Thomas Tuchel’s side are set to compete for both the European Cup and the FA Cup this month, with Man City and Leicester City forming the opposition, while also battling for a place in the top four.
The shaky results saw former player Frank Lampard sacked mid-season, while Timo Werner, who signed with plenty of money, has yet to live up to expectations despite a crucial semi-final goal against Les reigning La Liga champions on Wednesday night.
Haven’t we been here before?
Remember in 2011/12 when Chelsea also competed for the Champions League and the FA Cup.
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Andre Villas-Boas was sacked mid-season to be replaced by ex-player Roberto Di Matteo, while Fernando Torres, who signed with plenty of money, continued to struggle despite a crucial semi-final goal against reigning La Liga giant Barcelona.
Like this season, Liverpool are floundering in the league under Kenny Dalglish and just sneaked into the Europa League.
Having already won the League Cup, the Reds prioritized their own run to the FA Cup final in the second half of the season, but ultimately fell to the Blues at Wembley in the final despite the heroism. of Andy Carroll off the bench.
However, Dalglish’s men got revenge days later as they played Chelsea again in the Premier League. This time, Liverpool missed the winners 4-1.
Coincidentally, Chelsea will face Leicester in this year’s FA Cup final before welcoming them to the Premier League in their next game the following midweek.
With bigger fish to fry in 2012 thanks to their last appearances, Di Matteo’s men ultimately failed in the race to finish in the top four that year as they finished the season in sixth, with Newcastle United being an unlikely fifth finisher ahead of Everton. and Liverpool.
However, they qualified for the Champions League at the expense of fourth-placed Tottenham following a change in UEFA’s rule to prevent the Liverpool holder from having to participate in all qualifying rounds after missing the first four before their own European Cup winning season. in 2004/05.
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Fast forward to this season and it is Chelsea who currently sit in fourth place, ahead of an unlikely fifth West Ham, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton.
Still, could Tuchel’s men drop out in the Premier League with two big cup appearances to wait?
Their meeting isn’t exactly kind with a trip to Manchester City and a home clash with Arsenal leading up to their Leicester double-header ahead of a final day of visiting Aston Villa.
If history continues to repeat itself, it could give Liverpool an edge in the race for a top four.
However, a further change in UEFA rules in 2018 ensures that Chelsea will qualify for next season’s Champions League if they win this year’s competition, regardless of their position in the league, keeping fourth place thus keeping its place in the European elite competition.
So while Liverpool could currently be an underdog to qualify for next season’s Champions League, such omens and distractions could indeed work in their favor with five games to go.
Stay in the mix and that’s it to play. And with Leicester City also endured a tough showdown, Jurgen Klopp’s men will be ready to pounce.