The final league game for Liverpool and Charlton on Sunday looks set to see both sides play with different keepers to their regular choices for this season. And one side will see a keeper coming to the end of his club career keeping guard between the sticks, with the other side set to give their duties to a player just starting his career.
Charlton are already relegated and may give a chance to youngster Darren Randolph, who celebrates his 20th birthday tomorrow. They certainly won’t be using their regular first-choice for this season, on-loan Scott Carson.
Carson is of course a Liverpool goalkeeper and was given a season at Charlton to gain some valuable experience. He ended the season as the club’s player of the year.
Carson was allowed to go on loan because Rafa decided that Jerzy Dudek, in his final year at Anfield, could be used as cover for Pepe Reina. And with Reina nursing a shoulder injury Rafa seems likely to rest the Spanish star ahead of the Champions League final in less than two weeks.
Dudek has already spoken of the sadness he’ll feel as he leaves the club he helped to win a fifth European Cup with his performance in Istanbul, and now he says he feels the club are extremely close to winning the league: “We are all happy with the way we have played in the Premiership in the second half of the season and I feel we are not too far away from winning it.”
He went on: “Rafa knows what he has to do to take the club across the finishing line. If he is able to bring in quality players in the summer in one or two key positions then we will be very close next season.”
Rafa is looking at bringing quality players in this summer, but of course so will the other teams around us at the top.
Charlton’s Randolph is only going to be prevented from playing if boss Alan Pardew decides to go for out-of-favour Thomas Myhre. Randolph is looking forward to the chance if he gets it though: “I am not 100% sure what the situation is with Thomas Myhre, but if I do play, it will be a mixture of relishing the opportunity and being a bag of nerves. Any debut is special, but to make it at a place like Anfield would be a dream.”
* Don’t forget if you are going to the game on Sunday to bring something to help give Robbie Fowler the send-off he didn’t get last time he left. Unless there is an unexpected last-minute change of heart Robbie is set to leave with his contract now coming to an end. Whether you bring banners, plasters for your nose, your old shirts from Robbie's heydey or something else you can think of, make sure Robbie gets to see just how much we all appreciate what he's done for us since he arrived here as a schoolchild.