Perhaps the only highlight of former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson's painful reign last season came when his side did the double over Bolton Wanderers. But even those slim pickings, secured on New Year's Day with a late Joe Cole goal at Anfield, not long before Roy was told to do one, can be put into context: it was Liverpool's fourth double in a row over the Trotters. Ho hum. Oh Roy!
In fact, Bolton haven't taken a single point off the Reds since September 2006, when
Sam Allardyce single-handedly when Gary Speed and Ivan Campo gave them a 2-0 win at the Reebok. Moreover, they haven't won a league game at Anfield since 1954. Though there is that FA Cup win on Liverpool's patch in 1993, at least. Even so, with that sort of track record, a Bolton win today would be a coupon buster. Do people still do coupons?
Liverpool drop the generally misfiring Andy Carroll to the bench: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Adam, Lucas, Kuyt, Henderson, Downing, Suarez.
Subs: Doni, Carroll, Maxi, Spearing, Shelvey, Skrtel, Robinson.
Bolton Wanderers unchanged from the side who lost to Manchester City: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Eagles, Reo-Coker, Muamba, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Klasnic.
Subs: Bogdan, Sanli, Mark Davies, Blake, Pratley, Wheater, Riley.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
Kick off: 5.30pm.
The teams take to the pitch. Liverpool in their all-red strip, Bolton in their white shirts and navy shorts. It won't be long now. "I'm sorry to say it but I think Liverpool-Carroll=bad news for Bolton," opines Rob Cobourne. "Saying that, has Dalglish forgot about Maxi's hat-tricks at the end of last season? Surely Henderson could make way for one match: 4-1 to Liverpool."
And we're off! Liverpool set the ball rolling, and they're kicking towards the Anfield Road end. The ball's pumped down the right, where Henderson nearly finds Suarez one on one with Knight, but the big defender manages to clear.
2 min: Liverpool happy to pass it around the back for a minute or so, giving all their defenders a touch. It's just like the 1980s. Sort of.
4 min: Suarez tears down the inside-right channel and is clumsily brought to ground by Reo-Coker. The free kick is 25 yards out, just to the right of the D. Adam takes it, and I have no idea what he was trying to do; the ball clanks straight into the wall. Aiming to get the ball up and over and into the bottom-right corner, perhaps?
5 min: Liverpool have started very strongly. Suarez wins the ball down the left from Steinsson while sat on his arse, springing up and nearly breaking free down the wing. Then Adam overhits a pass down the left for Downing, who reaches the ball nevertheless to win a corner. The set piece comes to nothing, but this is a decent opening period for the hosts.
8 min: Petrov wins a corner after twisting and turning Kelly down the left. From it, Liverpool break upfield, Suarez releasing Downing down the inside-right channel. He should tear clear and get a shot on goal, but takes a heavy touch and must settle for a corner. Agger gets a head to Adam's kick from the right, but can't direct it goalwards. Bolton hack out for another corner, which is wasted. This is a bright opening.
11 min: Liverpool still enjoying the majority of possession, but mainly in their own half at the moment. A couple of times they try to spring forward with long balls down the channel, but nothing sticks.
13 min: Bolton are struggling to put anything together, though they're looking strong enough at the back so far. Kuyt nearly releases Suarez down the inside right, but a combination of Robinson and Cahill clears the danger.
15 min: GOAL!!! Liverpool 1-0 Bolton Wanderers. So nearly a picture-book goal. From the left wing, Suarez curls one with the outside of his boot into the area for Downing, who hits it first time for the right of goal. Jaaskelainen parries brilliantly. But no matter! The ball finds its way to Henderson in the right-hand side of the area. He drops a shoulder, moves the ball to the left, and curls a fantastic effort into the top left. The £16m man has found it difficult to win over the fans so far; that should help a wee bit.
18 min: Nearly a picture-book response from Bolton. Muamba finds Eagles down the right. Eagles swings one across to Petrov, level with the far post, ten yards out. Petrov creams a superlative volley goalwards, which Reina does marvellously well to parry. Excellent play.
20 min: A raking ball down the left by Suarez releases Downing, who crosses into the centre for Kuyt. The striker shapes to shoot from the edge of the area, but the ball's robbed off his toe before he can connect. This is a wonderfully open game.
21 min: A long ball down the middle by Adam so nearly finds Suarez, cutting into the box from the wing, clear in the centre. Jaaskelainen is off his line quickly to deny the excellent Uruguayan.
23 min: Henderson curls a low ball through the six-yard box from the right. Kuyt is inches from making contact, but can't convert. Liverpool are playing superbly here, but then they did this against Sunderland too, and look what happened there.
24 min: From the centre spot, Henderson pings a first-time pass down the inside-right channel to release Suarez. He's clear, and chips the ball over the advancing Jaaskelainen from 30 yards, but gets a wee bit too much on his shot and the bar twangs the very top of the crossbar and out for a goal kick. Close, but in the final analysis a bad miss. "Can we have the Liverpool of August 2010 back please?" begs Everton's Gary Naylor. "Surely, in these recessionary, riotous and, well, rubbish times, they added some much needed levity to the nation."
