Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Kop Bless You

Well, this has to be the biggest night of our season so far. With the Premiership title out of our grasp since day one and got booted out of two domestic cup competitions in 6 days by Arsenal, the Champions League once again remain the only saving grace for what look like a rather disappointing season.

But with the Blues from London carrying over a solitary goal lead into Anfield tonight, they will once again come face to face with the wall of noise.

I'm talking about Anfield of course.

Two years ago, tonight, we've seen one of the most wonderful night in Anfield history and it's probably the best 'performance' from the Kopites in modern time.

But tonight, it's more than just the Kop doing it's best. The players have to be at their best as well. With that rather woeful performance at Stamford Bridge last week, they're lucky to escape with only a goal down.

With only a goal down, maybe Liverpool still sense some hope. But first and foremost, they cannot concede any more to Chelsea or the away goal will kill of any chance of Liverpool reaching their second Champions League final in 3 seasons.

To defend the one goal lead, Chelsea will have to do without Ricardo Carvalho, the Portuguese centre half whom in my eye, is their best defender. That'll force Mourinho to shift Michael Essien into defence after he was suspended last week.

Not so sure whether it's good or bad news but Andriy Shevchenko will miss out on this one due to unknown reason. It's another field day for the people at Fleet Street as they'll come up with 101 reasons why he's absent.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that he flopped in English football and in epic proportion.

That'll certainly mean Drogba to start upfront and with Joe Cole and Saloman Kalou just behind him in a 4-3-3 formation.

Liverpool, meanwhile, will welcome back Steve Finnan after being absent for the past 2 weeks through injury. That'll be a huge boost to Liverpool as it enables Benitez to shift Arbeloa back into the left back slot and freeing up Riise onto the left midfield position.

Despite making a comeback in the reserve game last night, it's a pity Harry Kewell won't make it into the squad tonight as well as other injury casualties such as Fabio Aurelio and the hero of 2005, Luis Garcia.

Who Benitez will decide to put upfront is still a guess but with Mourinho coming out claiming that Liverpool will go with Crouch, my bet would be he'll start. It's yet another mind game by Mourinho and from his words, you could tell he's fearing the big man.

Without Carvalho, can Chelsea cope with the height of Crouch?

I for one, can't wait for the kick off. It's going to be a really special night and I'm pretty positive that Liverpool will get the right result tonight. And let's anticipate yet another wonderful 'performance' from Anfield.

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