Chelsea suffered an almighty setback in the Champions League on Tuesday night and that might hurt Liverpool’s FA Cup chances.
Bayern Munich went to Stamford Bridge this week and tore the Blues apart. The Bavarians left with a 3-0 away lead – surely an insurmountable one.
And thus, Chelsea are surely out of the Champions League. They only had an outside chance of winning the competition, of course, but this is an earlier exit than they will have wanted.
It’s probably earlier than Liverpool wanted, too, if they’re chasing the Treble.
Because Chelsea now know their chances of winning the competition are absolutely minuscule now. They needn’t really bother trying to overcome their defeat, in fact, given their other commitments.
And one of those other commitments now represents their only real chance of silverware – the FA Cup.
They’ll face Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday and it now looks like quite an important game for them. They may just go all-out in it, seeing as they can’t count a deep Champions League run as a likely option.
So going far in the cup does represent a chance of genuine success – much like it did in Antonio Conte’s final season there.
The problem is that we have no real idea how seriously Liverpool will take it. They have a huge game against Atletico Madrid coming up – one they’ll want to be fully fit for. They’re also trying to win the Premier League as quickly as possible.
And so Tuesday’s FA Cup game might suddenly be far higher-priority for Chelsea, while Liverpool may simply see it as a rest. And if that is the case, Liverpool will struggle.