What scoreline has former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson plumped for in his weekly prediction feature?…
Ex-Liverpool centre-back turned media pundit Mark Lawrenson has given his thoughts ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea on Sunday.
Writing in his regular ‘Lawro Predicts’ feature for the BBC, the 55-year-old believes his old side have little chance of taking anything from the game.
Here’s what he had to say in full…
“Victor Moses’ late winner against Shakhtar Donetsk was a very important goal, and not only because it boosted Chelsea’s hopes of making the last 16 of the Champions League.
“A few cracks had been appearing after the Blues’ fine start to the season – one or two people were saying ‘oh they have struggled of late’ and also asking what is happening with John Terry and why didn’t he play on Wednesday night?
“Blues boss Roberto di Matteo is one of the managers affected by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola – or at least his agent – announcing where he wants to come back into football to.
“So Wednesday was a massive result for Di Matteo and a win here would be another boost before his players head off for their international games next week.
“I have a theory about Chelsea which is that, against the really good teams who can take them on, I think they struggle a little bit.
“That is because, when they have not got the ball, when they have got Fernando Torres, Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard in their team, none of those players are really good at running back towards their own goal.
“Consequently they are left trying to defend with six outfield players, which I think is difficult. That’s the risk they run, though, and against the majority of teams in the Premier League, especially at Stamford Bridge, they create too many chances.
“I can see that happening against Liverpool and it might be a very tough day for Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. I can see the Reds sitting very deep and letting Chelsea have the ball – and if the ‘Three Amigos’ are on it, the chances are something is going to happen.
“Rodgers has a Chelsea connection after working as a youth coach there but I cannot see this being a happy return for him.
“Luis Suarez was brilliant for the Reds last week against Newcastle but one of Liverpool’s problems is the system Rodgers plays does not get enough people forward in the right areas.
“They need to get somebody closer to Suarez, because he is that good a player. We saw that against the Magpies when, at 1-0 down they brought Jonjo Shelvey on and, although he is never going to take the world by storm, he was another body in the penalty area for defenders to have to mark.
“That way Suarez doesn’t have to be the furthest player forward and he can dart around, and find room to hurt teams.”
Speaking specifically on the topic of former Reds striker Fernando Torres, who joined Chelsea for £50m two seasons ago, Lawro added: “We are now at the stage with Chelsea striker Fernando Torres where we have got to forget about what he did when he was at Liverpool.
“From what we have seen since he left Anfield in January 2011, he is not going to be the way he was again. End of. Chelsea will know that better than anyone because they will see him in training, day in, day out. I am sure he would love to score against his old club but it is the ‘Three Amigos’ who are going to do most damage to Liverpool. The Blues are obviously going to go big and spend on a striker in January too, because they have got to.”
Lawro’s prediction: 2-0
About this former LFC player
Mark Lawrenson joined Liverpool from Brighton & Hove Albion for a then club record £900k in the summer of 1981. The Republic of Ireland international centre-back soon struck up a formidable partnership with Alan Hansen after injury to club stalwart Phil Thompson. After 332 appearances, Lawrenson left the club in 1989 and after a season playing in the American Soccer League went on to manage Oxford United and Peterborough United. During his time at Anfield ‘Lawro’ won 5 league titles, 3 League Cups, a European Cup and an FA Cup.
Follow me on Twitter @superbag
|Not a Vital Liverpool member? It’s a 100% free to join and get involved. Plus it only takes a few moments to sign up. Click here to become a member now!|