Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not believe Chelsea’s current troubles make it any easier visiting Stamford Bridge and warned of the dangers a “wounded” side can pose.
The defending Barclays Premier League champions are currently 15th, having lost half of their opening 10 matches, and boss Jose Mourinho is coming under increasing pressure with some erratic behaviour to match similar results.
But Klopp is not falling for the ‘club in crisis’ talk and is wary of the threat they face today.
“Chelsea is not easy,” the German said. “Do the Chelsea players not know any more how to play football? No, of course not.
“They had brilliant moments in the games before, but they didn’t win often enough.
“Like last year you know how Chelsea play: very good defence, very good structure and then big individual quality to finish individual situations.
“You can talk about (Diego) Costa, Willian, Oscar, Ramires, (Nemanja) Matic - all these guys are great players with (Gary) Cahill and (John) Terry.
“I am not sure it is easier to play Chelsea now than last year - why should it be?
“Okay, being full of self-confidence maybe makes some things different, but to be wounded can make you stronger too.
“They don’t feel life is as good as it could be and now they want to change it and that is big motivation.
“But we are motivated too. We have to try something, we have to play - that is what I am looking forward to as it is my first time in the stadium.
“It is difficult to play against Chelsea but it is not impossible to win.”
Mourinho is under pressure like never before and that has manifested itself in some major public outbursts against officialdom and the media.
The Portuguese, already appealing a £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban for suggesting officials were “afraid” to award his side decisions following the defeat to Southampton on October 3, was this week charged with misconduct after being sent off at West Ham last weekend.
“When I was in Germany, sometimes we sent short messages (to each other),” he said.
“From my side, I am full of respect for his work. I think if you are not a journalist or a referee he can be a nice guy, and I am not one of these so we have a good talk. I like to meet people and he is a nice guy and he was really full of respect during the game.”