Liverpool vs Chelsea Pre-Match

Liverpool vs Chelsea Pre-Match

Liverpool vs Chelsea Pre-Match

Jose Mourinho’s mid-week mind games have seemingly failed to phase Brendan Rodgers, who educated those in attendance at his pre-match press conference that even a severely ‘weakened’ Chelsea side would be more expensive than his strongest squad; a reminder that the Northern Irishman is not willing to let focus shift away from anything but his team’s remarkable progress over the course of this campaign.

In fact, remarkable may be an understatement. At this time last season Liverpool fans found their team sitting in seventh, more than 20 points behind league winners Manchester United, and were still mulling over whether or not to forgive Luis Suarez for sinking his teeth in to Branislav Ivanovic. All is forgiven now of course, with the Uruguayan needing five more goals to set a new record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season, and his consistently inspiring performances have lifted The Reds from mid-table mediocrity to odds-on favourites to win the league. Should Steven Gerrard be holding aloft a red-ribboned trophy on May 11th, the Anfield club’s progress since September will be nothing but legendary.

However, standing in the way of The Reds taking a huge step towards an historic title win is the league’s best defence, and arguably the world’s most unpredictable manager. Mourinho has a stellar league record against Liverpool in recent times, winning six and losing just one of the previous eight meetings between the two sides, but we’ve seen this season that past form has rarely been a safe bet. The 2013-14 Premier League has told an ever-evolving story of unpredictability, and there is every chance that today’s fixtures (including Manchester City’s trip to Crystal Palace) will provide another twist in the tale.

As for the match itself, there is little doubt that Brendan Rodgers will set his team up to sprint out of the starting gate, putting pressure on the Chelsea defence from kick-off. Following the early goals last weekend at Norwich, Liverpool have now scored 15 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season – nine of which have been plundered in the opening five minutes alone. Mourinho will undoubtedly be aware of this, and while he was helpless to stop an early goal being conceded in December’s return fixture, the eventual 2-1 defeat his side inflicted on Liverpool that day will be a reminder to all in blue that Liverpool can be out-scored and, regardless of an 11-match winning run, defeated.

There hasn’t been a Liverpool-Chelsea match of this importance since the 2007 Champions League semi-final at Anfield, a match which held an atmosphere many who played that day acknowledge as the most spine-tingling they have ever witnessed. There is every chance the decibels at today’s game could go above and beyond the levels reached in 2007, and should The Reds once again walk away victorious, expect a thunderous roar of belief which has laid dormant for over 24 years to surge around Anfield.

Team News 

Liverpool

amazon-liverpoolDaniel Sturridge is expected to return to the starting line-up after missing last week’s victory over Norwich. Midfielder Lucas Leiva may therefore make way for the season’s highest scoring Englishman following his sub-par performance at Carrow Road. The Premier League’s most used substitute Victor Moses is ineligible to face his parent club, while Jordan Henderson is preparing to serve the second of his three-match suspension.

Chelsea

Jose Mourinho will have one eye on Wednesday’s semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid and may rest several key players ahead of the clash at Stamford Bridge. However, Mourinho has no choice but to leave Petr Cech and John Terry out of the squad (who were both injured in Spain mid-week) as well as the still-sidelined Edin Hazard and Samuel Eto’o. Midfielder Ramires is also unavailable as he begins his 4-game suspension after being charged for an off-the-ball incident against Sunderland last weekend.



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About The Author

Elliot Morrow

was born in Cumbria, England and carries the embarrassing burden of having supported Manchester United between the ages of 7 and 9. However, after seeing the error of his ways through help from his Father, Elliot is now a die-hard Liverpool fan of over 10 years. Currently living in Manchester while studying Film and Media at university, he has to keep his passion for The Reds slightly under-wraps, but won't hesitate to wear his Liverpool shirt around the city centre when he's feeling brave enough.

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