Chelsea are in good form, but the good results may be a bit deceiving. The strength of schedule over the past few weeks hasn’t exactly been too tough, facing the likes of Cardiff and Brighton on the way to four straight wins in all competitions, including three clean sheets on the bounce.
But sometimes the details don’t matter too much. Wins beget wins and confidence, which begets more confidence and more wins. It can be that simple at times. Certainly Chelsea have shown in recent years that this team very much depends on confidence and momentum. And right now, confidence is high
“We are in a very good physical and mental condition right now. [...] In this moment we are fighting for the top four so we need points. We know it will be difficult to gain points in Liverpool but we have to try in every way.”
That’s not to say that the game will be easy, far from it, even if the specter of 2014 will linger over the home crowd. Sarri expects Liverpool to rise to the occasion and use those pressures positively.
“To face Liverpool is going to be difficult for us but every game now is difficult. Liverpool are one of the best teams in England right now, they reached the final of the Champions League last year, and at Anfield it is always difficult.”
“They are under pressure but that’s normal. If you want to win the Premier League, you have to play under pressure for a long period of time but it is pressure for something positive. You can be nervous but also with a great level of motivation so the positive is more than the negative.”
Basically, Chelsea will have to be at our very best and then a little bit more. Reversing the expected outcome will require possibly the best effort of the season.
“We know well the risks of this match but we also know that when we are able to play at 100 per cent of our potential, we can gain points anywhere.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Chelsea FC
Will we be the clowns, or will the joke be on Liverpool once again?
We’ll find out soon enough.