Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers insists his players will be as determined as ever to beat Chelsea tomorrow evening at Stamford Bridge, despite being in the box seat to secure a top-four finish.
The two clubs will go head-to-head for the second time in the space of just four days in west London tomorrow evening following Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley, which saw the Foxes lift the trophy for the first time in their history with a 1-0 victory.
Whilst Chelsea and Leicester were contesting the world’s oldest club competition, the likes of Liverpool and West Ham United had the chance to gain some ground and make the race for the top-four that little bit more interesting ahead of the last two rounds of Premier League fixtures.
Whilst the Hammers faltered on Saturday evening, drawing 1-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool recorded a third successive Premier League win in the most dramatic circumstances you could ever wish to imagine on Sunday afternoon, coming from behind to beat already-relegated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at the Hawthorns, with goalkeeper Alisson heading home from a corner in stoppage time.
Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side moved them to within one point of Chelsea in fourth, meaning the Blues’ clash with Leicester tomorrow evening has no shortage of pressure riding on it.
As well as being hot on Chelsea’s heels, Liverpool are now only three points behind Leicester, meaning a win for Chelsea tomorrow evening and a win for Liverpool at Burnley on Wednesday would see the Reds move level on points with the Foxes.
But despite Alisson’s dramatic winner to give Klopp’s side a major boost in the race for the top-four, Rodgers has refused to become unsettled.
There’s no ramifications for us,” said Rodgers, following Liverpool’s late victory over the Baggies. “We have to control what we do and we have it in our hands.
“We’ve got European football but we have two games to arrive in the top-four. We can only control what we have ourselves.
“Big Sam [Allardyce] will be disappointed because they defended well. We have a great opportunity to qualify and we intend to take it.”
Considering Liverpool appear to have found form at just the right time, Leicester and Chelsea are bound to be feeling a sense of pressure ahead of tomorrow evening’s crunch encounter, with the Merseyside outfit waiting to pounce on any mistakes made.
But having beaten the Blues at Wembley on Saturday, Rodgers will be looking for the same outcome tomorrow evening, suggesting that his players will be going all out to get one over on Thomas Tuchel’s charges once again.
“When you are a club that wants to win, you know sometimes you will fall short,” added the Northern Irishman. “They are in the Champions League final for a reason. They’ve got an excellent squad.
“We have to work hard and be equally aggressive and see if we can make our chances count.”
A victory for Leicester tomorrow evening would move them onto 69 points, meaning they would wrap up a top-four berth with a game to spare. Should that outcome occur, coupled with a Liverpool win at Burnley, Chelsea would drop out of the top-four and be two points behind the Reds with just one game left to play.
With that said, it is vital that the Blues record all three points tomorrow evening and inflict revenge on Leicester for what happened at Wembley.