Paul Merson has offered his considered thoughts on why he thinks Liverpool will ultimately prevail over Chelsea in the race to finish fourth.
The Arsenal great believes runaway leaders Manchester City and nearest challengers Manchester United and Leicester will comprise the top three.
However, the race for fourth is far more wide open, with West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and potentially Tottenham all in the mix.
Merson though ultimately thinks Jurgen Klopp’s side will overcome their dodgy form to prevail. And the Sky Sports pundit cites a lack of fluency in the Chelsea attack as a key reason.
“Thomas Tuchel needs to get Mason Mount and Timo Werner playing closer together for Chelsea,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star.
“There is too much going on out wide with overlaps and crosses to no-one in the box at the moment, and nothing coming through the middle. They have a lot of the ball but the opposition keeper doesn’t have to be man of the match to stop them scoring bundles.
Chelsea v Man Utd Match Preview, February 28, 2021
A look ahead to the Premier League game between Chelsea and Man Utd, including stats on form, possession, shots, cards, corners, top scorers and previous meetings.
“I still think Liverpool will finish in the top four ahead of them because I can’t see Chelsea blowing anybody away playing like this. How many times does Mount pass to Werner, or vice versa? It’s minimal. They should be more connected with one another.
“It looks nice, but it’s a bit negative. I personally think Tuchel will get it right. He’s just going to need time. I’ve said all along that Chelsea are set up for three at the back. But it’s going to take a bit of time to get it right.
“And they are not going to win the league with Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham as their two centre forwards.”
Abramovich green light to sign Haaland
Such has been Chelsea’s struggles up front, it’s little surprise to see them linked with a huge summer deal for Erling Haaland.
Chelsea are one of the main suitors for Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland, who has enjoyed a phenomenal rise to prominence in recent years.
The Leeds-born striker still has admirers at Man Utd, as well as rivals Man City. But Chelsea are also emerging as a serious contender.
Chelsea showed last summer that they were prepared to spend more than other clubs. They splashed the cash on the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.
However, Werner has struggled for consistency, leaving Chelsea thinking about signing another striker. Haaland is at the top of their wish-list.
As such, reports on Saturday claim Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will back Tuchel with the funds needed to sign the striker.