26 min: Muamba is replaced by Mark Davies. Not sure whether that's an injury or tactical.
28 min: Kelly is off the pitch getting treatment on his left leg. He's going to have to go off.
30 min: Kelly is replaced by Skrtel, who goes straight to right back.
31 min: Skrtel's first act is to toe-poke the ball out for a corner, with Klasnic threatening down the left. From the corner, Davies meets with his head, but blazes Petrov's ball over. Anfield has gone slightly quiet, a suggestion that Liverpool have lost a wee bit of momentum.
33 min: Another corner for Bolton from the left. Petrov swings it through the six-yard box, where Cahill is inches away from connecting properly with a diving header. At the far post, Kevin Davies is caught on the hop and squirts the ball wide right. Bolton are beginning to carve out half-chances.
36 min: Kelly - who was out for a large chunk of last season with a hamstring injury - has done his hamstring. He's insisting it's a small tweak, but time will tell. There's no injury for Muamba, though; that change was tactical.
38 min: Liverpool are pinging it around in pretty triangles, but it's all a bit hectic, and eventually Adam belabours a weighty ball down the left that Suarez has no chance of catching. Their early-game mojo has definitely evaporated. The Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates is in the stands, by the way. He's had his medical, but the Is and Ts on an Anfield contract haven't been dotted and crossed yet.
40 min: Mark Davies goes on a superb run from the halfway line, out on the left. He skates past three red shirts and reaches the edge of the area, but his low shot is weak and snaffled easily by Reina. Up the other end, Kuyt decides to take matters into his own hands. Down the inside-right channel, he drops a shoulder to gain an edge over Robinson and, from the edge of the area, hammers a rising shot just over the bar. That got the crowd going, if nothing else. "You think Sammy wouldn't play the Phil Collins song that Roy wanted to hear?" wonders Joe Pearson of the imaginary bar-style brouhaha in our picture.
43 min: Adam rakes a long diagonal ball to Downing down the left. The winger tries to knock it past Steinsson with his first touch, but the full back deliberately handles on the edge of the area. He's booked, but there's no penalty, because the referee - correctly, and brilliantly - spots that the Bolton man's arm and hand were operating outside the area, even though the rest of him was in it! The crowd aren't happy, which you can kind of understand, because that was super-marginal, but that's the way it is. The resulting free kick is a load of nonsense.
HALF TIME: Liverpool 1-0 Bolton Wanderers. A good half for Liverpool comes to an end. It could have been better for them - a two-goal lead wouldn't have flattered the home side - but then Bolton dug their heels in brilliantly and by the end of the half had created a couple of opportunities of their own, while stemming the tide at the back. Pretty entertaining, all in all.
Half-time paranoia: "More Uruguayans please and thank you," writes Linda Howard. "I am already having that sword of Damocles feeling - How long before someone comes along and tempts my Suarez away? Maybe if they keep bringing in Uruguayans he'll stay for a while."
And we're off again! This is going to be interesting. Liverpool were awful in the second half of their last home game, against Sunderland, after a wonderful start. Will this game prove to be a facsimile copy?
46 min: Suarez roasts Knight for pace down the right. Just before he reaches the area, Knight manages to clumsily slide near Suarez, putting the striker off. Suarez then decides to outrageously tumble into the area, screaming for a penalty. That's never going to be given. I'm kind of surprised he's not been booked for that, but the referee is obviously of the mind that he simply lost his footing.
[Post-game note: see 63 mins, this is tosh, I'm a four-eyed eejit, Suarez was tap-tackled by Knight's hand]
48 min: From the byline on the right, Skrtel sends a low cross into the centre, but the ball is hacked clear brilliantly by Cahill. Liverpool have come out of the blocks flying again.
49 min: Lucas, who has been excellent in a fuss-free way, is brought down near the right touchline by Klumsy Klasnic. That's a booking.
50 min: Suarez slips a ball out wide for Henderson, whose delicious low cross into the centre is brilliantly hoicked clear by a sliding Cahill. The ball ends up back at the feet of Henderson; a second cross nearly sneaks in at the near post, where Jaaskelinen parries out for a corner. Which is wasted.
52 min: GOAL!!! Liverpool 2-0 Bolton Wanderers. Robinson upends Suarez on the edge of the area, but the referee sees nothing wrong with the challenge. Adam picks the loose ball up and sees his effort from the edge of the area deflected wide right. Adam takes the corner, and Skrtel powers past Knight on the penalty spot to hammer a header straight into the net. That was a rare old nut.
53 min: GOAL!!! Liverpool 3-0 Bolton Wanderers. Charlie Adam scores his first goal for Liverpool. Kuyt wins a scrappy ball in midfield, and slides the ball to Adam on his right. From 20 yards, he hits a low, hard shot across Jaaskelainen and into the bottom-left corner. Liverpool are suddenly rampant.
