On Sunday afternoon, the title race in the Premier League will reach its peak. At Anfield, Liverpool will host Chelsea and this duel will give us an answer to which club will lift the trophy.
A streak of 11 consecutive victories put the Reds on the top of the table, and with Chelsea dropping crucial points against bottom-placed Sunderland, their hand is on the trophy.
Chelsea, on the other side, is still in Champions League race. With a highly defensive approach, they managed to remain unbeaten at Vicente Calderon and any victory in the second match against Atletico Madrid will book them a place in the final of that competition. However, the price they paid seems to be too high – Cech injured his shoulder after less than 20 minutes of play and the season is finished for him. Captain Terry was the second injured player in that clash and first prognosis are not so good – he will not be ready for next two crucial games for his club.
This is a huge blow for the best defense of the Premier League, since Chelsea kept 18 clean sheets this season and conceded just 26 goals. Bearing in mind they will face the best attack in the Premier League and that even with potential triumph against Liverpool they still can’t reclaim top spot of the League, Mourinho announced something quite shocking!
When he was asked how these injuries would influence team selection for game against Liverpool, he stated: “I can’t decide by myself. I’m just the manager and I have to listen to the club. We represent English football and are the only [English] team in European competition. So I know what I would do. I would play the players who are not going to play on Wednesday. My priority is the Champions League. But I’m not the club. I have to speak to them.”
This means following players will certainly feature for the weekend – Matic and Salah are unavailable to play in Champions League; Lampard and Mikel are suspended for the second game against Atletico, so they will also start; Ake and Hilario are some of the reserves that are in contention for this game, since Schwarzer and Willian will probably be on the bench for this game.
And there we have it – two weeks ago, everybody was talking about title-deciding-duel between Liverpool and Chelsea. Recent events can lead us to see game of cat and mouse – Reds attacking with all their strength, while Blues playing in second team. Only person who knows the squad for this game is the “special one” so we can hope he will not devalue this game.