Head of Content Keith Ingham spoke to his best friend John Powell about his boyhood club, Liverpool FC.
JP, we've been good friends for a great number of years and have watched a few games together; World Cup, Euros, Champions League but nothing beats Liverpool vs Leeds. A rivalry that goes back to the late sixties. How long have you followed the Red Men?
I first caught the bug when I was 7 in the 1978/9 season. I can thank my uncle for my love of Liverpool who was an avid fan. He did however insist that my father take me to my first game though, away to Coventry City, not the greatest game 0-0 but I have seen many better since.
You've had some of the greatest players in the game (apart from Leeds) grace the cherry red of Liverpool FC. I know it would be hard to put them in order but try and give me your top ten from your time as a supporter?
Top ten players, this is a really good question and one I would probably change my mind on myself a lot, but at this moment I am thinking of:
(Not necessarily in order after the top 2)
Kenny Dalglish - King Kenny, a top player who inspired the team to greatness but also a man who ran himself into the ground supporting the victims of Hillsborough
Steve Gerrard - a man who carried or at least elevated us for much of his career, responsible for so many great moments. Deserved to be in a better team so many times.
Robbie Fowler - sublime natural finisher in his prime
Alan Hansen - calm, composed and comfortable on the ball
Luis Suarez - probably the most gifted footballer I saw in the red in the last few years. Even with his obvious flaws and short time with us still makes the list
Jamie Carragher - developed into a great centre back, not the best footballer we've ever had but Liverpool through and through
John Barnes - at times dazzling, creating chances from nothing, beating men at will
Ian Rush - a true goal machine, his goals took us to so many trophies
Graeme Souness - a hard midfield general, whilst Kenny was scoring and creating the goals Souness was dominating the game. Not a great manager but a colossus of a player.
Xabi Alonso - the best passer of a ball I have seen in the shirt
You must also have seen some superb games involving the teams, any that come to mind?
I remember a lot of great games but I'm going to stick to the ones I attended so that rules out the miracle of Istanbul.
Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 - this game had everything, late goals, coming back from the dead (twice), Klopp lifting the crowd, belief from the players and it all happened the day before the final Hillsborough Memorial Service - a fitting tribute
Liverpool 3 West Ham 3 - in fairness we weren't great for much of this game but it gets in for the drama and elation of that last minute Gerrard strike
Liverpool 4 Real Madrid 0 - ok it wasn't a great Real Madrid side but to thoroughly beat a team of that level in a competitive match was amazing (Made even better by the 4-1 away win at Old Trafford a few days later).
Your club seem very calm behind the scenes, Leeds on the other hand have been in chaos since their relegation from the Premier League. Have you an opinion on Massimo Cellino?
I feel for Leeds and where they are now, having come through the Hicks and Gillette era that almost broke us. The sooner Cellino can be replaced by a more stable influence the better, the constant managerial sackings, court cases and clashes with the league all serve as a distraction to add to this he now also seems to be growing disinterested too.
A club of your size and history needs to get back in to the top flight and quite simply you need an owner and chairman who will provide the stability, ambition and money to do it. The one thing I can tell you is that when you find them, things go turn around.
Would top four be your ultimate goal or do you see the EFL Cup as a good distraction with a chance of a Wembley visit at the end of it?
The ambition of any Liverpool fan is always the league title. The fan in me loves a cup final and a trophy but the pragmatist in me says we need top 4 and the Champions League to kick on a level with both the money and prestige that helps bring in the players we are targeting. So right now to further the Klopp revolution top 4 is what I would choose.
Who will contest the top four in the Premiership and the Champions, Leicester one season wonders?
Top 4 - difficult this year, it looks to be between the big 6, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs. The 2 to miss out Spurs and hopefully Man Utd. Title winners maybe Man City with their squad depth although I would hope we could be in the running.
Leicester easier to say now but you know I predicted bottom half for them this season so one season wonders but hats off to them, what a season and now a great Champions league run too
Champions and Runners up of the Championship and four teams to be in the Playoffs?
Championship - I can't see beyond Rafa taking Newcastle straight back up as champions. I did predict Norwich originally as 2nd so I'll stick with them but they've got some work to do. Play offs Brighton, Sheffield Wednesday, Villa (now they gave Bruce in charge), Birmingham.
Leeds will be probably just miss out but you have a shot at the 6th and final place, so long as Cellino doesn't sell you down the river in January.
Three teams to get relegated?
Coming down to the Championship, got to be Hull, Swansea and Sunderland for me.
A couple of players from below your first team that you consider to have a real future at the club?
We've got some great youngsters coming through, some of which you may see on Tuesday.
Trent Alexander Arnold, Ejaria, Grujic (not sure if he counts we bought him as a prospect for £5m) could take the next step up to match day squad in the next year, behind them Woodburn is a very good young goal scoring prospect.
Prediction and Scorers for Tuesdays game?
The big question, Tuesday night. I'm going with 2-0 to Liverpool, Origi and Grujic
It will be great to play Leeds again, it would be even better if this was a Premiership game.
We'd like to thank John for participating in our interview ahead of Saturdays match and wish his club the best for the season, any team that hates Scum as much as us has a place in my heart.
by Keith Ingham