Liverpool turns focus to Chelsea showdown

AFP-JIJI

Brendan Rodgers is confident his Liverpool players possess the necessary ingredients to get the better of title rival Chelsea when the two teams meet at Anfield this weekend.

Liverpool will go into that game five points ahead of Jose Mourinho’s side following its 3-2 win at Norwich City on Sunday, which followed an unexpected victory by bottom club Sunderland at Chelsea the previous day.

Victory next Sunday would put Liverpool within touching distance of its first-ever Premier League title with two games left to play.

Liverpool’s rise to the top of the table, which has also seen it overtake Manchester City and Arsenal, has been achieved through attractive, attacking play and Rodgers gave an insight into the philosophy that has helped the team get there.

“When they are in the changing room just before we go out, I always tell them, ‘Lose yourself, focus on the ball and focus on the team. If you do that, then we can be a real force,’ ” he said.

“You have seen all the characteristics of our team today (Sunday) — wonderful invention and creativity, courage, arrogance on the ball, goal-scoring, young players and senior players all playing, and instructions that allow them to express themselves.

“It’s going to be a brilliant game next weekend with Chelsea coming to Anfield. The supporters will be right up for it and the players as well. We are looking forward to it.”

Raheem Sterling scored two of Liverpool’s goals at Carrow Road, either side of Luis Suarez’s 30th Premier League goal of the season, and Rodgers hailed the England international for his contribution.

“He is arguably the best young player in European football at the moment,” Rodgers said.