“I stay at my home and go through the same steps as always, out of a fear that if I do anything even a little bit differently it could stop things from turning out the way I want them to.
“That might sound strange and there will be plenty of people who say it isn’t logical to be like this, but the smallest details can make the biggest difference in football.
“Once I find something that works for me, I stick to it no matter how hard it can sometimes be.
“Before I go to bed, I have a couple of cheese and ham toasties. Then I have a glass of wine.
“Fitness experts and nutritionists would not advise that kind of diet for a sportsman but I never feel able to eat a proper meal the night before we play, and the wine helps me to sleep.
“I get up and have a shower, put my suit on and then head out to the car to buy petrol that I usually don’t need.
"Six hours before kick-off at Anfield, and before I can even think about the game, I have to get to a petrol station.
“After getting into the car, I turn the engine on and look at the fuel gauge.
“It is almost full. I still need petrol, though, so I head to the same garage that I always go to when Liverpool are at home, a small filling station almost exactly halfway between my home and the stadium.
“I get there, open the petrol cap and begin to refuel. I am only at the pump for 20 seconds or so before the tank is full, so I go in to pay. The cashier gives me a bit of a funny look.
"To be fair, I cannot blame him. I have just pulled on to his forecourt, queued up for five minutes behind other motorists and all for £8 worth of petrol, just so my tank is full to the brim.
“He does not know it, but I do the same thing before every home game. It is one of countless rituals I have to perform to make sure I am in the right frame of mind to play for Liverpool.
“My desperation for success makes me superstitious.
“If I have done something on the day of a game and we have gone on to win the match I try to repeat it the next time we play.
“When I get to Anfield, I always park in the same space – bay number 39 in the car park in front of the Centenary Stand.
"I have tried number 41 and 42 and a few others, but when I went to 39 we kept clean sheets two weeks in a row and so I have stayed there ever since.
“We have to be at Anfield for 11:15am when it is a 3pm kick-off and after we’ve left our cars there we get the team bus to Melwood.
“We always have a walk at the training ground and after I’ve had my pre-match meal of pasta and fish, I have a shower just to make sure I’m fully awake before the manager gives us his pre-match team talk.”
AT THE GROUND:
“I always get undressed in the same order – jacket, tie, shirt, shoes, trousers and socks – and then I get onto the massage bed, so that Rob, our physio, can work his magic on me.
“I lie there, reading the match programme while he is bending and stretching my legs. Then I strap myself up and put my kit on. I always sit in the same place - just next to the wall as soon as you walk in, right next to Carra [Jamie Carragher].
“I go to the toilet to have a pee about three or four times in the hour before kick-off because of my nerves. Then I go out a little bit before the rest of the lads to do my warm-up.”
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF:
“I have to make sure that I am the last one out onto the pitch before kick-off, and I always touch the This Is Anfield sign with both hands as I walk down the tunnel.
"When I cross the white line I have to do it twice with my right foot. Stepping on, then off and then back on again. For some reason – and probably not a very good one – it helps keep me calm.
“Then I head towards my goal, but before I get there I have to touch fists with my back four – except Carra, who doesn’t like doing that, so we share a high five instead – and then clap the supporters on the Kop to show my appreciation for their support of me.
“As I get to my goal, I go straight to the right post, bang my studs against it, then touch the crossbar, then bang my studs against the left post, then go back to the middle.
“Next, I take six steps to the edge of the six-yard box, another six steps to the penalty spot, another six to the edge of the 18-yard box and then do the same thing in reverse.
“Then I stretch up, do some high knees, jump, sprint to the right, jump, sprint to the left, wave hello to my wife in the stand… and then I’m ready.
“Anyone watching me must think I’m crazy, but it works for me.”