How nice of Chelsea to secure the Premier League title last week so we can concentrate on important things, like Steven Gerrard's farewell tour and whether or not Liverpool will manage to line up in two single files like school children walking outside in public, away from the safety of the classroom. Don't forget your line-buddy! Has anyone seen Danny? Oh, Danny-boyyyy ... hello?
Mourinho was more gracious than I when asked about the Premier League legend.
"My dear enemy, he has made me a better manager because to stop him has been very difficult. I am very sad this is the last time I will face him."
"He's done an amazing career with his people. He refused to play in other big clubs, other big leagues, to play only for Liverpool and this is a feeling that stays together."
"I always thought that both [Lampard & Gerrard] were the best two number eights in Europe. In my opinion and my vision with them you don't play a number 10, you play with one number six and give the freedom to the two number eights because they score more goals than any number 10. So Lampard with 30 goals a season from midfield and Gerrard with 25, they score more goals together than a No 10 and the striker."
-Jose Mourinho; source: BBC
I still chuckle at the commentary for Gerrard's own goal in the League Cup. It could be his first goal for Chelsea already! Oh well. Smell ya later, Stevie
Me G (MLS can be pretty stinky).
Date / Time: Sunday, May 10, 2015, 16:00 BST; 11am EDT; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Andre Marriner — Eagle-eyes Andre and Stamford Bridge have made for an interesting combination the last couple times out. First, he sent off the wrong guy, then he witnessed Bradford City come back to win 4-2. What madness will ensue today?
Forecast: Warm and bright, turning cloudy later on.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports 1 / HD (India); elsewhere
Online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, Deportes Telemundo En Vivo Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea team news: The last time Chelsea and Mourinho faced similarly meaningless games at the end of a successful Premier League season, we lost both 1-0 to mostly crap opposition. Mourinho may talk about winning and commitment and giving this game the attention and the respect that the league deserves — and the players might say similar things in public — but at the end of the day, it's basically a glorified friendly. And we're not always the best at friendlies.
In 2006, Mourinho made 8 changes from the title-clinching match to the first meaningless one. He mentioned in the BT Sport interview that he does intend to do something similar this time around as well, giving the backups and perhaps some youngsters who have been waiting patiently all season some minutes. He also confirmed that John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic want to start all the remaining games, so we can probably pencil them in. Diego Costa might want to play as well, but we'll have to keep him and his fragile hamstrings chained up. It's for your own good, Diego! Oscar and Ramires should miss out as well, the former recovering from a concussion (and battling a thigh injury) and the latter recovering from kidney stones.
As far as the youngsters go, most of them are still involved at the U21 level as Chelsea still have a decent chance of winning the U21 Premier League with just a few games left to play. Dominic Solanke, Izzy Brown, Charly Musonda, Jeremie Boga, and Andreas Christensen all played on Wednesday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathan Ake did not. Make of that what you will.
Liverpool team news: With just 2 wins in their last 7, Liverpool have failed to take advantage of three straight Manchester United losses to truly challenge for the top 4 and after United's win yesterday, the Reds are basically out. They still have a mathematical chance, but it's looking unlikely. Fifth place looks assured with Spurs and So'ton floundering below them as well, and so Brendan Rodgers can start to looking forward to Thursday nights next season.
Liverpool may be without a fit and proper striker, with Danny Sturridge ruled out until next season after hip surgery (just can't stay consistently healthy, can he?), Mario Balotelli still battling some sort of problem (physical this time, I think, though you can never rule out the mental), and Rickie Lambert proving to be truly crap.
View from the enemy: The Liverpool Offside
Previously: Last time, it was all a bit more meaningful: