21 Apr 2013

Predicted line-up vs. Chelsea: Rafa to stick the knife in and kill LFC's season...?

Liverpool face Chelsea today in a game that sees the return to Anfield of Reds hero Rafa Benitez, who - by his own admission - still has a major soft-spot for the club he led to Champions League victory in 2005. Benitez, however, is not the sentimental type, and he will be 110% focused on winning the game, and after two goalless draws in a row, the Reds cannot afford to let that happen.

As I'm sure Benitez is aware, Chelsea could potentially deliver the final killer blow to Liverpool's season. Anything but a win for the Reds and the club can kiss goodbye to European football next season. Things already look grim:

* 5th placed Spurs are 8 points ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand.
* A win for Spurs and defeat for LFC will open up an insurmountable 11-point gap.

I doubt there are many LFC fans out there who seriously think that the club can make 5th place this season, (especially after the last two abject results), but at this moment, it's still mathematically possible, which is why a win over Chelsea is absolutely imperative.

In his press conference on Friday, Brendan Rodgers confirmed that the Reds have no injury worries going into the game, so the team will probably have a very familiar look to it:

----------------- Reina

Johnson ---- Agger --- Carra --- Enrique

---------------- Lucas

---- Gerrard ----------- Henderson

Suarez ---------------------- Coutinho

-------------- Sturridge

The only possible change could be Downing in for Henderson, but given the attacking strength of Chelsea's midfield, I can't see that happening.

One minor concern is the current goal drought afflicting Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. Neither player has scored in six hours of football now, which is a little ironic considering the fabled 'SAS' partnership is supposed to help the club score *more* goals (!) Hopefully, the drought will end today.

Predicting a 2-1 win for Liverpool, Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"Liverpool have been a bit wishy-washy of late - they've won only one of their last four matches [but] I don't think Chelsea will get a result here, but they should be fine regarding Champions League qualification".

Lawro's former teammate, Jan Molby, added:

"There will be a great atmosphere for the visit of Chelsea and that will lift the home side. I expect Liverpool to get back to winning ways".

Word of warning: over the last month, most of Molby's predictions have gone sour. He confidently predicted wins against Southampton, West Ham and Reading, so let's hope he actually gets one right for a change.

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. Jaimie are season was killed several matches ago where we are now is more than likely where we will finish....a massive push on from last season ...at least without Europe next year rogers cant moan about squad size....well he will hell say players are rusty through not playing enough utter b*lloks

  2. Cant wait for this match!!!

  3. downing for sturridge suarez center forward its the only way we can win imo

  4. Chelsea have won 2 out of the last 12 games against Liverpool......................Liverpool 3-1 Chelsea.

  5. just heard rafa went to anfield last night and left flowers for the 96,whatever you think about him the man has class and should always get the warmest of welcomes when he returns home to anfield ,no matter which club hes with

  6. BR will be under more pressure next season, rightly so. The fans have been very good with him, next season expectations will be much greater.............nothing wrong with that as we are LFC!!!

  7. me to 1st time i,ve looked forward to a game for ages feel like a kid again

  8. Not sure if we have to start with sturridge, hes been awful lately but suarez wasnt better either they must improve today especially sturridge, the whole team must turn up today, win or lose wouldnt change much but we cant afford to lose another game at anfield or drop more points if we aim to finish strong, rafa knows lfc in and out im afraid his experience will win over rodgers one

  9. sorry m8 but rodgers as played down the expectations of top four already next season ,so its more of the same

  10. Ugh I'm waiting up till 1am. Must move closer to Anfield...

  11. I don't think Sturridge has scored for us out wide. Both SAS are more effective through the middle. Bit of a headache for Rodgers I guess

  12. I don't why BR is whining about Chelsea and Man City spending millions as an excuse for his failure. Complete BS...!!!!

  13. liverpool4life5652:22 pm, April 21, 2013

    Drop Sturridge play downing, gives us more defensive stability. :)

  14. lol it will be worth it for rafas reception if nothing else

  15. suarez every time imo sturridge as not done nothing in the last few games to justify a starting position also suarez does not seem as effective with sturridge in tandem but thats just my observation

  16. lol ive already stated that see you are coming round to my way of thinking this managerial lark is only as hard as you make it

  17. imo it started to go horribly wrong when we played west brom away;-)

  18. I hope he starts courthnino Suarez sturr. Explosive power to quick to fast for Chelsea back 4. Fuuck spurs just scored 2-1