Liverpool’s quest to Win All of the Shiny Things this year is still in tact thanks to last week’s midweek triumph over Milton Keynes in the Carabao Cup. Liverpool are currently top of the table in the Premier League and nursing a 2-nil loss in their Champions League opener. That makes three competitions in which Liverpool are still alive.
But the Reds have two more competitions this season that have not yet begun for the squad. The first is the vaunted FA Cup, complete with its complementary set of magic - which, I’m told, has nothing to do with Harry Potter. The other is the Club World Cup, which Liverpool was entered into by virtue of being the current holders of the Champions League Crown.
To that end, the latter competition begins in earnest on December 18th and today, the venue for Liverpool’s opening match in the tournament has been released. The site for Liverpool’s first match will be the Education City stadium in Doha.
This entire tournament will be interesting as FIFA and Qatar are hoping to use this slate of matches as a test run ahead of the 2022 World Cup Finals, which Qatar are also hosting. This particular stadium hold 40,000 people and would seem to be more than capable of hosting a big World Cup match. That being said, it was also the site of a major international track and field event this past weekend and one of the immediate observations was that the stadium was near empty.
Now, one might suggest that it being a non-Olympic track and field event during a non-Olympic year would be more than enough of a reason for the stadium to be empty. But I think it’s worth noting that the event took place during a time when temperatures were at 87 degrees Fahrenheit for the marathon and that the stadiums themselves had already made their capacity dropped by only making approximately half of the seats available. And despite that and giving away free tickets, the stands were empty.
Which is all to say that the concerns regarding the World Cup Final - as well as what the venue might look like in December for the Club World Cup - still exist. Here’s hoping that the weather in December is better and that the traveling Kop are able to turn up and make noise as the Reds try to bring home another trophy.