Ah, the Boxing Day match. A chance to nurse your hangover, food or otherwise, from the night before while watching a day's worth of footy. It really is the best tradition around.
And for Liverpool, they get a match at home that should be no more tricky than getting up for seconds on ham. I say should. Because I say it a lot. There have been a lot of matches that should have been seamless, but weren't. And worse yet, they've been at home.
But even this would seem to beyond the range of the normal Liverpool fuck up. A team bottom of the league, that clearly has a dunce for a manager who they only sometimes play for, with a pretty lengthy injury list. Of course, there's Yakubu, who has been scoring. But it's not giving up goals that's been Liverpool's problem. Even if Yak can somehow manage to pierce the defense once, you'd like to think it could only amount to a consolation in a multiple goal win for the Reds that would do wonders to boost the confidence and maybe put to rest some of the bullshit of the past week that has to be weighing on some minds.
But when was the last time that happened? If it's ever going to, it would have to be tomorrow as Blackburn haven't given up less than two goals in a match in almost two months. They have one win since before Halloween, and only have a draw in the meantime to go with it. How hard can Liverpool make this? Well, they made a match at the third-bottom side a real slog, didn't they?
Liverpool come with the normal lineup questions. Jay Spearing is off his suspension, so will he come back into the side? If he does, will it be part of a 4-2-2-2 or 4-3-3/4-2-3-1? Either way, which of Maxi, Kuyt, Bellamy, Downing, and Henderson make the attacking portion? Does Suarez start? Does Carroll get a run out to prepare for his extended stay in the lineup? No one knows, and it seems to change every week. Perhaps with a true horse whipping needed at home and frankly on offer, I'll bet Kenny leaves Henderson and Adam to hold behind whatever he chooses as his attackers.
We also know that Steven Gerrard may make the bench, and if he does he'll probably get a run out with 20 minutes to go, and we may get a better feel for how the midfield will fit together.
But what the pieces are really shouldn't matter. It's beyond time that the Reds gave us an easy afternoon, one that never looks in danger. They should be steaming after laying a turd at Wigan and want to make amends. But we've felt that way before, and it didn't always come to fruition.
There's no room in football for sympathy, and kicking an opponent while he's down is more than ok. After all, when they're down they're that much closer to your foot. Six points from home games tomorrow and against Newcastle on Saturday are the only thing that will be deemed acceptable.
Just once, Liverpool. Just once.
The game is on Fox Soccer.tv live as well as Fox Soccer Deportes. It will also be on normal FSC on delay at 12pm Eastern.