Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were to turn it around tonight?
Even under normal circumstances it would be great result but because the game is on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of Hillsborough it would have added significance? No doubt many will tie up the two events and urge the players to pull it off tonight because of this? Victory tonight would be a fitting prelude to the next day and would add an uplifting tone to what will be a sombre and sad day. However, surely this is an expectation to far?
The papers, in an attempt to give the impression that Chelsea’s progress is anything but a done deal, have been full of examples of European matches where teams have “come back from the dead”. Perhaps the most significant of these involved Barcelona, who after their first leg (a 4-0 rout of Bayern) surely await the winner in semi final? In the 2000 Champions League Barca were, like us, 3-1 down. Although they had the advantage of home tie the come back was achieved with a 5-1 victory. Their opponents in that tie? Chelsea!
Of course this means nothing, Chelsea were a different beast then. I suppose we can take some comfort from the fact that Bolton knocked three past them with relative ease on Saturday however, in my view that is not the problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if we did score three however, I would be amazed that if in doing so we didn’t concede at the other end. No disrespect to our defence but unless Chelsea freeze to an extent that belies their experience, can you honestly see it happening? So, that simply means we’ll have to score four then!
Given the circumstances it’s natural that many will also use Istanbul as a reference point. As proof that miracle comebacks do happen? Rafa was quick to seize on this…
“The experience of Istanbul will help us – it shows you can come back from a big score – and we have already won at Stamford Bridge this season. We ended their long unbeaten home record and that is a massive boost to our confidence. We can do it if we work together and score in the first half. If we score a second they will be under real pressure.”
True however I’d be more inclined to use the comebacks we achieved against Middlesbrough, Man City and Wigan as examples of what can be achieved as most of the players were involved in them. There is also the 4-1 victory at Old Trafford. Gosh the more I write this the more I believe we can do it!!!
Team wise it seems Rafa is willing to take a punt on Steven Gerrard’s fitness. I think there is logic to this. Should we crash tonight then we’ll only be playing a game every week which will give Gerrard more time to recover?
Prediction. Regular readers of this blog will know that I never predict a defeat and see no reason why that shouldn’t happen tonight. The question is will we win by enough? It’s clear the belief is there. Jamie Carragher said
“Chelsea played very well at Anfield but over the last couple of months we have been the form team in the country and we know we can do it.”
It goes without saying that I really hope so and, if we do, we’ll be witness to truly historic night!
“..hope in your heart…”