Liverpool’s fight for fourth place may come down to the final match of the season against Crystal Palace. And if that does end up being the case, Boris Johnson just gave the Reds a huge boost. Starting next week, the English Prime Minister is opening up all stadia across the country. The timing is designed with equity in mind. Opening up for this weekend would mean that half the teams in the league would play two home games in front of their fans, while the other half would only play one. This way, every team gets to play one match in front of home support and one match away before the end of the season.
For Liverpool, that game is the last one against Crystal Palace. After a tumultuous season, it will be nice to go out with the Kop singing.
“I can confirm today we have met the four tests for further easing lockdown restrictions,” Johnson said in a virtual press conference. “We’ll unlock the turnstiles to our sports stadia, subject to capacity limits.”
But of course, home support goes both ways, and before the Reds get the benefit of the Scousers screaming their hearts out, they’ll have to head to Turf Moor to take on Burnley in the penultimate match.
For all the ink that has been spilled over Virgil van Dijk’s absence from the squad, arguably the most influential missing piece has been the fans inspiring the players and intimidating the competition.
One game at partial capacity won’t be much, but it will be a nice way to end the season and an optimistic look ahead to next season, when hopefully things will be close to normal again.