Chelsea will come up against Liverpool this weekend, with Jurgen Klopp coming off of his first win at the club, midweek against Bournemouth in the League Cup. The Blues enter the match with back-to-back defeats against West Ham in the Premier League and Stoke City in the League Cup. Liverpool are 1-2-0 in their first three games under their new manager.
The Reds have been playing a much better style of football since the German has arrived. His “full throttle” mentality has Liverpool in the driver’s seat in most games, though failing in their first two matches to score that crucial goal that would give them 3 points instead of 1.
To add more heat to a typically pretty intense derby, it is believed by many that the Liverpool match is a must-win game for Jose Mourinho if he would like to retain his job at Stamford Bridge. While many believe that the club will cut ties with the Portuguese manager following a loss, I do not believe this is true.
Though Abramovich is known for being trigger happy with his managers, he’s unprecedentedly supported Jose Mourinho with a public statement just about a month ago. It would be easy to infer that the manager has not turned around the results in that time and has changed the Russian owner’s mind. However, I think regardless of Saturday’s performance, the Blues will retain Mourinho. When it comes down to it, there aren’t any better available managers.
Liverpool’s story in the past few years has has lined up with Chelsea’s. Brendan Rodgers had one fantastic season with the club during his time in charge. It’s arguable that the Reds should have won the title two years ago, but Gerrard’s slip coupled with a few other factors made this impossible. However, with the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, the English manager completely lost the plot with his reinforcements. The summer transfer window proved a miserable spell for Rodgers, and eventually cost him his job, despite making it through the full season.
However, where the two stories take different paths is how each club has chosen to deal with their respective managers, who’ve both really only had one successful season at the club in their current tenure. Liverpool sacked Rodgers and replaced him with in my opinion, the only man that could have replaced Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, Jurgen Klopp. The Blues on the other hand have stuck with their man, and allowed “Chelsea’s best ever manager” a chance to turn things around.
So far it’s been faith that has gone unrewarded. Chelsea haven’t come close to turning around their fortunes. They’ve been unlucky on several occasions, but overall they’re just not performing well enough. How much longer will the board in West London be so patient with Mourinho? Will a poor result against Liverpool give Mourinho’s homecoming an early end? Or will the Blues miraculously turn things around against the Reds?
Predicted Lineup: Begovic, Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Diego Costa.