Chelsea Will Challenge At Anfield


Don’t be fooled by all the antics coming out of Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho hasn’t given up on the title just yet. Yes he will need to select an unusual team but that team better compete at Anfield.

I think Mourinho and all this chat about a weakened team and resting players is all about self-preservation. I don’t doubt he sees the Champions League as a top priority, so he will look to enhance his chances there. But he also doesn’t want to lose at Anfield and concede that they beat his best side.

But no matter who he selects, his squad is full of seasoned winners, experienced Premier League pros and exciting youths. The cost of the side he puts out on Sunday will still cost more than most, probably more than Liverpool’s.

He was never going to field his strongest side, no matter what fixture was following it. John Terry, Eden Hazard and Petr Cech are all injured and Ramires is unavailable through suspension.

That said Chelsea still have Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Nemanja Matic, Demba Ba and Mohamed Salah who all look set to be definite starters.

I would imagine that Ashely Cole would be more than ready to start another Premier League game. The English left-back should be desperate for more game time leading up to the World Cup.

I also believe that Mark Schwarzer would benefit from an extra ninety minutes under his belt, ahead of the second leg against Atletico. Plus I can see at least one of David Luiz, Gary Cahill or Branislav Ivanovic playing at the heart of defence. Maybe even two out of those three.

Out of the youngsters that could come in you have: Marco van Ginkel who is a Dutch internationalist that came in for £8m and Tomas Kalas who is a Czech international defender that has first team experience from his loan spell at Vitesse.

That is a side that should still compete against Liverpool. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Jose had another top team player in from the off like Willian or Andre Schurrle. But we shall see.

It’s also strange to see how Chelsea’s decision to loan so many players could now bite them on the arse. Think how much Jose would love any of Thibaut Courtois, Ryan Bertrand, Oriol Romeu, Victor Moses, Marko Marin or Romelu Lukaku in his squad this weekend.

Plus we can’t forget that no matter what players he has at his disposal, Chelsea were never going into this game with Liverpool as guaranteed winners. A lot of the press seem to forget that even with Terry and co fit and/or available, Liverpool would still have been seen as favourites for this match. They deserve that tag as they’ve preformed amazingly well at this period of the season and look set to lift their first Premier League title.

But Mourinho wants everyone to forget that fact. He wants the lead up to this match to be all about his absentees and his clubs congested fixture list. He wants Chelsea to be in a situation where no matter what happens on Sunday that can’t lose. If they are defeated in the match then that was expected because of all the things that conspired to work against his side. If they win, then it should be seen as a miracle!

Also with this sort of tactic, Mourinho hopes to put even more pressure onto Liverpool, who will be expected to triumph with ease ¬†this weekend. That said, Mourinho may also have put an unhealthy amount of pressure onto his own squad for their mid-week game against Diego Simeone’s Atletico. As he’s said himself, the Champions League is his top priority. So if he leaves certain stars out against Liverpool and then they fail to win the semi-final tie, then surely that is seen as a huge failure for Chelsea?

I am slightly saddened that the build up for Sunday’s big clash has been disrupted with all this chat about changes to the Chelsea team. I’d prefer it if we had two sides ready to battle it out and seeing who is the best team on the day.

2 Responses to “Chelsea Will Challenge At Anfield”

  1. I dont think it will affect how liverpool will approach this one whether all their missing players were available, i remember 2 weeks ago against city the approach won’t change. The team goes out to play win or lose they won’t seat back.

  2. Totally agree Josh.

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