MATCH PREVIEW: Chelsea V Liverpool
Blue versus Red... doesn't that sound overwhelmingly familiar after Thursday? But hey, I'm not going to start talking about politics on the blog, I don't want to lose half my readership haha! Whether you're feeling glum at the result or rather pleased, come and take your mind off it all as I provide one of the last match previews of the season!
Injuries for Liverpool have not exactly improved this week as the club have now confirmed Daniel Sturridge will be out for several months after undergoing a hip operation. The Reds are also unable to call upon Mamadou Sakho who won't quite make fitness for the game it seems. Positively though Mario Balotelli and Lucas Leiva could be back in contention.
For Chelsea who have already secured the Premier League title, they are without Oscar who has been ruled out and there are also doubts hanging over Diego Costa. Mourinho may choose to field a very different team though as he has nothing to play for but pride.
The last time the two sides met was in January this year when Liverpool suffered defeat thanks to a 94th minute goal from Branislav Ivanovic. Liverpool don't have a fantastic record on the whole at Stamford Bridge however the Reds won at the Bridge in 2011 in the Carling Cup quarter final. Liverpool also beat Chelsea just nine days earlier at Stamford Bridge in that season.
Over the last ten meetings there has only been more than two goals for one side on one occasion. This was a 4-1 win for Liverpool at Anfield in 2012.
- Liverpool have only won once in seven fixtures against teams in the top four so far this season.
- Chelsea have kept 17 clean sheets so far this season, more than any other side in the league.
- Simon Mignolet has kept 13 clean sheets so far this season with only Forster matching him.
The biggest talking point of this game is apparently the guard of honour, as annoying as it is that we happen to be the team that have to provide this to Chelsea, it's just part of showing respect, something Mourinho knows nothing about. So we will show respect and then hopefully by some miracle we can pick up a result.
For me, the real story of this fixture would be Liverpool actually managing to pick up a win. With a weakened team likely to be fielded by Chelsea, the Reds should aspire to collect all three points after all their record against the top four this season has been diabolical. Not only that but another three points adds pressure onto Manchester United, while there is still a numerical opportunity Liverpool need to fight to the wire.
However, I don't think we will fight to the wire, I think Brendan Rodgers will choose a daft team and make daft substitutions. Chelsea have one of the best defences in the league so playing a lone striker simply won't be enough in my book. Perhaps the pace and skill of Sterling and Coutinho will create some exciting moments for the Reds but I'm not sure that will cut the mustard.
I suppose we will have to wait and see. I will almost certainly be having a quid on Skrtel to score at some stage and probably some ridiculous scorecast so follow me on Twitter if you want to join me in throwing some money away haha.
Enjoy the match folks wherever you are watching!