For Liverpool, they can guarantee UEFA Champions League football next season by winning one of their upcoming games- Sunday at Chelsea or May 26 in the final versus Real Madrid.
Even if they should lose both, the Reds are still all but certain to get back to Europe next season, as their spot in the Premier League top four is all but clinched. Obviously, beating the two time defending European champions is the preferred route, with the prestige and the £69 million payday it brings.
The allure of Champions League football is an important major recruiting tool in the summer transfer window, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is feeling very confident about the appeal of his recruiting pitch this summer. Players have taken notice of what what LFC have accomplished in Europe already.
“With the players we talked to [already], nobody has said ‘if you don’t do it in end it’s all for nothing.’ That’s all clear, we battle and challenge with the best football clubs in the world,” said Klopp during his prematch news conference today.
Video of the full session is embedded below:
“And whatever you can do to bring yourself in the better position to get these players you should do it. In this moment we are quite attractive. We pay good wages, we pay absolutely OK transfer fees, so we can go for a few really good players.
“But other teams are interested in them as well. That’s always how it is,” he continued. “There are a few ‘soft’ factors, and a few ‘harder’ factors, which help the boys to make the right decision—and the right decision would be to join us!”
“It’s clear, if you are qualified for the Champions League it’s easier to convince specific players.”
Antonio Conte press conference video, notable quotes: go to this link
Liverpool Starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Injury, Fitness, Team News for both sides: go to this link
Betting Odds: Chelsea FC win: 23/20 Liverpool win: 9/4 Draw: 5/2
Prediction: Chelsea FC 4, Liverpool 3
As always, feel free to post your own starting XIs and/or final score predictions in the comments section below.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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