Friday, 11 May 2012

Swansea City vs Liverpool: Farewells from Graceland

It's May already?!

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that the Premier League had a shiny gloss of untried anticipation about it? Now we're all old pros, having stood face-to-face with the giants, showing planet football that Swansea aren't just making up the numbers.

We've seen so much this season, and I'll capture those memories in an upcoming blog post. But for now it's a look ahead to Swansea's final game: at home to Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers has already ensured that the stadium will have a party atmosphere about it, with his request for fans to wear Elvis costumes on Sunday. This is, of course, to highlight Swansea's silencing of the critics who said there would be more chance of seeing the fat man (not Michael Chopra...) reappear than Swansea surviving the Premier League.

Though Swansea's dreams of finishing in the top ten have all but gone, along with the other dream of finishing above Liverpool, the most important dream of league survival was the only one that needed to come true. And it did.

So this game shouldn't matter.

But it does. It's the last chance for the East Stand to shout and sing, showing the club their appreciation for the season gone by. It's also the chance for the players to show the fans a final good performance, because the Swans fans really have played that 12th man role all season. Everyone deserves a good game.

Liverpool are eighth in the table after giving Chelsea a good thrashing on Tuesday night, and they have nothing to lose on Sunday either, except dignity; something they have already lost in bucket-loads this season. They'll be coming down to Graceland with intentions to claw a little back, ending their damp season on a high.

I don't expect much in the shape of a team overhaul from Brendan Rodgers – Liverpool are still a good footballing force, so the inclusion of weaker fringe players will probably wait until those pre-season friendlies in America. On Sunday it should be the same eleven we've seen so much of this season. However, I wouldn't mind seeing Orlandi get a run around again, if he can shake off his injury. He intrigued in his last match...

This could also be the last game we see Steven Caulker and Gylfi Sigurdsson in Swansea City white, depending on their intentions during the summer. Hopefully they will stay, but if not this will be their farewell game.

Having a final bet of the season? Put it all on Swansea! 12/5 with the bookies, and well worth a gamble. The Elvis stunt is bound to create a 13th, 14th and 15th man for the Swans, spurring them on for that final win to round off a memorable season.

It's also worth sticking a pound on 4-4. You never know.

I'll be back with my season reviews, player report cards and next season previews over the next few weeks – until then, Forza Swansea!

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