Liverpool have never won away from home in Europe against an English team, they have scored only twice in four previous Champions League games at Chelsea and they have not scored three goals there in 20 years.
And Liverpool will have to create history by becoming the first visiting side to ever score three times at Stamford Bridge in a European match.
That is the measure of the task facing Liverpool with everything stacked against them as they face their 300th match in European competition, and their 169th in the European Cup.
I don’t watch any other sports, so I don’t know if this is the case for announcers and commentators anywhere you go, but jesus, I’m so fucking sick of hearing irrelevant statistics and trivia passing for informative commentary.
All that matters is what these particular 22 to 28 players do on this field on this date. The rest is just gravy for people with far too much time on their hands. As often as players change clubs, it doesn’t make a frisky fuck’s worth of difference what Liverpool teams from five years ago did, let alone teams from the late ’80s. It has absolutely no predictive potential for this game. None. Zero. Zilch. Liverpool will either win or lose, and it will be because of, again, what the two teams do on the field, not because of what players representing the same club did when today’s stars were still in elementary school. You could flip a coin and have just as much chance of predicting the result as any of these data-hoarding pack rats will. Anybody remember that helpful saying, “Correlation, not causation”?
I was ready to firebomb my tv last summer during the Euro championships, having to listen to incessant yammering throughout the last half of June about how Spain hadn’t won the Euro title since 1964, how they didn’t win often when wearing their mustard-yellow away jerseys, how they had never won a game in Switzerland when the temperature was below eighty degrees while fielding a team in a 4-4-2 formation with a striker born with his sun in Aries and his moon in Aquarius. The fact that absolutely none of that ultimately meant the slightest fucking thing won’t matter. I’m sure by next year, in South Africa, they’ll be babbling about how Spain has never gotten past the quarterfinals at the World Cup, how they don’t do well against France, and on and on.
Watching the FSC anchors – the worst of the bunch – try to make predictions from goat entrails, tea leaves and numerology couldn’t be any more mind-numbingly stupifying. Maybe, to some extent, it’s the same problem as it relates to regular news and cable — with 24 hours of airtime, you gotta talk about something. But oh, how I wish people could just refrain from talking when they don’t have anything worthwhile to say.
Not just during a televised soccer game, but during life in general, for that matter.