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Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 8:36:33 AM
by r. manogaran
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (left) celebrates with team-mate Luis Suárez at the final whistle in their English Premier League match against Manchester City on April 13, 2014. Liverpool won 3-2. – AFP Photo
THESE are really exciting times – and heady days – indeed for Liverpool and their army of fans. The Reds are just four matches away from becoming mighty again. Yes, just four matches away from knocking the Red Devils off their perch.
But, until then, let’s take super skipper Stevie G’s advice – stay calm.
Like he said, Liverpool may have won 10 matches on the trot, but “we have not won anything yet”.
Win the next four, then Liverpool fans all over the world can shout from the rooftops for all we want. For now, stay calm.
With four matches to go, there are four reasons why Liverpool fans should refrain from bragging or talking big.
No. 1: The most obvious being that the Reds have not won those four matches – against Norwich, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Newcastle – yet. Draw or lose any of them, and the Red bubble will burst.
There’s nothing like having points on the board than games in hand. Just ask Manchester City!
And one of those remaining matches will be against title-chasing Chelsea! Yes, the Reds have steamrolled past Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham.
But, somehow, you wouldn’t expect a side managed by that pain-in-the-*** Jose Mourinho to capitulate so easily, now would you?
They’ve turned themselves into a team who are very hard to beat. And, don’t forget, they too have match-winners all over the park in players like Willian, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Andre Schurrle.
So, it’s not all cut and dried.
No. 2: The absence of Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson. Sturridge is a doubt for Sunday's match against Norwich. A scan has shown a small hamstring strain.
Does Brendan Rodgers really need to risk playing him against the Canaries?
Let him rest and come back stronger – and deadlier – against Chelsea next week. That would be better.
But the bigger blow to Liverpool will be the absence of hardworking Henderson, who has been banned for three matches after his silly studs-up tackle on City’s Samir Nasri in the 3-2 win last weekend.
That’s three out of Liverpool’s four remaining matches. That’s a huge blow!
He has been ever present in the Liverpool midfield machine, having played in all 34 matches so far and scoring four goals.
He has been one of the success stories so far in the Reds’ unexpected rise to the top. The unheralded midfielder works tirelessly for the team – harassing opponents, closing them down and joining in the attack. He will be a big, big miss.
No. 3: All Liverpool fans should keep a lid on their expectations because the Reds have not won at Selhurst Park – home of Crystal Palace and where the Reds will travel to on May 5 – in their last four visits.
Palace have been playing superbly of late – ever since former Stoke boss Tony Pulis took over. They even dented high-flying Everton’s top-four charge in midweek with a 3-2 win, which almost surely has ensured their top-flight status for another season.
To put the Eagles’ achievement into perspective, that was only Everton’s second home defeat at Goodison Park so far this season!
No. 4: Finally, there is the Pulis factor. Pulis, you see, never lost at home against Liverpool when he was in charge of Stoke City. He is, what you can call, a jinx for Liverpool.
So, the Reds have to make sure they break that jinx at Selhurst Park in two weeks’ time.
Let’s not forget the final match against one of the most unpredictable teams in the league – Newcastle. But at least that will be played at fortress Anfield (phew!).
For now, let’s hope the Reds can get the job done against a free-falling Norwich side first. Let’s put the points on the board.
Leave the celebrations till later - May 11 to be precise.
So, come on you Reds. YNWA!
R. Manogaran can’t wait to see the Reds parading the coveted Premier League trophy on an open-top bus come end of the season. It’s been a long, long time coming. The trophy is coming home! Blessed Easter everyone.
Tags / Keywords:
football, EPL, English Premier League, Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers
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