By James Giblin
Chelsea entertain Liverpool at Stamford Bridge this Sunday, in a fixture that has produced some of the great Premier League matches these past few years.
The teams meet under common circumstances; Chelsea having flexed their muscles in the summer, combining age and experience with flair and youth.
The statistics show however, that the game could not be more close. In the last 32 games between the two, Chelsea have won 13 and Liverpool have won 12.
Surely then there is more to this game than the huge financial disparity that sets the two teams apart. How is it that Liverpool are able to go toe-to-toe with a rival that undoubtedly have consistently “better players”?
The fact of the matter is, Liverpool are a team that thrive under the big occasions. This is why we are an excellent cup team and were consistently fierce when taking part in Champions League football. It is written in our DNA; Liverpool fear no-one.
But what happens when this deadly trait is mixed with money? Chelsea are a team that are very much of the continent. For years, Chelsea have played a style that is not too dissimilar to the efficiency of a German side. With the addition of young and skilful players like Mata, Hazard and Oscar though, Chelsea have evolved into a team with a balance of flair and efficiency.
It seems then that the odds are very much on Chelsea’s side. But isn’t that always the way. Time and time again, Chelsea are the favourites to do one over on Liverpool and in recent years, they just haven’t.
Key Player for Liverpool: Steven Gerrard – The captain fantastic is absolutely vital if we’re to get a result against Chelsea tomorrow. With two assists already to his name this season, he is one of Liverpool’s highlights so far to what has been a disappointing start to the season.
Key Player for Chelsea: Juan Mata – Mata has been tremendous so far this season and typifies what Spanish Football is all about. His pace and intelligence will be a constant threat to Liverpool.
Predicted Scoreline: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool