Liverpool prepare to face Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, drawing comparisons to 2014. There are two big differences to that clash, however.

The meeting in 2014 was a disaster, of course. Liverpool really only needed a draw but lost the game 2-0, Steven Gerrard having a particularly unfortunate moment.

It resulted in questions over Brendan Rodgers, too. Should he have just aimed for a draw? Was he far too naive by attacking a Jose Mourinho team like that?

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Mark Leech Sports Photography/Getty Images)

But that’s one of the biggest differences on Sunday. Liverpool know they have to win. That’s the attitude they’ll take into every game for the rest of the season but particularly here.

It would be a statement, generating momentum in a tough week for Manchester City. It’s the last huge test for Liverpool in the Premier League, after all, and a draw or defeat could hit them hard.

Does that make things tougher for Jurgen Klopp than Rodgers had it, though? That’s not clear. On the one hand, Rodgers only needed a draw. On the other, things are clear for Klopp.

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He knows exactly how to set up for this one and Liverpool will play to beat Chelsea. They don’t have any other choice.

 

But the flip side of that is Chelsea’s mentality. Mourinho had one mentality as Chelsea had nothing still to play for: park the bus and spoil the party – he did just that.

Maurizio Sarri doesn’t have things that way, however. Chelsea need points if they’re to qualify for the Champions League – anything less than a win makes things difficult, although they may accept a draw.

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Then there’s the Europa League. They managed a 1-0 win over Slavia Prague on Thursday and will meet them again next week.

Do they rest players for that? Are the players in need of rest regardless after a Thursday game? Those are questions that will be bothering Sarri and will shape Chelsea on Sunday.

While the comparisons between Liverpool v Chelsea in 2014 are easy to make, this is a very different game. And that may work to Liverpool’s benefit.