Chelsea’s quest for Champions League qualification brings us against Champions League finalist, Liverpool this weekend at Stamford Bridge.
Here are 3 pre-match talking points for this encounter:
CHELSEA ON A LIFELINE LAST CHANCE SALON:
The ignominy of missing out on Champions League is the dreaded nightmare of everyone connected to Chelsea. While many fans may have accepted our fate of Europa league football for next season, we still have a chance of qualifying for Europe’s senior competition, albeit a miracle. A win against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool (with a game in hand over them) and a negative result for Spurs this weekend will surely boost our chances if a top four finish. But a loss against the Champions League finalists will all but shatter our slim hopes of qualifying for Europe top competition. Chelsea and Conte must dare and put in a top performance to keep us in the mix.
CHELSEA’S ABYSMAL RECORD AGAINST TOP RIVAL CLUBS:
One disappointing theme of Conte’s Chelsea reign is our abysmal record against top rival clubs. Last season’s stats against the big teams read: PL:10 W5 D:1 L:4, collected 16 points from a possible 30 which is quite average. This season has been no better with our stats reading: PL:9 W:2 D:3 L:4, collecting 9 points from a possible 27. Factor in our Community Shield and Cup defeats against Arsenal both last season and this campaign, then obviously we will realize that we have been not good enough in big games. Chelsea and Conte must do well to change it starting with the game against Liverpool on Sunday. We need to prove ourselves once again as big game serial winners to boost our chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season and winning the FA Cup against Manchester United later this month.
ATTACKING AND DEFENSIVE CONUNDRUMS:
This game is one of differing fortunes for both clubs this season. Chelsea inconsistent season is mirrored by our stuttering title defence and lack of fire power in front of goal. While for all of Liverpool’s attacking beauty, the ugliness of their defence has been their undoing all season. How Chelsea’s defence cope against Liverpool awesome triumvirate of the indefatigable Sadio Mane, the menacing Firmino and the world-class Mo’ Salah will be crucial to our chances. More so, Liverpool’s vulnerability at the back will surely be in the spotlight. Can they resist the threat posed by Chelsea’s powerful triumvirate of the magical Eden Hazard, the game-changing Olivier Giroud and the dynamic Willian Borges? Obviously, this games promises to be thrilling, intriguing and suspense-filled.
Don’t miss this game for anything. Let’s keep the blue flag flying high. Cheers!