Ex-Chelsea star Michael Ballack has spoken of the importance of taking three points against title rivals as his former club prepare to meet Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night. The Premier League leaders have a chance to put 13 points between them and the Reds.
“It’s a long season in England and it can come down to those moments when you put out a statement against your direct opponents,” Ballack told ChelseaFC.com ahead of the game.
“It’s this type of game, away from home against a title rival, when you can really put out a signal. This Chelsea team is full of confidence and they can kill opponents in these games,” he added.
Chelsea have won 15 of their last 16 league games to open up an eight point cushion at the top of the table over second place Arsenal. In stark contrast, Liverpool have won just one of eight games in all competitions since the turn of the calendar year.
Ballack is still wary of the threat posed by the Reds, though, because of the extra that manager Jurgen Klopp gives them.
“Firstly, you need the quality and they have that. As a coach, Klopp has experience. He won the league with Borussia Dortmund and took them to a Champions League final,” Ballack commented.
“Liverpool are very similar to Dortmund and I think that’s why he chose them. You can have talent, but he’s the type of coach who can take players to another level.”
As for how Chelsea players must approach the specific challenge:
“The first thing is to be well prepared mentally. Every player has to understand these are the type of games you can’t lose if you want to win the title, and if you can win the game it increases your chances even more.”
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