We take a look at one of the key fixtures from Gameweek 11. This week it is the matchup of Liverpool and Chelsea.
Liverpool V Chelsea
Just six short months ago Liverpool appeared to be on the cusp of Premier League greatness. Number nineteen was in sight and it was perhaps shaping up to be the club’s greatest ever league championship. Just one big test remained – Chelsea’s visit to Anfield. Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, Chelsea were intent on spoiling the party. And spoil it they did.
Fast forward to the present and it would appear that Liverpool have yet to fully recover from the setback. The difference in the team’s performance compared to last season has been stark. The record breaking goalscoring is all but a distant memory as the club has now failed to score in three consecutive matches. However, all hope is not lost. Despite fielding an ostensibly weakened side, Liverpool managed a decent performance away to Real Madrid during the week. If that can be replicated, the Anfield faithful may have reason to believe they can get something from the tie.
Even at this early stage, it is beginning to look like it is Chelsea’s league to lose. The Londoners have looked excellent at times this season, playing with all the clinical efficiency that we have come to expect from a Mourinho side. However, just as Liverpool have reason to be hopeful, Chelsea shouldn’t start patting themeselves on the back just yet either. A draw with Manchester United, a less than dominant victory against QPR, and a lacklustre display in the Champions League midweek paints a picture of a side that is far from unbeatable.
This Time Last Season:
Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
Gerrard (£12.1m GW11 450pts) v Matic (£7.5m GW11 450pts)
Perhaps the cruelest part of last season’s fixture was Gerrard’s slip leading to Chelsea’s opening goal. Liverpool effectively lost the league as a result of that error and since then, their captain hasn’t quite looked the same. One would feel that if Liverpool are going to turn their season around, they will need their talisman to start performing well. One assist so far this season is not quite good enough for a player of Gerrard’s quality.
Endeavouring to ensure that Gerrard doesn’t get back to winning ways will be Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic. The Serb has performed the holding midfield role with aplomb so far this season, conjuring memories of the great Claude Makelele and recording an impressive twenty-seven tackles and sixteen interceptions. Furthermore, it appears that there is no love lost between Matic and Liverpool, as evidenced by the player’s recent comments .
|Goals per game||1.3||2.6|
|Goals conceded per game||1.3||1.0|
|Shots on target per game||4.7||5.8|
|Kick Off||Saturday 12.45|
From the infamous “ghost goal” in 2005 to Gerrard’s slip last season, this fixture has traditionally delivered it’s fair share of talking points and drama. Last season, defeat to Chelsea marked a clear turning point in Liverpool’s fortunes. Arguably the merseyside club has yet to recover from the setback. A win here could be what Liverpool need to get Brendan Rodgers’ project back on track. Will Liverpool finally exorcise the demons of last season? Or will Jose’s blue machine chug on?