A marginally improved performance last time out should be somewhat encouraging for Liverpool, but they still struggled with many of the same problems they've had all season. In the ascendancy for much of the match, they couldn't find a finishing touch to put the match to rest, and needed some late Steven Gerrard heroics to earn all three points. Tomorrow's opposition likely won't be as compliant, and certainly won't afford Liverpool as many chances as they created--and wasted--against QPR.
Chelsea mostly coasted to the league title, securing their second trophy of the season with a narrow win over Crystal Palace last weekend. They were easily the Premier League's best across the course of the season, and while their early style faded as the campaign wore on, they never lost the habit of winning, and Jose Mourinho continued to get results as the other contenders feel by the wayside. There were minor blips, of course, but on the whole it was an offensively controlled, confident display by Mourinho's squad en route to their first title since the 2009-2010 season.
It will be interesting to see how Chelsea set up tomorrow in terms of personnel, as this is the last "big" match of their season, with a trip to West Brom and home date with Sunderland left to close things out. Mourinho is surely too proud to start mixing in the kids this early, especially with the pre-match guard of honor and celebratory atmosphere expected. He'll be without Ramires and Oscar for sure, and it's likely too soon--and pointless--to bring Diego Costa back into the starting eleven after his extended layoff. Against Palace it was mostly as expected, with Thibaut Courtois in goal, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, and Cesar Aziplecueta across the back, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas deeper in midfield with Willian, Juan Cuadrado, and Eden Hazard further forward and Didier Drogba up top.
Can Skrtel Lovren Moreno
Lallana Lambert Sterling
Daniel Sturridge's latest setback rules him out for the rest of this season and the start of next, while Jon Flanagan is set for a similar fate if his contract is extended this summer. Mamadou Sakho will miss out once again, while Mario Balotelli returned to training this week after missing out against QPR.
Brendan Rodgers seems to have mostly abandoned the three-man back line, though it would make sense if he returned to it here with Lucas partnering Jordan Henderson centrally. Firmly placed in the Steven Gerrard Farewell tour, however, Rodgers will likely accommodate the captain once again by deploying him a deeper-lying role as part of a midfield three, with Lucas on the bench and the energy of Henderson and Philippe Coutinho doing most of the running and closing down.
At the back it would mean another start for Emre Can at right-back, where he's struggled since the formation change, unless Rodgers' words about Javier Manquillo are an indication that the 21-year-old will see more time over the season's final weeks. Alberto Moreno and Glen Johnson are in a straight fight for the fullback spot on the other flank, while Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel will partner centrally in the absence of Sakho.
Up top it appears that Rickie Lambert is in line for a second straight start, with Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling once again providing support from the wide/withdrawn forward areas. Lambert was decent against QPR, but he doesn't necessarily warrant selection ahead of the likes of Lazar Markovic or Jordon Ibe, especially considering that he's likely set for an exit this summer. It would be nice to see Sterling or Coutinho considered for a start in the middle, with any pairing of the aforementioned names aside from Lambert included wide.
Kickoff is set for 4:00PM BST/11:00AM EST on Sunday, with Sky Sports 1 carrying coverage in the UK and NBCSN airing the match in the US. Our coverage will continue with any breaking team news, team sheets when they’re released, and live coverage tomorrow including full viewing options and post-match reactions. If you haven’t already, sign up for an SB Nation account and join us for it.