Mid-Table Struggles: Premier League Stalwarts Liverpool & Chelsea Struggling Mightily

Premier League

As the Premier League gets underway in 2023, there’s an opportunity for the middle of the table to shape up in preparation for a long second half of the season. Given that the World Cup interrupted the Premier League season, the end of the Premier League season is at the end of May 2023. 


Two Premier League teams that qualified for Europe last year are in danger of missing the Champions League this year. Liverpool and Chelsea started the year with high expectations. Liverpool was coming off on an attempt at a near quadruple. Chelsea had just transferred ownership from longtime owner Roman Abramovich. The new Todd Boehly-led ownership group came in, promising fans that they would continue the success of the Abramovich era. 


Sadly, that has not been the case for either team. Liverpool has looked like a shell of its past few years, and Chelsea has shuffled managers to jumpstart the squad. If these teams are to make Europe, now is the time to turn it around. 


With these teams facing off this weekend, let’s see what Liverpool and Chelsea have to do to get out of the middle of the table. 


Liverpool: Holes All Over the Pitch

It’s been a rough start to 2023 for the Reds. They’ve lost to Brentford and Brighton in successive weeks in disappointing fashion. There are problems all over the pitch for Liverpool. 


The most glaring hole is at the back. All-World central defender Virgil Van Dyk is out with a hamstring for at least a month. A Liverpool squad without Virgil at the back is a liability. 


At the front, the impact of Sadio Mane’s departure from Bayern Munich has shown up dramatically. The front four still can put up goals at will, but the midfield is the area that needs rebuilding. Liverpool fans are hopeful that the club will bring in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham over the summer. There are more rumors that Liverpool will also grab Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes over the summer. 


Chelsea: Total Freefall in Premier League

Chelsea ended a three-game losing streak by winning 1-0 at Crystal Palace. The big spending in the summer transfer window hasn’t generated results. Transfer spending on Raheem Sterling and Pierre Emerick Aubamayeng has netted nine goals this season. 


The team also switched managers abruptly one month into the season. Upon the takeover by Todd Boehly’s ownership group, it became clear that Teuchel was clashing with the new management and that they should bring someone else in that “management could work with.” It did seem rash to many supporters to fire a manager who had won the Champions League less than two years ago. 


The new manager, Brighton’s Graham Potter, seems like he will be a better fit for management – more malleable and approachable. Those results haven’t translated onto the field yet. 


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