Football Expert & Columnist
Jamie Carragher: Liverpool will be delighted if Jose Mourinho puts out weak team
But I do feel for Manchester City who are the only losers in this situation...
Last Updated: 25/04/14 1:53pm
Well, he could put some kids in. Liverpool will be delighted if he does. Chelsea will be looking after themselves for Wednesday's Champions League game. The only losers will be Manchester City.
I feel for City in this situation. If Chelsea or Liverpool were in the same position they would be unhappy but sometimes the season works out for you and sometimes the timing of games doesn't go your way.
With Chelsea just being out of the running to win the league, and playing this game between Champions League semi-final matches, Mourinho was never going to put his strongest side out, especially after that loss to Sunderland.
If Jose decides to leave key players out it's a massive advantage for Liverpool and they'll be delighted, but it is a big blow for Man City and their title hopes, even more so because they have to play in-form Crystal Palace straight after this game.
We don't know which players he'll pick. But situations like this have arisen in the past, like with Blackpool in 2011, and it's now allowed. It's about your 25-man squad and there are certain young players that can come into your team, these rules apply for all the clubs; they won't be breaking any rules but if any other team was in Manchester City's position they would be upset, definitely.
If Chelsea were at full-strength I'd still expect Liverpool to beat them with the way they're playing and the pace they play at, especially at Anfield. Look what they did against Tottenham, Everton, Man City and Arsenal - they've beaten all the top teams. Chelsea have had to play that tough midweek game in Madrid and now have another game on Wednesday on their mind.
It won't be easy, though, because Mourinho sides are very good in big games. His record in big games, wherever he's been as a manager, has always been great and he'll plan to stifle the opposition, get that result and get out of there.
It does make things difficult for Brendan Rodgers when he comes to picking how he sets up his team, because he'll be kept guessing about the Chelsea XI. Liverpool of late have settled on a team and a certain way of playing, but who knows if Brendan will make changes in terms of personnel. They've been playing a diamond formation with Raheem Sterling in that position and he's been devastating.
This is going to be the best defence versus the best attack. We've had a lot of goals from Liverpool, Chelsea have had a very tight back four but we don't know what Chelsea team we're going to see - John Terry certainly won't be involved and neither will Petr Cech due to injury.
There's a different type of pressure on Liverpool now because they've been chasing Chelsea and Man City all season and now they're in front; we'll see on Sunday how they handle it.
The atmosphere at Anfield has been amazing from the 4-0 win over Spurs - which I think was the first time Liverpool thought they could win the league - then the City game. People will always look back at that win over Manuel Pellegrini's men and say it was the defining moment.
Each time they play at home the atmosphere seems to go up a notch. I've played in some great games at Anfield and European games but these league games are different. It's a been dream for Liverpool fans. They didn't expect it and now they're nearly there.
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