Glen Johnson believes that Chelsea and Liverpool remain in the title race for the moment but reckons whoever wins on Sunday must go the rest of the season close to unbeaten.
The Premier League’s second and third place sides go head to head with just one point between them, but the Blues lie eight points behind Pep Guardiola’s team.
Thomas Tuchel noted that it was impossible for the Blues to be in a title race given their current sitution but has not given up hope yet, while Jurgen Klopp is waiting until April to make his judgement.
Johnson expects a close tie between the league’s elite but thinks that Chelsea may just have the edge.
Johnson told football.london in conjunction with BoyleSports football: “Yeah, they are at the moment but it is slipping away from them. Recent weeks have really hindered their chances. Anyone giving City eight or nine points is a big gap. I don’t see City losing four or five games from now until the end of the season. If someone’s going to catch them they’re going to have to go on a very good run.
“It will certainly be cagey. You’ve got two fantastic sides that have both dropped a little bit of form. Chelsea with the home advantage, I think they might knick the win. Whoever wins this game is going to have to go pretty much unbeaten for the rest of the season if they want to catch City.
“I don’t think anyone could pick a winner confidently but my gut feeling is that Chelsea can win 1-0.”
Both teams have stumbled coming into the fixture with Klopp’s men suffering a 1-0 defeat to Leicester, while Chelsea have drawn three of their last four matches.
The Reds do have the Premier League’s most in form player this season in Mo Salah. The Egyptian has already recorded 15 goals and nine assists in 19 appearances but Chelsea have only conceded 14 goals in their opening 20 matches.
Nevertheless keeping Salah out of the game will be crucial for the west London side to be successful.
Johnson said: “Yeah, of course, they’re going to know all about Liverpool’s threats but they’ve got a lot of attacking threats themselves. I’m sure they will focus on their game and if they keep the ball and have possession and dominate the game then Mo can’t do anything. I’m sure they’ll be more worried about their performance than worried about Liverpool.
“I think for Chelsea, it’s about their defensive strength against Liverpool’s attack. If you can keep Liverpool’s front three quiet, we know they struggle to score. It will be about keeping Mo, Mane, and Jota if he plays, quiet. Then the game could play into Chelsea’s hands.”
Source by Football London