14th April, 2019
The die is surely cast today as the two real contenders for this season’s British Premier League title do battle against dangerous opponents. While Liverpool play at home to Chelsea, Manchester City are away to “spoilers” Crystal Palace. In this post however, we will be concentration on the game between the “Reds” and the “Blues”.
Liverpool go into this game as table toppers by a two-point lead but having played a game more than Manchester City and will surely be praying for the Crystal Palace team to do them some sort of favour by ensuring that City does not win today.
On the other hand however, the Reds are facing a team that is currently fighting to ensure a place in the top four spots of the Premiership and one that can beat any team on a good day.
The matter is however even more complicated by the fact that both title contenders are still very much in the race for this year’s Champions League title.
Not the best of times to be the coach of any of these two teams as they both have a very delicate balancing act to contend with.
Liverpool come into the clash on the back of a stunning run of form. They have won their last six games in succession including the mid-week Champions League stroll against F.C. Porto.
The game against the Portuguese outfit was however, the team’s first clean since a 0-0 draw against Everton at the beginning of March. Their form on home soil should also give them plenty of optimism.
In all competitions this season, the “Reds” have only lost one game at home and interestingly, that came against this weekend’s opponents Chelsea in the League Cup back in September.
Even though Liverpool have gone undefeated at Anfield in the Premier League this season, Manchester City can still boast a better home record than Liverpool having claimed 48 points from only 17 matches.
If Liverpool manage to avoid defeat against the Blues this weekend, it would make it two calendar years undefeated for the Reds – an extremely impressive record most would argue.
The home side could have a boost for the game with Adam Lallana set for a possible return. The England midfielder has been out with a muscle injury. Another good news for them is the fact that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has stepped up his recovery from a long-term injury. However, he is likely to be out for at least another week.
As far as Chelsea is concerned, even though there are doubts over current boss Maurizio Sarri’s future going beyond the end of the current campaign, the Italian appears to be stringing together a useful run of results recently.
It is a fact that Chelsea have won their last four matches, including the midweek win over Slavia Praha in the UEFA Europa League.
Even more interesting is the fact that the Londoners now have the opportunity to notch four Premier League wins in a row for the first time since September. The wins have also seen Chelsea chalk-up back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League, something they have also not done since the conclusion of the 2017/18 campaign.
One area that still counts against them though is their recent record against the ‘top-six’. Against the so-called ‘bigger’ clubs in the Premier League, the Blues’ record has been poor, with their last win coming against Tottenham Hotspur at back in August 2017.
For today’s match, Sarri almost has a fully-fit squad to choose from with only Ethan Ampadu suffering from injury. Eden Hazard is likely to star against Liverpool once again having notched two goals in Chelsea’s victory over West Ham United in the Blues’ last Premier League outing.