Could the Liverpool game be the make or break
of our season?
For me - yes.
It's a massive match and although games against the filth are what the majority class as the big games, the match tomorrow would be the biggest of the season so far no matter who we were to play.
If you're still reading then I'll explain why I think like that.
We currently sit in a position that anyone would have taken at the start of the season but it could still go either of 3 ways. There's every chance we could push on and finish 6th or 7th, stagnate and finish 8th to 11th or fall away and finish anywhere below 11th. I know that sounds a bit like dennis longhorn and covering all bases but that's why, for me, tomorrow has added significance. In years gone by it may not have mattered so much but with the table being so compact and all of the teams taking points off each other then it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that a good finish as opposed to a poor finish could result in a difference of 10 in the final league placings.
A win would do wonders for our confidence and although not mathematically, we'd be safe and can then play with a bit more freedom for the rest of the season. We would then be 1 point behind Liverpool as well. Our run in, on paper, isn't as bad as some other teams' and with the added confidence boost of being safe, a home win against the dippers and being so close to 6th place the games against the lesser sides will, in my mind, become easier. The injured lads are coming back in spades and it's always easier for them to get back into the swings if they are part of a confident, relaxed and winning side.
A draw is OK. It'll edge us towards being mathematically safe means that Liverpool won't gain any points on us. It will however, mean that teams below us are likely to catch us up and everything becomes that little bit more compact. Eyes will wander forward 2 weeks to the Man City game and it'll suddenly look a bit more of a daunting trip. I'll feel a tinge of disappointment though as this Liverpool side, minus Gerrard especially, is nothing compared to the ones of years gone by. They've been woeful in the two matches against Braga and seem to struggle to raise their game against any of the lesser sides. Obviously, if they turn up and turn it on then we have our work cut out as they have shown against Chelsea and Man U that they aren't mugs by any stretch.
Losing the match would kill off any remaining excitement for the rest of the season. I'd very much doubt we would be able to gain 7 points on Liverpool from then on. With 6th and 7th probably out of the window and teams below us catching up and Man City away next up, the picture isn't quite as rosy. It is possible that we could be going to Eastlands in 11th place if results go against us. I'm convinced we'd get enough points to stay up even if we lose but another couple of defeats on the spin, a knock to confidence and some nervy games against the teams battling for survival (and not far behind us at all) could make the season a complete damp squib.
So, it's time for the lads to stand up, be counted and leave nothing behind. There's 9 games for them to make it a season full of hope, promise and excitement or another small step on a long road or a bit of disappointment.
For what it's worth, I reckon we'll win 3-1.