Look away, no Pool conspiracy here



The players agree – when Liverpool meets Carlo Ancellotti’s table-topping Chelsea this Sunday both sides will be out to win. It’s not a scenario many United supporters have faith in though, with the nightmare prospect of Rafa Benitez resting key players and the Kop egging on the away side to victory all too realistic.

Indeed, in a recent poll on popular Liverpool blog Empire of the Kop nearly half the supporters participating said they were hoping for a Chelsea victory next Sunday lunch time. Even if that win ends Liverpool’s faint hopes of making the Champions League next season.

Little wonder, with Untied baring down on a record-breaking 19th domestic title and the rivalry so strong these days. United and Liverpool each stands on 18, with a Merseyside win on Sunday all but handing Sir Alex Ferguson’s side an historic English title.

For United fans it grates too, with a favour needed from the club’s biggest rival hardly a scenario that most supporters dared to countenance earlier in the campaign.

“We need Chelsea to slip up now so hopefully Liverpool or Wigan can do us a favour,” said United’s 34-goal striker Wayne Rooney.

“Liverpool are a proud club with a lot of history and I’m sure they’ll want to win that game as they’re fighting for the Europa League. We just have to try and win our last two games. If Liverpool or Wigan can help us out, we’ll be happy.”

Few supporters this side of the East Lancs Road relish cheering on Anfield’s finest. Fortune has it that United does not need Liverpool to beat in-form Chelsea at Anfield. With Chelsea’s recent goalscoring ensuring that goal difference is now irrelevant, a bore draw will do Ferguson’s men nicely.

Provided the Reds beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light of course.

While conspiracy theories abound among United fans and many Liverpool supporters face a moral dilemma over the game, the players are making the right noises in public.

“There is no way they will think about anything else other than winning the game, regardless of whether it helps them get in the Champions League or not,” Chelsea’s Frank Lampard said.

“There is no chance 11 Liverpool players will go out and consider United winning the title on what happens in that game. They will go out to win. They will want to be professional.

“They will give everything, there is no doubt about that. It is a difficult match but it’s not a case of us worrying. Everyone is aware that when they go to Liverpool it will be difficult, whatever stage of the season it is.”

Liverpool has been here before of course. In 1995 the Merseysiders beat Kenny Dalgleish’s Blackburn Rovers 2-1 on the season’s final day. It would have given United a 10th English title had Ferguson’s team not failed to beat West Ham United on the same May afternoon.

The stakes are now higher though. United’s charge towards historic English preeminence is sure to clarify many Kopites thinking. But with fourth place still an outside possibility Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard says that the home side will aim for the win, whatever the fans want.

“We are underdogs for fourth position but our fans know that we have also got Everton breathing down our necks and we certainly don’t want them finishing above us,” added Gerrard.

“We have got a couple of games left now and the idea is to take maximum points to see if we can get into fourth through the back door. If we take maximum points, who knows? The teams above us might slip up.”

However, the nightmare scenario for United supporters is an Everton defeat at Stoke City on Saturday, combined with a Tottenham Hotspur win at Eastlands.

Add a Liverpool victory over Atletico Madrid on Thursday into the mix and the Merseysiders will simultaneously be out of the Champions League reckoning, guaranteed a Europa League spot next season and handed an incentive to rest players.

The more cynical among you will expect to see Gerrard joining the injured Fernando Torres on the sidelines whatever the scenario.

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  • gazno77

    I hope I’m wrong but I just can’t imagine a full strength Liverpool beating Chelsea at the moment, let a alone a side bereft of Torres

  • http://www.zebra2inc.com Ola Ray

    Your getting desperate……………. knowing that Steve Bruce would lay down and get tickled

  • http://www.sportsreportsonline.com Rob

    There is a good chance of this game being a draw, but to be honest the way we have played this year it wouldn’t surprise me to see us then go and draw with Sunderland. Anything we can get will be a bonus, if we’re still in with a shout on the last day I’ll take it.

  • John

    Agree with Gaz.

    Only way Liverpool can get anything from that game is just superb defending and that’s the area where they have struggled the most this season.
    So I don´t believe we’ll get any help from LFC. Wigan probably has a better chance, as Chelsea have slipped up every time when it matters most this season.

