Tomorrow night sees my personal culmination of the football season, as Liverpool and Milan clash in what is sure to be an epic Champions' League encounter. I have already committed myself to a frantic headlong dash from work to home (and the donning of Liverpool FC replica top) to the pub.
With the excitement of a possible sixth European Cup, the heady nervousness of a one-off final and my insatiable lust for beer, I fully intend to put employment, relationship and health in jeopardy should the night climax in Steven Gerrard once again hoisting that big-eared beauty into the Athens night. Should that happen, the drinking will run into a test-match cricket weekend, a 3 day session will become 5 and my depleted reserves of capital may well not stretch to the next weekend and some previous commitments. The complications may be endless, but this is no time for caution.
Whether Rafa can oversee such a victory, and my descent into unemployed singledom, remains a moot point. Milan are not the side they were two years ago, but must remain nominal favourites. Liverpool's strengths are manifest. A strong defensive unit and the dynamics of Gerrard in midfield - complimenting the slick passing of Alonso and the stolid pivot of Masscherano. Weaknesses are still equally apparent however, in particular the lack of real attacking threat should Gerrard have a less effective night in midfield.