Paul Merson believes defeat for either Liverpool or Chelsea tomorrow will spell the end of their Champions League hopes

Posted by

Paul Merson believes the loser of tomorrow’s clash between Liverpool and Chelsea will be out of the race for the top four despite both sides being just halfway through the campaign.

The Reds currently find themselves ninth in the Premier League table and ten points behind fourth placed Newcastle who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, while Graham Potter’s side are level on points with the FA Cup champions but behind them on goal difference.

Both sides have experienced inconsistent starts to the campaign but will be looking to pick up a huge three points tomorrow to get the second half of their season off to the perfect start.

“Ninth place against 10th place – is this a big game? I’ll go as far as to say that whoever loses this match is completely out of the Premier League top-four race,” the former Arsenal man told Sportskeeda (via The Sport Review). “This is a massive game. The team that wins this game could go on a run and really push for a place in the top four.

“Liverpool got blown away by Brighton the other day. I did mention that there was no way Brighton were going to lose that game, and they deserved to win. The Liverpool players who played against Wolves aren’t going to play on Saturday. Mohamed Salah isn’t closing down like he used to. They need to go back to closing down and winning the ball high up the pitch – they’re not doing that at all at the moment.

READ MORE: Klopp’s most-picked Liverpool XI ahead of his 1000th game as a manager

“This is going to be an interesting game. Chelsea have got injuries and aren’t playing great football, but if they can get through the first 20 minutes, they’ve got a chance. Cody Gakpo’s been struggling a bit so far – I can’t remember players for Holland coming in and ripping it up in the Premier League in the last couple of years. He’ll need time, and he might need to come out of the team for a game or two.

“Liverpool have got to hang in there and win matches until the likes of [Diogo] Jota and [Luis] Diaz are back. They need to get their confidence back up and get on a roll. There’s not a lot between these two teams, and I think this game will end in a draw.”

Both teams have been affected majorly by injuries this season but there will still be a lot of quality on display tomorrow at L4.

Our victory at Wolves earlier this week was exactly what we needed after our dismal defeat to Brighton last weekend and Klopp will once again be looking for a strong showing from his side.

Stefan Bajcetic, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliot where just a few of the eight changes made for the clash with Julian Lopetegui’s side and they will believe that their impressive performances should mean they retain their spot in the starting XI for tomorrow.

We can understand why Merson may have gone for a draw, but we believe with the home support pushing the lads on

#Ep68 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: The Redmen TV’s Paul Machin on Qatar takeover rumours, the midfield conundrum… and more

More Stories Chelsea Liverpool Paul Merson