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Gregory Loo
Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

Sports

EPL: Diehards off to Liverpool

The New Paper | Gregory Loo | Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

Liverpool fan Kristian Olsen with his son Ryder in the Liverpool dressing room during a visit to Anfield in 2011.

Like the Pied Piper, Brendan Rodgers has been playing sweet music this season and Liverpool are now on the brink of their first top-flight league crown in 24 years.

With three English Premier League games to go, a whole clutch of Reds fans from Singapore are heading off to Liverpool for the club's final home game against Newcastle United on May 11.

For Liverpool diehard Kristian Olsen and four fellow fans, soaking in the party atmosphere on Merseyside will be enough, even if they fail to secure tickets for the match at Anfield.

The client services director started laying down plans for the game after his beloved Reds overcame bogey team Southampton 3-0 on March 2.

He forked out around $600 for a ticket from a third party website, even though he knew he was taking a risk dealing with a tout.

And the 34-year-old is convinced Liverpool will win the title, even though they are still seven points from glory.

"I think the universe and the stars have aligned for this moment to get Steven Gerrard his first league title," Olsen told The New Paper yesterday.

Better than 2005

"The team spirit is brilliant and they're playing for one another. The belief is down to the manager and I think Stevie G is leading the charge as captain.

"This season has felt really different and whether we win or lose, it's going to be awesome."

Janson Choo, who is part of Olsen's party, believes that being at Anfield to witness Liverpool lift the Premier League trophy will be even better than the occasion in 2005 when the Reds were crowned Champions League winners in Istanbul.

"The league title is the one thing you always want to win because it is a competition that goes across a season," said the advertising agency art director, who has visited Anfield numerous times during a seven-year study and work stint in London.

"Whereas, for cup competitions, there's a little bit of luck involved, so I'd definitely say that winning the league is more worth it."

Even though tickets for the Newcastle clash have sold out and prices on the black market hover around £2,000 ($4,210) each, some fans in Singapore haven't been put off.

One of them is Luke Pachymuthu, who is still on the lookout for a match ticket.

"The prices are high, but that's a given considering it's been 24 years since we've won the title," said the 39-year-old analyst.

"Some of the third party websites are not very reliable, but if I'm buying from a safe store, I think $4,000 or $5,000 is okay.

"It's a once in a lifetime thing right? You can worry about eating sand and drinking water for the rest of your life later."

While Olsen and Pachymuthu will be happy to drink in the mood around Anfield no matter what happens, Choo will be hoping his trip doesn't end in tears.

"I'll obviously be disappointed (if the title is lost), but I'll be happy to see this bunch of players play, especially Luis Suarez.

"If it happens though, while I'd like to say so be it, hopefully we don't lose the title on the day when we play Newcastle," he said.

"If we realise we can't win it in the next few weeks, at least we know we'll be there next season. But to actually witness being denied in the final game, like when Pool lost to Arsenal in 1989, I think I'll cry!"

This article was published on April 22 in The New Paper.

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