TOMMY SMITH: Liverpool FC's Sotirios Kyrgiakos has key role to play in Mersey derby
I THINK Sotirios Kyrgiakos will have a key role to play in Saturday's derby.
I'll be honest, when I first saw the big Greek defender play I wasn't impressed. I didn't think he was good enough for a club of Liverpool's stature but he's made me reassess.
Over the past four games he has been excellent. He gets stuck in and is very strong in the air.
I know Daniel Agger is fit again now but I'd keep faith with Kyrgiakos. In fact if I was Rafa Benitez I'd give him the job of keeping a close eye on Tim Cahill, who showed how dangerous he is in the air with the Blues' winner at Wigan.
He is a real threat from set-pieces and I'd stick Kyrgiakos on him.
It's going to be a real battle and it's difficult to pick a winner.
Everton are in good form and will fancy their chances.
A lot will depend on how we start the game.
If we play like we did in the second half against Bolton I fancy us to win.
But if we repeat our first half performance we're in trouble.
We were poor in the opening 45 minutes last Saturday. Our passing was awful.
We didn't stamp our authority on the game and we were lucky to be ahead at the break.
I'm sure the manager had some strong words for them at half-time and rightly so.
The second half was a lot better and Steven Gerrard looked more like his usual self which was great to see.
Javier Mascherano was my man of the match. The only thing he has to curb is throwing himself into tackles he doesn't need to make as he picked up another silly yellow card.
Alberto Aquilani hasn't impressed me so far but he did set up the first goal so hopefully he will get confidence from that.
I know Lucas came on and made a difference, giving us a bit of extra strength in the middle. But Aquilani is more likely to create a chance and I'd keep faith with him.
Walking away is not Rafa Benitez's style
RAFA BENITEZ has vowed he won't be leaving Liverpool for Juventus and I believe him.
The manager must be frustrated at the way this season has gone, but the big thing for me is that he knows he's still got the best fans in the world right behind him.
If he went elsewhere he wouldn't have that kind of backing.
Benitez is a decent man and I believe when the time comes to move on he will want to leave everything neat and tidy.
He's not the kind of man to walk away when things get tough.
Lack of Liverpool signings was no surprise
I WASN'T surprised that there was so little transfer activity at Anfield during January.
I think we all knew there was hardly any money to sign players.
We might have generated some cash by off-loading fringe players, but the fear is that's just gone straight to the banks.
I know we tried to get Kenwyne Jones on loan but we shouldn't be groveling to a smaller club and trying to borrow one of their strikers.
I am worried that our squad isn't strong enough and the lack of forwards is a concern.
When Fernando Torres doesn't play, we lack someone to lead the line and put the ball in the back of the net.
Thankfully, at the moment we're not conceding so we're not having to score many to win games.
There is talk of new investment and I just hope the Americans finally sell up soon.
Football is all about money these days and we need someone to come in who is willing to put their hand in their pocket.