PREMIER LEAGUE: VICTORY TO HOPE AND HEAL: CHELSEA - LIVERPOOL, CRUCIAL SHOCK IN MORE THAN ONE WAY

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

PREMIER LEAGUE - While Manchester City are stacking goals and streaking victories, their main rivals Chelsea and Liverpool fell further in midweek. 

The Blues and Reds just cross swords this Sunday (5:30 p.m.) in a shock that will be worth its weight in gold. So much to still believe - at least a little - in the title as to appease the evils of the moment.

In addition to the usual post-Christmas hangover, Chelsea and Liverpool fans started 2022 with a blow to the back of the head. 

Turning on their TV at midday on Saturday, they first saw Manchester City being dragged by Arsenal. 

The leader nevertheless won unexpectedly (1-2) and his pursuers in the standings, who for a time believed that the Citizens would finally slow down, had to accept the cold mathematical reality. 

The Blues (2nd) and the Reds (3rd, one game less) are respectively 11 and 12 points behind the band at Pep Guardiola.

While the top three in the standings were still neck and neck a month ago, the Mancunian machine gradually widened the gap in December, taking advantage of the missteps that have become too recurrent by its pursuers. 

On Wednesday, the Londoners never knew how to take cover against Brighton, and were caught by the pass in added time (1-1). 

The day before, the Liverpuldiens had lowered the flag to a Leicester yet hardly dashing this season (1-0). The two opponents of this Sunday are therefore looking for a rebound. 

But not only on an accounting level.

PREMIER LEAGUE

In Chelsea, it will firstly be a matter of bringing down the controversy arising from the media release of Romelu Lukaku. 

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, the Belgian forward expressed his frustration 

with his situation with the Blues and hinted at his desire to return to Inter Milan. 

Words that had hardly pleased Thomas Tuchel. "It's not useful," blasted the German coach, already preoccupied with many matters.

Forced to do without the services of several important players due to injuries (Ben Chilwell, Andreas Christensen, Reece James ...)

the manager of the European champions has only noticed, over the past weeks, that his team has not 'displayed more the same vitality as before. 

"I'm pissed off about the situation, the result, the arbitration decisions, he first conceded. 

We have the feeling that we are fully involved, to continue to squeeze the lemon. But it's as if we squeeze the same lemon over and over again, hoping to get some fresh juice. "

IN LIVERPOOL, COVID-19 AND A BIT OF FATALISM

PREMIER LEAGUE

To spin the culinary metaphor, we can add that Liverpool is also finding it increasingly difficult to apply its recipe. 

Especially because the ingredients are becoming increasingly scarce. 

The fault of the successive positive tests for Covid-19 - three new cases identified before the trip to London - and still further weaken a workforce that seems more than ever to be on a tight rope. 

Often quick to criticize the hellish pace his players have to go through, Jürgen Klopp this time saw an advantage: 

"We play a lot, all the time, so we quickly have the opportunity to react."

Like his counterpart and compatriot from the camp opposite, the Scousers coach was keen to put into perspective 

the importance of this Sunday shock in the race for the coronation. With, it must be said, an ounce of fatalism. 

"The problem is not motivation. Neither for us, nor for Chelsea. Our real problem is just the quality of Manchester City," said the German, who will not be present at the event. 

Stamford Bridge for "assumed positive" test. So, to find the flame and clear the clouds, a victory is absolutely necessary. 

Because deep down, Tuchel is right: "Everything is simpler when you win."

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