In previous seasons, when Chelsea came to town, besides the game one of the most enjoyable factors of this fixture was the ‘banter’ between opposition managers and players.
Kopites would take as much pleasure from the mind games, sarcasm and cutting comments passed between our man Rafa and his counterpart; ‘The Special One – Jose Mourinho’ as they did from the game itself!
Today, for better or for worse, the added dimension of this fixture is lost as both managers have gone in search of pastures new. What remains, though is the huge rivalry between Kopites and Chelsea Fans (otherwise cheekily known as ‘The Chavs’) and a still massive desire to win.
Though, until recently we were to be found hiding somewhere right at the very bottom of the table, two recent wins on the trot against Blackburn and Bolton and another European night Stevie G comeback has given us a little bit of breathing space. For this reason Liverpool v Chelsea, is a fixture from which we have to get at the minimum a point to help prevent any further free fall and loss of confidence.
Which bring me to my next point: confidence. They say, in games like this the form book goes out of the window and I am inclined to agree. Games like this are not always won by the team highest in confidence, read through our history and you’ll see we have a penchant for getting a result when the chips are down.
It’s the famous LFC bouncebackability, which if it was a perfume, would sell for millions to any relegation threatened team!
However, If we look at it from a non romantic perspective, despite finding ourselves approaching this match with slightly more confidence when compared to a few weeks ago when we were outplayed by City, Blackpool and Northampton, the league table paints a more grim picture. It tells you though it pains me to say so, that we should count a draw tomorrow as a ‘good point’, relatively speaking.
We face a Chelsea who sit regally at the top of the table with a massive 25 points from a possible 30 and a goal difference of +24. Compare that to our measly 12 points and goal difference of -4 and you get my gist!!
Paul Tomkins can tell you much more about how we have been punching massively above out weight the past few seasons, in his new book Pay as you play, all I can say is it puts into perspective for me how hard fought every 3 points against the Chavs’ has been and how fought it will be once again tomorrow!
So here is to tomorrow and letting Stevie G loose. Here is to punching above our weight and here is to us, the Kopites who can be the 12th man tomorrow and lead our warriors to another historic win. No irony intended.
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