So, it all comes down to this. One game to influence who will be the Premier League champion of 2009-10. No offense to Sunderland, Stoke or Wigan, but the game that can swing the title in the favor of Chelsea or Manchester United is this Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield (8:30am ET, Fox Soccer Plus and, call for backup, FoxSoccer.tv).
It must be frustrating for Sir Alex Ferguson to know that the fate of your team’s title chance is out of his control. The title race hangs in the balance and it’s up to arch enemy Liverpool to grab a point (or three) against Chelsea and the tide will then turn in Manchester United’s favor as long as the Red Devils don’t slip up again.
Oh, but the irony of United’s title hopes relying on Liverpool to prevent Chelsea from getting all three points. Both Liverpool and Manchester United have won 18 top flight English titles among them, so if Liverpool loses, the title would most certainly be Chelsea’s unless the Blues slip up on the last day of the season in their home game against Wigan Athletic. At the same time, Liverpool will be hungry for all three points to finish the season with at least some respect and a slim chance of ending in fourth place.
When you look back at Chelsea’s season and that of Manchester United, both teams have had highs and lows. Both teams have looked seemingly invincible at times, too, but then they have both also looked mediocre when you least expected it. You could argue that this was because of stronger opposition that made both Chelsea and Manchester United look weaker, or that Chelsea and Manchester United aren’t as strong as they were last season. I believe it’s been just one of those seasons where teams have been unable to maintain the high standards over such a long period of time. Not a lack of skill. Just it’s tough to be on top all of the time.
But ultimately I have one wish for this Liverpool against Chelsea match. Please don’t bore me to tears.
Too many times in the past, the spectacle of Liverpool against Chelsea has raised my expectations of being a classic match only for those dreams to come crashing down after a nil-nil scoreline. You can blame part of that on Jose Mourinho and the tactical game of chess between him and Rafael Benitez.
But deep down, I’m hoping the match will be much closer to the incredible 4-4 game of April 2009 when the two teams met in the Champions League quarter-final. With Chelsea winning the game 7-5 on aggregate, the match featured everything a neutral soccer supporter could hope for.
The 2009-2010 Premier League title race has been one of the most exciting finishes in years, so let’s hope for the season to end with a bang rather than a whimper. I still feel that Chelsea has what it takes to win the title and their 7-0 win against Stoke City on Sunday will definitely boost their confidence going into the final two matches of the season.
But what do you think? Can Liverpool beat Chelsea at Anfield to help Man United win the title? Are there more twists and turns ahead of us that we’re overlooking? Who will win the title? Click the comments link elow to share your opinions.