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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think it will be an emotional day. Paul Jewell will not fancy facing the club he supported on the final day, with his own team staring at relegation. Sometimes football are so funny, it throws out tense situations like this to make it more interesting.

Hopefully we can see some goals from Liverpool. It has been a long time.

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Jewell seems to be fairly psyched up with it all (check the pool official web site). I'll be honest I would hate to send Bradford down but we have to do our job and the best for us. If we draw with them I will not be happy even if Leeds lose I don't think, but if we win then i'll be sad for Bradford. What a horrible situation......why???

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's always a 'catch-22' on the last day of the season. After some thought, my conclusion is this:

First and foremost, I want Liverpool to get a win, and then hope for West Ham (whose manager is Jamie Redknapp's father) to do us a favour by winning against Leeds. The thing now is that many Liverpool supporters (or even other neutral supporters) don't want to see Paul Jewell's side get relegated. But in order for us to get that CL place, I say it's difficult to achieve multiple targets in such pressure cooker situations, and anyway there's no perfect situation in this world, so let's just be focused and go out and thrash Bradford tonite (if possible), shall we? Other permutations will have to take a back seat. Hope I didn't sound too cruel to you guys...

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My palms are getting sweaty, it is 5.30 a.m in the morning yet I can not sleep. I know that I should get a few hours in for the day ahead yet my insomniac tendencies are increased dramatically for the day ahead. Let me not scare you, I do not dread or fear the game this match but I have found myself constantly thinking about it. Wondering who will play and who will not. This in itself is a troublesome task as GH seems to be the master of deceit. What is going to happen by 6pm tommorrow no-body knows but I am sure that the day ahead will be one of tension, joy and maybe relief.

The main thing that perplexes me is what is the team going to be. With Owen and Didi coming back from their rests that they have recieved should they come back in to the side? Will it be right to risk Gerrad? Who will fill that right midfield spot that has cause no end of problems for us this season? Is Carragher deserving of a place? All of these thoughts ring through your head and each leads you round in a circle until you find that there is no way to decide.
On each decision, I personally feel that Owen should definately start. This provides no suprise or contriversy. He has had a rest and may provide the spark that he himself has lacked in his last three starts. However, with Owen starting who will be dropped to the substitutes bench. Heskey or Fowler will have to sit this one out and this decision is a difficult one. I would go for Heskey for a few reasons:

> the first is that I feel he will always be a handful for defenders. He has pace and we all know that he can work with Owen.
> Fowler has still not recovered from his long absence. His goalscoring touch has not been there since he has come back from his long lay off. The only goals he has scored has been the two in reserve matches (1 pen).

Another option that is worth thinking about is the three up front. I know that many of you will feel that I have forgotten Camara and this is due to the fact that he is inconsistent and I feel that Fowler and Heskey could offer more. This may seem harsh but I would rather that Camara is on the bench where he can come on if nothing is happening.

The next problem that I am faced with is the option of what the midfield will consist of. I think that there are two players that are certainties to play, Didi and Berger. My player of the year Berger has not been playing that well lately but who has? The fact of the matter is that he is the only player we have who can do something totally out of the blue that will win us the game. His goals have been magnificent and vital, maybe this is an omen for today. Didi was rested by GH for the So'ton game and he believed that this was the right decisionas he believed that he had played too many games recently. It is not often that I disagree with GH but on this I do. It left us with an inexperienced midfield for this year with Berger being the only regular. Camara was brought in and I feel that like Fowler this was done to show the player that he still was in GH's plans.
Now the other two positions have to be filled but by who. It is possible that we only play three in midfield as the game versus Bradford should be a bit of a scrappy game. Such an idea shows the fact that we are lacking big time on the right hand side. With Heggem and Smicer both not being in the squad it seems that the options are limited. David Thompson could play there or maybe it will be Danny Murphy. Jamie Carragher could move up from the back and Song would fill in for him. My prefered option is to go with Thompson. Although it is not his natural position I feel that he offers more than the other alternatives. He is a skillfull player if given the chance and this may be the day that he shows us these skills.
This leaves one spot open which could either be filled by the returning Gerrad or kept by Redders. This is an easier decision than I first anticipated. Knowing GH's mind I am pretty sure that Gerrad will be on the bench and not risked for a starting place. I would not want to see a similar thing that happened to Owen to happen here. Besides Redknapp also offers a type of experience that Gerrad does not have. He is also liable to get us a goal spectacuarly and if the game is as scrappy as I anticipate I feel that there will be many fouls on Owen and Heskey around the box. This means that we have a triple threat from free-kicks with Berger on the left, Redders on the right and Hamaan for any that may be out of Redders range.
Now we have the defence and with H&H assured places with Matteo the only question mark is over Carragher. I see no reason to upset the side for this last game and therefore he should play. One thing he has over Song is that he is an intelligent player who does not go to ground on a regualr basis, this may be what we need.

This means that the side that I would pick would be:



Gerrad/Murphy (depends on the fitness of Gerrad).

The guy that worries me is Dean Windass who is Bradfords top scorer. A player that reminds me of Ian Marshell he has scored 10 goals in the PL this year which include 4 in the last 4. Blake is a tidy player who impresses me and I wonder if Bradford would have had more points if he had played at the beginning of the year. Beagrie has offered the pool threats and he is obviously up for it.
I think that this games depends mayorly on two things (luck) that we may need to go our way. The first is that the referee has a good game and the second is the performance of Matt Clarke, their goalkepper. It may be a game where this guy is outstanding and end up to be one of those days. Let us hope not.

The atmosphere is sure to be tense with the anniversary of the tragic fire being mentioned moer than once. Jewells connections means that a lot of Liverpullians will hope for a draw but this will not be good enough.
GH needs to get his players focused so that they know that they can win and make sure that individual errors do not occur as they could prove to be very costly.

Anyway lets cross the fingers and each of our hands and hope that the happy Hammers do us the biggest favour since they stopped Man U from winning the title.
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