Chelsea vs. Liverpool: Why Match Is Must-Win for Andre Villas-Boas and Blues
Andre Villas-Boas and his Chelsea team are going into a must win game on Sunday for a number of different reasons.
Chelsea have been in poor league form recently, having taken just three points from as many games.
The Blues need to turn things around quickly if they hope to bring a trophy to Stamford Bridge.
The West London club have a tough game ahead of them on Sunday, but it's a game that they better win.
David Silva has been the heartbeat of Manchester City this season.
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Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League. The Blues have taken 22 points from 11 games.
Tottenham, who are fifth, sit level on points with Chelsea. However, should Tottenham win their game in hand, Chelsea would drop to fifth in the league.
Manchester City currently sit atop the Premier League table with 31 points. Already, Chelsea trail behind them by nine points.
If Chelsea are going to compete for a Premier League title, they are going to have to play some serious catch up.
A home game against Liverpool is the exactly the type of match that Chelsea need to win, if they are to be considered genuine title contenders.
African Cup of Nations
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The 2012 African Cup of Nations will see the departures of Didier Drogba and Solomon Kalou, as both will be representing the Ivory Coast in the tournament.
The loss of Drogba and Kalou will decrease the attacking options available to Chelsea. In this time, the Blues will have to rely of Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge to lead the Chelsea attack.
Mata, a proven Premier League goal scorer, has been in fantastic form for the Blues this season. On the other hand, Sturridge and Torres have both been inconsistent.
Although Drogba and Kalou have not been key features in the plans of Andre Villas-Boas, their departures will put a dent in Chelsea's attacking options.
Chelsea need to take advantage of these players while they are still in England. It is almost a certainty that Chelsea are going to drop points in January.
Dropping points before then will kill their chances of a genuine title challenge.
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Andre Villas-Boas has not been the manager that he was hyped to be prior to the season. Since coming to Stamford Bridge last summer, Villas-Boas has masterminded a peculiar season for the Blues.
Lately, the Blues have fallen into a bit of a rut, having won just two of their last five games.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not a man that would be described as compassionate. His obsession with the Champions League has led to the sacking of many a manager after impressive domestic seasons.
Villas-Boas needs to find a way to win big games. Chelsea have failed in their first two difficult tests this season.
In September the Blues fell 3-1 to Manchester United. More recently Chelsea faltered at home against Arsenal, and were on the wrong end of a 5-3 scoreline.
This home game against Liverpool is a must win for Villas-Boas more than anything. A failure to win would surely put the Portuguese manager in the hot seat.
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It is no secret that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is obsessed with the UEFA Champions League.
Since taking over the club in 2003, the Russian billionaire has sought to bring a Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge.
A failure to do so has been the demise of many a Chelsea manager. Carlo Ancelotti, who won the Premier League and FA Cup was sacked for failing to bring a European trophy to West London.
Newcastle United have joined the hunt for a fourth place finish this season. With the addition of the Magpies, there are now seven legitimate contenders for a Champions League finish.
Liverpool are one of the teams that will be looking to qualify for the Champions League in 2012.
In order for the Blues to secure Champions League qualification, they need to beat the teams who will be fighting them for the very same honours.
A loss to Liverpool would put Chelsea's ability to qualify for Europe into question.
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Chelsea need to win this game for their reputation. Chelsea are in an awkward spot at the moment.
Most of their world-class players that have won them trophies in the past are getting to an age that prohibits them from performing at their top level.
Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba are all on the wrong side of 30. With an aging squad, Chelsea need to attract young, quality players.
If they fail to come away with a win from this weekend's match against Liverpool their reputation may be damaged.
Failing to qualify for Europe would certainly do so. If Chelsea are still to be considered a top team, they need to win Sunday's match.