Liverpool is a proud football club, the fans are passionate and have high expectations of their red men, with the appointment of Jurgen Klopp in 2015 it was safe to say they were ambitious for the coming years ahead under his management.
Sadly (for them), of late, Klopp’s passion has not been enough to keep the red contingent of Merseyside winning games. With their recent decline in form, Liverpool have seen a defeat in their last three home matches, two of which came against Plymouth and Wolves, teams that any Champions League hopeful should be beating convincingly. Many would argue this slump was down to the loss of 2016 signing, Sadio Mane, however I am a firm believer that any team with such lofty expectations that teams like Liverpool possess, must not revolve their team performances around one player. Liverpool have simply not been good enough.
With a desperate need of a return to even half their performance levels, things are unlikely to get any easier tonight as Liverpool entertain Antonio Conte’s league leaders, Chelsea, with their confidence high after only losing 1 in their last 16 games.
Diego Costa, joint top goalscorer in the Premier League, likely to be a real headache for Liverpool this evening.
Sadio Mane returns to Melwood this morning for an assessment on his availability after stating his desire to play tonight. If he is to make an appearance it will no doubt be a boost for Liverpool in an absolute must win game if they want to cement their chances of Champions League football next season.
I can’t see it happening though, Conte’s men have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season. With the league title very much in their grasp, a win tonight would see them stay (potentially) eight points clear from fellow London rivals, Arsenal. Liverpool will have to put in a seasonal best performance and even if their star Mane returns, fatigue is likely to factor with him only just returning from the African Cup of Nations.
Chelsea are best priced 2/1 to win tonight, simply put, that represents a lot of value. regardless of Klopp’s desire to win, I think the sheer class of the league leaders will be too much for this Liverpool side, low on confidence and beginning to get desperate. 2/1 is huge.