banner

Liverpool v Chelsea - 6 Pub Talking Points

In a galaxy far far away lurks a supermassive black hole, aggressively pondering whether to suck our puny Universe into its vast, mysterious belly.

On Earth, Britain’s top 6 clubs remain in Europe, while we all thought they were supposed to have have left by now.

Meanwhile, Danny Drinkwater’s supermassively ironic conviction for drink-driving is further proof, if proof were needed, that we’ve crossed through reality’s fragile membrane.

We’re in a fantasy land now, lads. I don’t know what’s happening.

There’s only one sensible thing we can do; and that’s hole up in a boozer and enjoy some ludicrously good footie while the gods play Russian roulette with the fate of the human race.

GRUDGE MATCH

At Anfield on Sunday, neither team’s fate is in their own hands.

In the title race, Liverpool could end up needing a favour from their traditional bffs, Man United, to stop City’s trail of destruction.

In the battle for Champions League action next year, Chelsea cling to their position thanks only to an extra game played over London rivals Spurs and Arsenal.

Listen closely on the King’s Road and you’ll hear Roman Abramovich in his bunker, sharpening his guillotine in preparation for any slip up from manager Hans Mollman.

The stakes couldn’t be higher if Snoop Dogg was skinning them up.

LIVERPOOL RIDING THEIR LUCK

This season, Liverpool’s ascent to the very top of the tree has not been without its wobbles. But wherever the Reds have tooted out the occasional brainfart, they have found their opponents more than willing to say “Hold my beer,” and let rip with the most almighty cerebral follow-throughs. 

If the Reds do end up with the title, they ought to show their gratitude to Klopp’s Flops, perhaps by getting them get extra medals engraved.

Riyadh Mahrez; Jordan Pickford; Julian Speroni; Moussa Sissoko; Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld: Do not take a bow. Take the opposite of a bow, son.

NERVY ANFIELD

Usually, luck like this runs out faster than ya mumma’s iPhone battery.

Extra portions of shredded nerves and fingernails will be on the menu all over Merseyside for this crucial fixture against the most bogey-monstrous of bogey teams.

Liverpool haven’t won anything for so long I’m worried the Lightning Seeds are going to get back together with Baddiel and Skinner for a Remastered 30-Years-of-Hurt rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

But they have their best shot at the title since Brodge’s side ran out of steam in 2014. This time around they’re in even better fettle, having lost only one League game all season. Against? You guessed it, Chelsea.

To find Liverpool’s last home win against The Blues, you have to go all the way back to May 2012. Kenny Dalglish’s side thrashed Roberto Di Matteo’s B team 4-1, as Chelsea wound down their league games with Bayern Munich awaiting in the Champions League final.

If that seems like a lifetime ago, it was – only Jordan Henderson remains on the books for either outfit.

HAZARDS ON

Though it’s Chelsea’s third game in a gruelling seven days, one man is certain to be champing at the bit. Eden Hazard has snaffled up 7 goals at Anfield, and got a well-deserved midweek rest against Slavia Prague. The Leffe-swilling waffle-muncher has been Chelsea’s main contributor to their stupendous W3 D5 L0 record on Merseyside since he signed for the Blues.

Gonzalo Higuain should feature and has much to prove. Looking more and more like an Argentinian Glenn Murray, the once world-class striker has only scored against Champ-bound Huddersfield and Fulham so far this term.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION

A lot has been made of Liverpool’s wing-backs this season. Andy Robertson and ‘Stretch “Alexander” Armstrong’ have 16 assists between them – the Prem’s top two goal-making defenders.

But it’s in central midfield where the Scouser’s depth truly lies, with six proper world-class players vying for the 3 spots up for grabs in Klopp’s preferred formation.

There is a 14-point gap between second and third place this season, and what better way to explain this than with some wild conjecture?

Just an observation, and I may be gassed: both teams in the title race have a sportsy utility man from Up North in their squads.

Though the Yorkshiremen may not start every game, their chin-up, stay-grounded, sound-lad influence may well be behind their clubs’ dominance of the Premier League this year.

I have no evidence for any of this at all but I believe it to be true: James Milner is weirdly good at basketball, and Fabian Delph is a phenomenal wicket-keeper. Probably.

With a transfer ban still very much on the horizon for Chelsea, and with Drunkwater flushed down the bog, it is my humble but absolutely correct opinion that Ross Barkley needs to start working on his skills at volleyball, and at full-back, immediately.

ANY PREVIOUS?

This is only one of the juiciest bones of contention in recent football history. Where shall we start? The Champions’ League 4-4, Luis Garcia’s ghost goal, Stevie G’s faceplant, or that time in 2003 when Jesper Gronkjaer scored the “Billion Pound Goal” that convinced Abramovich to buy the club…

Don’t act like it’s not going to be a belter.

George Utley
MatchPint: Like/Follow

All images - PA. Stats via WhoScored.