Liverpool has got a very important assignment on Sunday. It reads: Beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and thereby give yourself and the fans belief that we can compete with the best come August.
Some still believe that Liverpool has a chance to finish fourth and qualify for Champions League next season. I´m not among them. With three games to go we are four points behind Manchester United in fourth. Theoretically it´s doable, we can leapfrog them, but it won´t happen, not even if we down Chelsea.
But even so, a win against this season´s champions is essential because there is always next season. If the Reds grab a victory in London then a statement is made: We are capable of beating the best team in England on their own turf, watch us go next campaign.
After last season´s slip-up versus Chelsea at home, which cost us the title, we have an obligation to put one over the Blues and claim some revenge even if we no longer can make them miss out on the Premier League trophy. Especially Steven Gerrard should be eager to atone for his devastating error in the game versus Chelsea at Anfield last season.
The Liverpool vs Chelsea fixture is always a tense one. It´s like a derby. The teams hate to lose to each other and always gives everything to win. Just because of that it´ll be a game well worth watching.
The best thing we now can hope for is for Liverpool to end up in a final 5th position. A new rule states that the losing finalists in the FA Cup won´t get a Europa League place, as was the case in the past. So if Aston Villa goes down to Arsenal on 30th of May the teams in 5th, 6th and 7th place in Premier League will qualify for Europa League. So even if Liverpool want to avoid the EL it will be difficult to do so and virtually impossible if Arsenal wins the FA Cup.
Hopefully we can end the season with three straight wins and build a mental platform to have in the back of our minds when the next season kicks off in August.
This is the team I hope starts against Chelsea (in a 4-4-2 diamond formation):
GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Glen Johnson. CB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Lucas Leiva. CM: Steven Gerrard. CM: Jordan Henderson. AM: Philippe Coutinho. RF: Jordon Ibe. LF: Adam Lallana.
Perhaps Javier Manquillo should get a chance at rightback, Emre Can or Joe Allen in midfield and Mario Balotelli, Lazar Markovic, Raheem Sterling, Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini in attack. But I think the eleven I picked is the best to cope with Chelsea this time when:
We Go Again.