Liverpool host Chelsea tomorrow in what is potentially a title-deciding match. In an all too familiar situation, @callumsanderson previews the Red’s latest test in their hope to end their trophy drought.
Almost exactly five years ago, Mamadou Sakho played a simple square ball to Steven Gerrard.
Then every Liverpool fan’s heart dropped. A moment they will never forget.Embed from Getty Images
Captain Steven Gerrard slipped allowing Demba Ba to run clear on goal and beat Mignolet to make it 1-0 to Chelsea.
A frustrating second half against a low block Mourinho Chelsea team saw the Reds lose that game 2-0. This was the start of the collapse of their title chase in the 2013/14 season.
Fast forward to April 2019 and Liverpool will be playing Chelsea at Anfield, Manchester City will be playing Crystal Palace just as they did in 2014.
and Liverpool and City are both going for the league. Things have come full circle. How’s that for spooky?
So will it be redemption for Liverpool or will Chelsea repeat what they did before?
The Rivalry history
For the past 15 years, Chelsea and Liverpool have been rivals. It stemmed from Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool beating Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the 2004/2005 UEFA Champions League semi-final.
Since then the games have always had a needle and have often been extremely tense. This Sunday’s game will offer more of the same.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s recent record against Chelsea has been awful, winning two of their last eight games in all competitions.
The last came in September 2016, courtesy of a back post volley from Lovren and a stunning long-range effort from captain Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool’s Anfield record against Chelsea makes for even more grim reading. The Reds haven’t beaten Chelsea in front of the Kop since 2012 when the Dalglish’s men beat Chelsea 4-1 just days after losing to them in the 2012 FA Cup final.
Keys to victory
The midfield battle in this game will be key. Not only will the midfield have to control the game but they will need to nullify Eden Hazard. The defence will have to be resolute and the attack will have to be clinical.
So far Hazard has 28 goal contributions and if his last performance is anything to go by Liverpool will have to do everything in their powers to stop Eden hazard from dominating this game.Embed from Getty Images
The Belgian star is often accused of being inconsistent but when he plays Liverpool it’s quite the opposite.
He has two goals in his last two games against Liverpool and both goals were of the highest quality. If Klopp’s men are to win this game, they’ll need to limit Hazard’s impact.
All in all, it promises to be a great game, but the ramifications of a win or loss for both teams is what makes it unmissable. So who is going to win; Sarri’s Soldiers or Klopp’s Red Army?
Chelsea: Kepa, Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Barkley, Jorginho, Kante, Hazard, Higuain, Hudson-Odoi
Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Keita, Fabinho, Henderson, Mane, Firmino, Salah