I think I’d be justified in saying that, after the events of last season anyway, I hate Selhurst Park. There’s no way to talk about Liverpool visiting Crystal Palace without talking about the last time we took a trip there, so let’s just get that out of the way, shall we?
With the title seemingly in our grasp, we chucked away a three goal lead to all but hand Manchester City their second title in only three years. Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea the week before may have been tagged for all eternity as the seminal moment that our title chances squirmed through our fingers, but if you ask me, that Monday night in London was really where the dream truly died. Did I mention how much I hate Selhurst Park?
As far as football fans go, there’s always been a fine line between being defeatist and being delusional; with sections of our support betting that Real Madrid, in fine fashion, are going to topple Liverpool tomorrow night in the Champions League, you have to wonder how many are actually going to bother watching the Reds run out in Spain.
Maybe that sounds like a terribly negative thing to say, but if I knew without question that they were going to get spanked, to be honest, I’d just swerve it all together. There’s no joy to be had in playing some cosmic game of “I told you so” — at least not for me, but thankfully I lack the prescience of the aforementioned anointed few, so I’m going to roll the dice on this one and put the match on the ol’ boob-tube, because we have a shot at picking up some points.
With a trip to the Santiago Bernabéu just over the horizon and Chelsea coming to town next weekend, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers assurances that his team are only focused on this weekends meeting with Newcastle United sounds a bit hollow.
Maybe that isn’t fair at all; with table as tight as it is, the Reds will need to pick up points at St. James Park if they want to keep pace with the pack in the race for a Champions League spot, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve started to look ahead to what’s just around the corner. You can say that’s a bit disrespectful to the Magpies, but if the roles were reversed, I think they’d be whispering — and worrying — about Real Madrid as well.
There’s no time to get our affairs in order after a busy, not so productive week. A hard fought win at Queens Park Rangers, a spanking at the hands of reigning European champions Real Madrid and a scoreless draw at home to Hull City saw Liverpool’s confidence take even more of a battering going into Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Swansea City.
As if we didn’t have enough problems; throw a few more fit bodies into our mix and at least one striker bordering on being in form and then, maybe, things aren’t so bad. Crying about a busy schedule after you spent the last five years moping over missing out on Champions League football is bang out of order, but when you’re not playing well, you want to space things out a bit and get some time off the pitch to sort out what ails you. Unfortunately, that’s not about to happen any time soon.
After holding Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, there’s no question that Hull City travel to Anfield this weekend believing that they can get something against a faltering Liverpool side.
The Reds have had an eventful week; after barely scraping past last placed Queens Park Rangers in the capital, a midweek humbling against reigning European champions Real Madrid gave not only their fitness levels, but their fragile confidence yet another blow. While it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to picture these two sides coming into tomorrows match on opposite ends of the spectrum, reconciling which one is on the up-tick and who is on a serious down-turn may take some time to wrap your head around.