Well, we have now reached the time when it´s only hours away before Steven Gerrard takes his last shots, passes and steps as a Liverpool player at Anfield. The match against Crystal Palace this evening will be all about his farewell to his home crowd and the small matter of three Premier League points.
Football is a team game with winning as the prime objective. But from time to time actual matches plays second fiddle to something else. The Liverpool vs Crystal Palace game is such an event. How can it not be? Because when one of Liverpool all-time greats is due to play his final home game in a red shirt everything else seems trivial.
A possible win against a mid-table side with hardly any bearing on league placings is not going to raise nowhere near the emotions our iconic captain´s good-bye will create. I can already sense how emotional everybody will be, me included. In fact when I think of him leaving for good a tear appears in the corner of my eye. I guess it will plenty more of that in eight or nine hours from now. Okay, Gerrard has got one more game to go after the encounter today, Stoke away, but this match feels like the real bye-bye, ciao, au revoir and adios.
But it´s also a competitive match to be played and Stevie is determined to conclude his Anfield connection with a win. But Palace will be geared up, they don´t want to be called unprofessional for giving Gerrard, and Liverpool, an easy and pleasant ride in his last home match. So they will fight for every ball and make it difficult for the Reds.
Hopefully the home team realizes the responsibilty they´ve got and work their socks off to give Gerrard the appropiate send-off. He has had some bad moments in recent times, a happy occurrence is long overdue.
Crystal Palace has lost four league matches on the trot while Liverpool has picked themselves up after som indifferent results. So form is pointing to a home victory, so are statistics. The teams has met quite often in cup competitions in the last 20 years with a mixed outcome. But when it comes to Anfield league matches the Reds are superior. The last five games has ended in four home wins and a draw.
This is the Red team I would field to grab a historical win:
GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Emre Can. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Lucas Leiva. RM: Steven Gerrard. LM: Jordan Henderson. AM: Philippe Coutinho. RF: Raheem Sterling. LF: Adam Lallana.
Nothing more to do than keep our fingers crossed, the handkerchiefs close by and hopes for the future intact. I´m sure that even after Steven Gerrard has gone it will be possible to say:
We Go Again.