55 min: Liverpool have never won a game in which Martin Skrtel has scored, incidentally.
56 min: Kuyt is constantly involved. From the edge of the area, he nicks a clever pass down the inside-left channel to set Suarez clear. There's not much room for the Uruguayan to work with: he manages to round Jaaskelainen on the left, but can only shoot into the side netting.
59 min: A rousing chorus of "Justice for the 96" from the home support.
60 min: Bolton are struggling to put two passes together. The fight is out of them.
63 min: Suarez is in acres down the right, but Henderson faffs around and can't see him. The move peters out, and the young man makes an ostentatious apology. Speaking of which, I've done Suarez a disservice re his penalty claim on 46 mins: Knight very saucily knocked the striker's ankle with his hand, sending him tumbling. That was super-subtle; no wonder the referee missed it. But it's a very good thing he chose not to book Suarez for diving, because he palpably didn't.
66 min: A ball swung in from the left finds Klasnic on the penalty spot. He gets his shot away, but Carragher throws himself into the firing line and the danger's over. A wee bit before, another ball sent into the area gets Agger in all of a muddle; he ends up knocking it with his hand. That could easily have been a penalty too. "I can take pleasure in Liverpool's fans' hopes soaring before they are inevitably dashed as autumn turns into winter, can't I?" asks true blue Gary Naylor. "Can't I? Please?"
70 min: Liverpool have taken their foot off the gas a wee bit. You can hardly blame them. One man not slowing down is Suarez, who zips down the left after a long ball but is caught offside.
71 min: Agger goes on a Mark Davies-esque run from the halfway line, but his shot balloons over the bar. A change for Bolton: Pratley comes on for Kevin Davies. I might have forgot to mention their other change a few minutes ago: Tuncay for Eagles.
73 min: Robinson passes back to his keeper down the inside-right channel. Suarez is millimetres from toeing it away from the keeper, who claims. That should be an indirect free kick for picking up a deliberate backpass, but the referee waves play on. Suarez starts jumping around in cartoon anger: he really should have zig-zags zipping out of the top of his head, with perhaps some smoke clouds, and a few $@%£$%%^@%£!!! dotted around. He is beyond livid. Liverpool are three goals to the good and coasting. I think it's safe to say they've signed a man who wants to win football matches. He really is a force of nature, an amazing player.
75 min: Suarez goes down claiming another penalty, but Robinson managed to toe-poke the ball away before Suarez hit the turf under pressure from the challenge. A good decision. "Watching Suarez play, he reminds me of the basketball player Larry Bird," writes Joe Pearson. "Not only is he perfectly capable of scoring himself, he also seems to make everyone else better. And he has great vision on the pitch, seemingly knowing where every player is and where they are going. A true gem of a player."
77 min: A double change for Liverpool: Henderson goes off to a great ovation, Maxi coming on. And then the roof comes off to applaud Suarez's efforts as he departs; Carroll replaces him.
79 min: Downing whips a fantastic ball through the six-yard box from the left. Carroll stands around watching it, like a man who's just missed the bus. "Naylor's just sore because the only thing Everton have bought during the transfer window is a new stapler for David Moyes' desk," quips Phil Sawyer.
80 min: Some komik kutz along the front of the Bolton area as Carroll barges Knight off the ball, gets it caught between his feet, then slides it out right to Skrtel, who so nearly bustles into position for a shot. He can't quite break through three challenges, though. A slightly unsubtle passage of play, shall we say.
83 min: Petrov curls a lovely cross into the Liverpool box from a deep position on the left. Tuncay is lurking, but Jose Enrique stoops to head behind for a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece. "Phil Sawyer is completely wrong about Moyes' stapler," mutters Gary Naylor. "It's on loan from LA Galaxy."
85 min: Reo-Coker has a dig from distance, but his shot from 30 yards goes nearly 30 yards wide right.
87 min: A clever flicked header down the centre by Carroll nearly sets Maxi free. Cahill is across to cover, then readjusts as the ball is worked to Kuyt. Before the striker can get his shot in from the edge of the box, the ball's whisked away from him.
88 min: Downing really wants a goal. He's tight to the touchline on the left, drops a shoulder past two men and into the area, before launching a wild effort just over the bar. He throws both his arms into the air as he looks to the heavens.
90 min: From the left, Jose Enrique curls a beauty through the six-yard box, but none of his Liverpool team-mates are in any sort of position to throw themselves at this goal offer.
90 min +1: There are going to be two added minutes. Nothing's happened in the first.
90 min +2: GOAL!!! Liverpool 3-1 Bolton Wanderers. Carragher miscontrols a Tuncay long ball down the inside-left channel. Petrov races into the area. Carragher gets back to toe-poke the ball away from Petrov, but it breaks to Klasnic, who slams the ball under a livid Reina.
FULL TIME: Liverpool 3-1 Bolton Wanderers. And that's that. A very good performance indeed by Liverpool - and yet another sensational one from Luis Suarez. Liverpool go top of the table, a goal above Chelsea on seven points, while Bolton slip to ninth.