Chelsea’s last away trip of the season takes them to Liverpool on Wednesday night, and the hosts are heavy favourites for the victory. Can Guus Hiddink’s men pull off a shock at Anfield, or will this be yet another disappointing outing for his side? With nothing to play for, it’s hard to see exactly why the players would be up for this clash.
Most Chelsea fans were looking forward to John Terry’s final game, mainly because it gave the season some semblance of meaning. Now the Blues skipper is out of the last two games with the suspension he picked up for getting sent off at Sunderland, and he seems to have played for the final time. Not only is that a blow to the fans, but it leaves a big hole at the back.
With Kurt Zouma already out, Hiddink is going to have to put his faith in inexperience at Liverpool. Either January signing Matt Miazga steps in at centre half, or there’s a big reshuffle. Branislav Ivanovic could move in to the middle, with Cesar Azpilicueta swapping to right back, and Abdul Baba Rahman coming in at left back. Neither of those two scenarios is ideal.
Hiddink has experimented with John Obi Mikel in central defence, and he could move back here. However they set up, there’s going to be a weakness there for Liverpool to exploit. With the Reds in fine scoring form, this might end up being a long night for the travelling Blues fans.
Liverpool have much more going on in their season, as they could move up to sixth with a win here. Jurgen Klopp could be on for a respectable league finish, having already taken his side to Wembley in the League Cup final. They’re also set for the Europa League final, which comes a week after this clash.
Don’t expect a weakened Liverpool side though as this is likely to be a game they take seriously. The matches either side of this one will see weakened teams from Jurgen Klopp. For their last match at Anfield this season, expect to see a pretty strong 11. They’ll want to give their players a test ahead of their clash with Sevilla.
As for Chelsea, Hiddink isn’t likely to make too many changes. He seems to have a settled side at the minute, but they just can’t find any consistency. The Blues seem to be inconsistent within games, having their positive moments before fading away. Hopefully that’s just a problem with their motivation due to their season being over, rather than something more serious.
This will be a tough night for the Blues. They’re going to a team who are playing well right now, and they’ll be desperate to end their season on a high. That same fight will probably be lacking for Chelsea, as they just want to end their season. This awful campaign is almost over, but we see another defeat before it’s finished.
LCN Verdict: Liverpool to win 2-1