Liverpool: The View From Stamford Bridge
As part of Vital Liverpool's buildup to the Premier League clash with Chelsea we've interviewed a Blues fan for their thoughts ahead of the game...
Sunday afternoon's match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge sees the latest chapter in a growing rivalry born partly out of familiarity.
The sides have shared many a battle over the past decade with some memorable encounters, most notably in the Champions League.
Last season was no exception with the two foes meeting on four occasions. Liverpool may have emerged victorious in three but arguably the most important contest, May's FA Cup final, belonged to the Londoners.
The pair lock horns again this weekend with Chelsea flying high and a transitional Reds team struggling under their new manager, former Chelsea coach, Brendan Rodgers.
Click here for our full Premier Preview of the game
Click here to read former Red Mark Lawrenson's prediction
A big thank you to Vital Chelsea member Gary Bacchus for agreeing to answer the following questions for us...
Q. How has your season gone so far and where do you expect to finish?
In all honesty it is going better than I anticipated. Having re-structured the team in the summer, with several old favourites departing, I thought the new player's bought in would take far longer to settle, especially considering how tough the Premier League can be. But, I guess, if you buy quality it should be able to perform from the off and that is exactly what the likes of Oscar and Eden Hazard have done. We've led the Premier League and we've had some amazing matches against Manchester United and Shakhtar Donetsk in recent weeks. In what was supposed to be a transitional season, I believe that we can make a serious impact still. The domestic cups might be our best bet coupled wit a top three finish in the Premier League.
Q. Who are the Chelsea player(s) we should look out for?
Keep your eyes on the 'three musketeers' of Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata. They're in superb form, they interchange with each other and all three can switch positions at will whilst having that unerring ability to produce a match turning/winning moment.
Q. What have you made of Liverpool so far this season and where do you expect us to finish?
I was surprised by your decision to let Andy Carroll go, he gives you a 'Plan B' as they say whilst the acquisition of Borini (an ex-Chelsea youngster) also puzzled me. But the core of a good team is there, it just needs a few additions to pull you back towards the top four or five in this country. As for where you'll finish, I'll go for sixth or seventh.
Q. Do you believe Brendan Rodgers was the right man for the job and will prove a success long-term?
The biggest question is whether he will be given the time! Having learnt his skills under the tutorship of Jose Mourinho, his first forays into management saw both Watford and Reading fail to keep him long term. He achieved a modicum of success at Swansea but would he have fallen victim to that second season syndrome? I have this feeling he will be a success, somewhere, but will that somewhere be Anfield, I'm not so sure.
Q. Which Liverpool player(s) do you rate the most and why?
Steven Gerrard. Twice tempted to come south but twice changed his mind. The recent admission relating to a desire to play under Jose Mourinho, was that an admittance that he now regrets not coming south and filling his pockets with silverware?
Q. What is your probable line up for the game and how do you think you can be successful against Liverpool?
Hazarding a guess, I'd suggest our starting eleven will look a lot like the following:
Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand, Mikel, Ramires, Oscar, Mata, Hazard, Torres.
And as for how we'll be successful, I reckon it'll be more of a case of you coming up with a plan to stop the three musketeers!
Q. What's your prediction for the result?
I'm going for a home win, a very comfortable 3-1.
Follow me on Twitter @superbag
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