Michael Owen has issued his thoughts on the enthralling Premier League encounter between Chelsea and Liverpool this weekend.
Speaking on Premier League Productions, the former Red suggested that a defeat for either side could end their title challenge completely.
Chelsea and Liverpool going head-to-head
Sunday’s seismic showdown at Stamford Bridge has the makings of a season-defining moment for the two chasers of Manchester City’s crown.
Chelsea have a narrow advantage over Liverpool but still remain eight points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s merciless machine.
The 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion last night has left the Blues with a lot of ground to make up on the pacesetters.
Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday means their needs are just as great.
This is why the mighty match-up in a few days’ time takes centre stage in the next round of league fixtures.
Overcoming Jurgen Klopp’s men is the first of a very hazardous schedule awaiting Chelsea.
Next Wednesday, the Blues host Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup semi-final, the reverse clash due to be played a week later.
On the 15th of January, Manchester City welcome their nearest rival to the Etihad in a mouth-watering spectacle for the neutral.
Four is the score for Chelsea
Failure to get at least one positive result from the City contest and the upcoming Liverpool bout and Tuchel can potentially wave goodbye to top-flight glory this term.
“Well, you’d have to think they have to get four points out of those two, otherwise I think they can probably be the first team out of the big three to drop out of contention,” said Owen on Chelsea’s next two league outings.
“Liverpool are sat a point behind but they do have a game in hand. That game at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool Chelsea, wow, that could almost be an eliminator.
“I still think if Liverpool lose that one they are very capable of going on a run like Manchester City are.
“I don’t think Chelsea can afford any more slip-ups now. I think they need four points out of the next two.”
Tough times for Tuchel
If Chelsea does gain the required four points or the maximum six, they would be in touching distance of City once again.
This will be far from straightforward, considering the injury problems facing Tuchel right now.
He must enter the Liverpool meeting without the likes of Ben Chilwell, Reece James and possibly Thiago Silva, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timo Werner.
Nobody said this manager malarky was easy, Thomas.
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