Jamie Carragher has played down the importance of Liverpool’s game against Chelsea on Saturday.
The Premier League fixture at Anfield has been built up as key for the Reds in their ambitions to finish in the top four for the second season in a row.
It was precisely because of that reason that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers fielded a weak team against Real Madrid away from home in the Champions League on Tuesday.
However, Carragher, a Liverpool legend, believes that too much importance has been given on the significance of Saturday’s match.
‘What confuses me is the importance the Chelsea game has been given’, the 36-year-old wrote in The Daily Mail. ‘It is big, of course it is. But there are 28 matches to go.
‘Winning won’t guarantee Liverpool’s place in the top four this season, in the same way a defeat won’t leave them with too much ground to make up….
‘They are playing a Chelsea side who have been away in Europe and had 24 hours less to recover. Liverpool stayed in Madrid after the game to train on Wednesday, too, so the players haven’t had a disrupted night’s sleep to contend with.
‘The physical demands haven’t been so severe. This, however, is where we are. When you are involved with Liverpool, things can be moving along quietly when an issue explodes and takes over. This is one of those times’.
Carragher’s argument is valid. Even if Liverpool do lose against Chelsea, they will not be out of the top-four race.
However, losing at home to a key rival just before the two-week international break could be psychologically damaging for the Reds.
Liverpool will head into Saturday’s match as the underdogs, but they are capable of picking up all three points against Chelsea at Anfield.