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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Premier League: Liverpool vs Chelsea; Top four race is hotting up

Last season the ‘massive must-win’ games were for the title and Liverpool won all of them.

This season the must-win games they have not won so now the big games are for the top-four race.

So therefore, this game against Chelsea is so so vital.

Both of these sides are level on games and Liverpool are one point off Chelsea so it is the definition of a must-win game, if they don’t then Champions League football next year looks a long way off.

Chelsea have had a resurgence under Tomas Tuchel as the German is unbeaten since taking over.

Tuchel and Klopp have came up against each other a good few times in the last few years with Klopp coming out on top in the pressure situations.

In the Champions League group stage in the 18/19 season Liverpool beat Tuchel’s PSG at Anfield in the last minute.

In Klopp’s first season as well Tuchel was in charge of Klopp’s old club Borussia Dortmund and the pair came up against each other in the Europa League.

In the last minute yet again at Anfield Dejan Lovren leapt like a salmon and headed home.

Hopefully something similar can happen this time around as the champions will be desperate to do the double over Chelsea after beating them 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.  

There is some good injury news for Liverpool as a good few players will be returning to the squad.

Alisson will be back available after being on compassionate leave whilst Fabinho and Diogo Jota were also back in training.

Getting players back when they need it most will be vital as Liverpool look to build on there 2-0 away win against bottom of the league Sheffield United.

It was a new system deployed against Chris Wilder’s side, it was almost a 3-2-5 formation in attack, and it worked splendidly.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was playing the Pep Guardiola full-back role whilst Andy Robertson was almost upfront, and the balance of the team was really nice.

However, it could be a risk to have this system up against sides who do no prefer a low-block style of play, due to having only three covering.

Especially with two inexperienced centre backs in Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak, whether they start again together in this huge game remains to be seen.

In his press conference Klopp said: “In the game Chelsea played so far they have been successful. Different formations, he’s used the time to get to know the squad. 

“Lots of changes. All 3 left-backs have played. Only Mount, Kovacic, Jorginho are fixed. All others have changed for information.

“It’s difficult to get more possession than Chelsea. But the full package will be required. We have to defend, we have to work a lot, we won’t face a deep block. 

“We have to be patient in moments and lively, creative and show desire to defend. They’re a top team.”

So, Klopp certainly knows how much of a challenge this will be as does every Liverpool supporter.

Every game has been a big challenge in recent months, but it will be serious statement of intent to the rest of the top four contenders if Liverpool do finally end Tuchel’s unbeaten streak.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: LFC legend Sir Kenny Dalglish MBE visits Anfield Stadium to thank GPs, vaccinators and volunteers

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