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The Last Week

It's the final week of our 18/19 season, and what a campaign it has been so far. We face two more fixtures, that could either go down in the history books as one of the greatest nights/days as a red, or be another memory of how we came so close. Either way I'm so proud to call this team, manager and club my own.

Tonight we face Barcelona in the second leg of the champions league semi final at Anfield, finding ourselves 3 nil down on aggregate. From the outskirts it doesn't look very promising for the reds, with such a huge deficit against one of the best sides in Europe. Couple that with Bobby and Mo being absent for the fixture, and Liverpool find themselves with one hell of a mountain to climb. But if they do summit that peak, it will surely be one of the greatest European nights Anfield has ever seen. The possibility of that excites me. This tie is not over, yes of course Liverpool have to be close to perfection for this one, and hope nothing goes right for Barca, but it can happen. 3 nil isn't as strong a lead as many may suggest. Obviously if they score an away goal, it's going to be very, very difficult to progress, but I never would have believed you if you told me Liverpool wouldn't score at the Nou Camp last week. So why can't it go wrong for Barcelona at our ground as well. I didn't see a gulf in class between us, in fact if anything I thought we looked the more quality side. If we had taken the opportunities that presented themselves in that game, we would probably be favourites to make the final right now. Unfortunately, we didn't and that's football, but the point is we created enough chances at their ground to do it. We can certainly create enough at ours.

It's hard to see where the goals will come from, without Bobby and Mo. Mane is obviously the main man you would look at now, but thats exactly who Barcelona will be looking at also. Do Shaq and Div start after their heroics mid week against Newcastle. Or will Klopp surprise us all, including the away side, with the line up he chooses? To be honest, I just can't see those lads being effective against this Barca side for 90 minutes. Maybe with 20 on the clock, Barca sitting deep, holding on to their aggregate scoreline, with Anfield urging the reds forward for another goal. But not for 90 minutes, in my opinion. So who then?

A friend of mine messaged me this morning and asked if I thought a certain player would start. I replied with no, I thought it was too big an ask to throw him in against Barcelona in such a competitive game. However as the day went on, it lingered in my mind and the more and more I thought about it, the more it made sense. That player was the Ox, and as I thought about him, another player sprung to mind, Rhian Brewster. I know it's extremely unlikely, and to expect the lads to come in after such a significant time on the sidelines and make an impact against a European heavyweight like Barca is ridiculous. However both players would bring speed and directness to Liverpools game, and would also be relative unknowns to Barca, there's no way they would be prepared for them. Brewster is obviously a huge talent, who has been earmarked as the future of English football. He got offered a contract extension whilst injured, if that doesn't scream out what a talent he is, and how highly rated he is at Liverpool then I don't know what does. It's just a thought, one that really excites me and I would love to see.

I wouldn't go as far as to say Liverpool have nothing to lose now, because in my mind 3 nil is achievable, but if we concede then it is very problematic. Therefore we do have a clean sheet to lose, and for that reason alone I don't agree with everyone saying we need to go all out attack. We don't. We need to control the game, be as organised as possible, be patient, and when we get our chances be clinical. I think we have an advantage over Barcelona when it comes to set pieces as well, so corners and free kicks could be really important in this game. An early goal would be brilliant, but its not imperative in my opinion. I think going in at half Time with a lead and a clean sheet would be the perfect start, I would take 1 nil at half time right now. Hopefully the second will come before the 80th minute, and then the last ten minutes, Anfield in full force urging the reds on for that third. It's not impossible, It's very plausible, but this Liverpool side will have to be close to perfect. They've done it for much of this season, and with it all on the line tonight I believe they will do it again. It might not be enough, we may still be eliminated, but I do expect tonight to be a brilliant encounter, and I honestly do believe it will be close. The lads will make us proud, and if it is to be our last European fixture of the season, let's go out with a bang.

C'mon you Reds! ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ!

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