    On our own behalf, I’m a little worried about facing Sunderland without Wazza, he’s almost been as vital to us as Ronaldo were in the 07/08 season. Darren Bent can cause serious problems…

  • Niall

    I think you will find many internet polls are not exactly the feelings of the regular match going fans, however I do realise fans will be in quandry about whether to accept a defeat with a wry smile or indeed be wholeheardedly cheering on the lads to sneak into 4th. My take is this if your good enough you win enough games if chelsea cant beat us and united win the league the old saying goes the table doesnt lie and id have to agree with that. Both sides have contrived to throw it away so its basically last man standing if its united so be it gutted but cant complain more concerned about the state of affairs at my own club than what happens down the motorway

  • DRP

    without torres (plus kuyt, ngog injured) and a big game on thursaday, the best we can expect is a draw , no doubt. Which will be goodenough for you lot.

    Surely the most likely source of any “conspiracy” would be the mu/big ‘ed/sunderland connection?

  • rouman

    beat you mancs at anfield, did,t we.. if we want to we can beat chelsea. but no true scouser wants to win that game. we allways beat them at anfield as we have done in the prem and champions league.ask any chelsea player what team they fear most yes its liverpool not the mancs.but on suday with a rested team chelsea will win and you lot sfa….

  • http://www.bplo.org rafathegaffa

    There’ll be no conspiracy. Liverpool will be gung-ho and will not want to lose – regardless of the outcome in the title race. As a Liverpool fan, I do not want my team to go out and lie down in any game…. even if it hands the title to United. If United get their 19th title, it won’t be because Liverpool beat Chelsea: it’ll be because of United’s consistency over the last fifteen years.
    That said, Chelsea are a lot better than Liverpool at the moment so if they show up at all, they should win in their own right.

  • stonyk

    What a joke!! Typical Manc complaining. Yes Liverpool will let Chelsea win, just like they let Blackburn win that time….oh hold on I’m confused.

  • liverpool jub

    kop on liverpool will give it ther all but i just dont tink ther all is good enuf to beat chelsea unless they bottle it

  • Gav Nadger

    LFC supporter here so i thought id add my 2cents

    One thing for sure its going to be a cracking weekend, and its hard to say who deserves it more this year, ManU or Chelsea, but as far as i can see both would be very worthy champions whether its the 19th title or not.

    The main question has to be, if City/Villa/Spurs put 4th place out of the reckoning, and with Europa virtually secured for next year, will Rafa rest players if they win against Madrid?

    My feeling is that he would, though even if he didnt i suspect Chelsea will have too much for us.

  • R4L

    I’m sure Bruce will roll over for us? After all Bruce is an Ex united player!! so why would the scousers do the same?
    If i could choose a team that would beat Chelsea, i would choose Liverpool, they hate the “No history club” as much as we do, trying to buy their History like the blueshite.

  • Bill

    Look away no pool conspiracy here.

    Whoever wrote this trash want’s to learn spelling and grammar or use the the illiterates friend, (the spell checker)

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/members/admin/ Ed

      1) “Wants” does not require an apostrophe as it is not possessive;
      2) “Illiterate’s friend” does require an apostrophe as it is possessive.

      Irony – lecture on grammar from somebody who has made two errors in a single sentence. Unsurprising though since just 31 % of pupils in the L4 postcode manage to pass 5 GCSE exams at A-C grades. One of the worst records in the country.

      • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/members/utdfan/ Marvin Hunter

        LMAO- Bill got OWN£D! :)

  • B

    Didn’t notice any spelling mistakes either but hey.

  • http://twitter.com/nyxpru nicorn7

    Forget liverpool v chelsea. United must win at Sunderland.

  • possepossebon

    Not concerning myself with Liverpool and Chelski. We should be looking at our remaining games, and ours only. If we don’t win both of them, it won’t matter than Liverpool put ten past Cech this weekend.

  • S

    Can I just say on behalf of the Liverpool supporters that yes there are handfull of clueless idiots spouting shite about letting Chelsea win but I assure you he majority of match going reds I know will want a win on Sunday, if we lose which there is a good chance we will it’s not because we’ll throw the game more so to the superiority of Chelsea, and if you guys take the title, then fair fucks to you all! Been a weird season this year and if you take the 19th then well done. Records are there to be broken.