin is doubtful after suffering a blow to the head against Chelsea, so Gabriel could deputise against Hull.

Midfielder Mohamed Elneny is available again after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Hull will be without skipper Michael Dawson and Abel Hernandez because of respective calf and hamstring injuries.

Ahmed Elmohamady is back from international duty, while on-loan winger Lazar Markovic is in contention.

He was ineligible to face his parent club Liverpool last week.

Confirmed line-ups:


15:00 BST (16:00 CET)

Manchester United vs Watford

As is the case with Hull, it would be very good for us if Watford today at Old Trafford repeat their fantastic result against Arsenal from just under two weeks ago.


Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is available after missing the win at Leicester because of illness.

Marcos Rojo is also fit again after a knock but Phil Jones remains sidelined with a bruised foot.

Watford’s Christian Kabasele has recovered from a muscle problem and could feature.

However, the game is likely to come too early for Nordin Amrabat, who has returned to training after an ankle injury.

Confirmed line-ups:


Middlesbrough vs Everton


Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes is free to play after avoiding retrospective action for a clash with Dele Alli in the loss at Tottenham.

George Friend is a major doubt with a calf strain but Gaston Ramirez could be back from a knee injury.

Tom Davies may return for Everton after being used as a substitute in the win over Bournemouth.

Fellow midfielder Idrissa Gueye is in line for a first start since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Confirmed line-ups:


Stoke City vs Crystal Palace

Perhaps the only potentially interesting thing for us regarding this game would be to see Glen Johnson and Joe Allen play against Mamadou Sakho and Christian Benteke. But it seems Johnson is set to miss out.


Xherdan Shaqiri and Glen Johnson are not expected to be fit to return for Stoke on Saturday.

However, Ramadan Sobhi is available following the completion of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Luka Milivojevic is available for Crystal Palace after securing a visa, while Mamadou Sakho could also make his debut for the club.

Fellow new signing Jeffrey Schlupp is in contention after a hamstring strain but Scott Dann is injured.

Confirmed line-ups:


Sunderland vs Southampton


Sunderland pair Adnan Januzaj and John O’Shea have overcome respective hip and hamstring injuries suffered during the 4-0 win at Crystal Palace last weekend.

Jack Rodwell is out with a hamstring problem and defender Papy Djilobodji is still suspended.

Southampton’s club record signing Sofiane Boufal will miss Saturday’s game because of an ankle injury.

Nathan Redmond is pushing for a recall, having appeared as a substitute in last week’s 3-1 home defeat by West Ham.

Confirmed line-ups:


West Ham vs West Bromwich Albion


West Ham will monitor Andy Carroll, who is nursing a minor groin problem, while Sam Byram and Havard Nordtveit are back in contention after injuries.

The Hammers will assess Aaron Cresswell’s tight hamstring and Cheikhou Kouyate’s dead leg, but Diafra Sakho and Angelo Ogbonna remain out.

West Brom defender Jonny Evans returns after missing five games with a calf injury.

Midfielder Claudio Yacob is also fit after recovering from stomach cramps.

Andy Carroll has four goals in five Premier League games for West Ham in 2017

Confirmed line-ups:


And that’s it for today. Tomorrow, we have… wait. I think there’s one more today.


17:30 BST (18:30 CET)

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

“Arise now, arise, Riders of Theoden!
Dire deeds awake, dark is it eastward.
Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded!
Forth Eorlingas!”
-J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Lord of the Rings”-


Liverpool will assess Dejan Lovren, who missed the defeat at Hull with a swollen knee, and fellow centre-back Ragnar Klavan, who has been unwell.

Adam Lallana, who has a minor Achilles problem, will also be monitored.

Tottenham remain without defenders Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen, who are recovering from respective knee and ankle problems.

Kieran Trippier may feature after overcoming an ankle injury but Erik Lamela is still out with hip pain.


My thoughts exactly, Stevie.

Confirmed line-ups:

As before, the source for the team news for all matches is BBC.

And there you have it. We wish you all a very pleasant day and hope you’ll have something to celebrate tonight. And remember, those of you going to Anfield this evening, make it loud, make it bouncy. And remember, those of you watching at home, make it cold, make it foam. The beer I mean.



Veselin Trajkovic

A sports enthusiast, Liverpool FC fan, writing for several blogs, likes to focus on football for what it is, rather than stats or bias. Writing for FOAR since its inception.

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