Saturday, May 10, 2003

A Deserving Liverpool?

Does Liverpool deserve Champions League football next season? We will find out tomorrow tonight by their performance against Chelsea. It is a winners-take-all battle to decide which team takes fourth placing in the Premier League and a qualification for Europe's most pretigious tournament - the Champion's League.

Liverpool's away record at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's home ground has not been good but I was surprised to hear the panelists in ESPN last night - all three of them - predicting a win for Liverpool. Most claim Liverpool has a knack for winning crucial "cup final" matches. The occassion will suit them and the players will rise to the occassion to produce one or two moments of magic to clinch the match.

Chelsea has players who could produce magic too; especially the person they call the Magician himself, Zianfranco Zola. Chelsea also has exciting players in Hasslebank, Lampard and GudJohnssen. It will be an interesting encounter but unfortunately I won't be able to watch it live as they are showing it on Startsport, not ESPN which my hotel receives.

Whichever team wins, it has been an exciting season for the English Premier League with fierce battles for the title itself between Arsenal and eventual champions Manchester United; and on the other end of the table, West Ham, Bolton and Aston Villa are also fighting a nail-biting finish to avoid relegation.

The general opinion is that Liverpool has had a disappointing season despite winning the Worthington's Cup. Hopefully they'll do better next season. I am glad to be following and supporting my favourite club again after a break of more than a decade!

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