Liverpool ended 30 years of hurt by winning the Premier League for the first time — their last top flight title was in 1990; the PL began life in 1992 — and they will receive their official coronation after this match with a trophy lift and maybe a lap of honor in an otherwise empty stadium.
It certainly won’t be like any other title celebration in league or maybe even English football history.
So, congrats to them and all that, but Chelsea do actually have business to take care of still. We need to win one of our remaining two games to guarantee a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
What better way to do that than at the home of the current English and European champions?
Date / Time: Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 20.15 BST; 3:15pm EDT; 12:45am IST (next day)
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, England
Referee: Andre Marriner (on pitch); Stuart Attwell (VAR)
Forecast: More rain, more cool temperatures because England
On TV: Sky Sports
Liverpool Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport 1, SuperSport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBCSports.com, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Liverpool team news: The Reds are proving a perfect case study of just how much difference motivation can make in a team’s performance, as they’ve been absolute pants since confirming their title. Now that the points and wins record is also gone, they literally have nothing to play for other than pride and injury avoidance.
Just give us the three points then, please and thank you.
Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip are even more done for the season thanks to injuries, though James Milner could be back ... but Klopp might as well play the kids, like he did in the Cups.
Chelsea team news: There should be no doubt about Chelsea’s motivations for this game, with Leicester City’s latest loss — thanks, José! — giving us the opportunity to clinch the top four today. While this game comes just 72 hours after Sunday’s massive win over Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal, we can hopefully just keep that momentum going.
Even better, Chelsea’s win did not require any minutes from Christian Pulisic, who thus was able to rest a slight knock at the same time. Unfortunately, N’Golo Kanté remains out, and at this point I’d guess we’ll be lucky if he’s fit for the FA Cup final in ten days.
This isn’t a must-win for the Blues since we need just three points from our last two games to guarantee a top-four finish, but it sure would be nice to not leave that for the final day (Sunday). And winning both of these games would get us third, even, which would look quite nice for Lampard’s first year as head coach.
Previously: Chelsea have played well against Liverpool on all three occasions this season — losing on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup way back when, losing just 2-1 at the Bridge in the league, and then winning 2-0 in the FA Cup Round of 16 just before the pandemic. That latter performance was inspired by unlikely heroes in Kepa Arrizabalaga and young Billy Gilmour, who’s currently recovering from knee surgery. Who’s going to step up today?