|It's a game of huge significance between Liverpool and Chelsea on Saturday at Anfield, a draw doesn't suffice for either side. (Photo credit: The Sun)|
It’s such a strange season in the English Premier League; neither Chelsea nor Liverpool is in contention for the league title this season as things stand and worse still, none is in pole position for a top-four finish.
Both teams have identical points but the Blues have played one more. Graham Potter’s side sits in tenth, three points off Fulham in the sixth, and ten odd points off Newcastle in fourth; it’s the same for the Kops but they have a game in hand that could well shoot them into the top six.
Both sides have injury woes but the Blues won’t stop the trolley dash in the market. Chelsea has added Noni Madueke and Mhykalo Mudryk to their ranks in the last week and word on the street is that Todd Boehly would sanction a loan move for Real Madrid’s Camavinga.
Liverpool’s embarrassing 3-0 loss to Brighton brought to the fore the weaknesses in Jurgen Klopp’s side. There exists a need for reinvigoration and Liverpool must introspect; the home crowd must respond to the team’s effort, they need each other now, more than ever.
Chelsea will need to take their chances when they do get one against Liverpool on Saturday; this isn’t a fixture for point-blank misses like Kai Havertz does and while it’s great to show faith in kids, Potter might want to consider experienced players like Pierre Emerick Aubameyang upfront.
Liverpool will hope Cody Gakpo hits the ground running at home after enduring a frustrating evening at the Amex the last time out and the midfield will also need to stick together. We’re expecting Tiago Alcantara to return with Fabinho and Harvey Elliot, Henderson should sit this one out.
Joao Felix will miss the second of his three-match ban while Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic continue to heal from injuries; Mudryk is available but the manager thinks he can’t go the full length yet but Chelsea fans will be able to catch a glimpse of him.
The first leg ended in a stalemate and this is most likely to head in the same direction. Both sides lack conviction and the cutting edge to pip the other to victory. Mohammed Salah is a shadow of his usual self and no one on the Chelsea side is showing workings too.