Liverpool and Chelsea have an advantage over their Premier League rivals, believes Ian Rush. And of the two title chasing sides, Liverpool have a major edge.
The lack of European football for Liverpool and Chelsea is a huge boon for the two sides in their pursuit of domestic glory.
While Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United are having to juggle Champions League and Europa commitments, the sides currently occupying the top two positions in the table have time to recuperate and prepare.
‘When you’re not in Europe you have to take advantage of that and do well in the league and the two teams who are doing it are Liverpool and Chelsea,’ Rush told 888sport.
‘Also when you’re not involved in European competition you have time to get over injuries – just that day or two – and that makes a massive difference in a very competitive Premier League.’
So of those two, which one is best equipped to go on and win the title in Rush’s mind? Perhaps unsurprisingly the five-time league winner is backing his former side, believing Chelsea are over-reliant on one player while Liverpool have a team of potential match-winners.
‘They’re not relying on one player which is what I particularly like about Liverpool. There are so many players who can score goals.
‘Chelsea are a great side but if Diego Costa isn’t scoring who will? We have five at least in Firmino, Coutinho, Mane, Sturridge or Lallana. Then you have defenders like Lovren chipping in too which reminds me of my day when Phil Neal would get you at least five a season. Then you had the midfielders like Molby and Barnes getting you ten to fifteen.’
‘When you have players like that it’s very difficult for the opposition manager to know what to do. They can’t say ‘stop him and stop him’ and then win the game. They don’t know what team is going to be playing and when they do they don’t know who to man-mark.’