Liverpool v Newcastle – Last but not least

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A relevant expression for Liverpool and all Premiership fans today as the season draws to a close and the winner still to be decided.

I’m not altogether surprised. This has been a fantastic season. As a Liverpool supporter I can only be proud of the team whatever the outcome. Nobody imagined they’d be where they are now, last August.

Liverpool host Newcastle this afternoon looking to end the season on a positive note following a less than positive result that has seen the title slip from their grasp. Having said that, it’s not impossible for Brendan Rodgers’ men to finish this campaign as winners. They simply have no control over the destiny of the trophy any longer and this is probably the biggest choker.

Harold Wilson said a week is a long time in politics. Well, it’s not exactly a blink of an eye in football either. It seems like only the other day the world and his wife were making out the title was Liverpool’s. A win at home against Manchester City seemed to confirm as much. Only for the optimism to be cruelly undone with a needless capitulation at Selhurst Park in the drawn match against Crystal Palace. It looked to be over. Tears, jeers and rivals’ sneers. How quickly romance changes. Flying high in April, shot down in May sang Frank Sinatra.   However, in June it’s too late to make them change their tune.

It’s not over just yet in any case. There’s still the last game. The final push. The last stand. The odds are stacked firmly against us. I read a stat  a while back that said the team that tops the league at Christmasusually wins the title in May. Could this be true this season also? Is it totally beyond the realms if possibility for West Ham to win at the Etihad Stadium? Is it beyond belief that Liverpool could do Newcastle at home on the same day? Is it unheard of for snow in May? The answer to all of these is no. It’s not impossible. It’s not beyond belief and it’s certainly not unheard of.

Team wise, I expect Jordan Henderson to return to the starting eleven after completing his three-match ban. An event that has truly hurt Liverpool’s challenge more than most can appreciate. Joe Allen will probably make way for him. In view of the lack of depth in the squad, there aren’t many other options. Unfortunately the same applies in defence. Having the choice of Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Agger to partner Martin Skrtel is not exactly mouthwatering. If the speculation surrounding Steven Caulker is true then there is hope for next season at least.

I’m sure there’ll be some twists and turns before the final whistles blow across the country. I don’t like roller coasters but I’m enjoying this one. I still think Liverpool can deliver but only time, some heart palpitations and Lady Luck will tell.

Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen