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Friday 29 August 2014

Cech keeping close eye on Liverpool

Published 14/04/2014 | 13:57

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Petr Cech's Chelsea will face title rivals Liverpool on April 27

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech admits he will be interested to see how Liverpool cope with the intense pressure of chasing Barclays Premier League title glory in their final four games.

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One of those fixtures is against Chelsea at Anfield on April 27, with the clubs currently separated by just two points in first and second places, respectively, while Manchester City are a further five points behind Cech and company with two games in hand.

While Chelsea are chasing a fourth league title in the last 10 seasons, Liverpool have not been crowned champions since 1990.

"No-one expected anything from Liverpool and they are in contention and that is why they play without pressure so far, but let's see how they are going to cope when it comes to the last hurdle," Cech said.

"They will have to jump over it and they have been doing remarkably well. We have things in our hands. We need to wait for one slip-up from Manchester City, but if we win our games we have a chance.

"At the start, everyone has 38 games to have the most points and I don't think at the end of 38 games it is a question of luck. The one who gets the most points obviously deserves to win the title, so we will see who it will be.

"It is great to put ourselves in a situation where we know we have a chance. So we will go for it. If we win all of our games, right at the end we will be in contention."

Chelsea's title run-in will be punctuated by two legs of a Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, with the second game scheduled for three days after they face Liverpool.

"We have two huge games in the Champions League and there will be a little bit of congestion, and that is the way that it is," Cech added.

"It is always good to be in a position where you play for everything during April and May. It is why it is so exciting."

Cech, meanwhile, has backed Swansea to preserve their top-flight status after Demba Ba's second-half strike gave Chelsea a 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

"They have enough experience to stay up," he said. "They enjoyed the last two years and this was a kind of strange season for them."

Swansea midfielder Leon Britton, who played a key role in his team's battling display against Chelsea following Chico Flores' 17th-minute sending-off, believes Liverpool will be crowned champions.

"I would say Liverpool (to win the title)," he said. "They are so good going forward.

"Chelsea are a very good team, very strong and hard to break down.

"But the attacking players Liverpool have got and the way they score goals, you just fancy them to score a goal because they've got the players to do that."

Swansea go into next Saturday's clash at Newcastle just three points above the relegation zone, having collected only nine league points from a possible 30 since Michael Laudrup was dismissed as manager in early February.

"We need to stay positive because confidence is a massive, massive thing in football," Britton added. "We will stay upbeat in the changing room.

"When you go down to 10 men against Chelsea, we could have ended up losing the game 3-0 or 4-0. To lose 1-0, we're disappointed, but we showed a good work ethic out there and we didn't fall away.

"We need to try and pick ourselves up for Newcastle.

"St James' Park is a tough place to go regardless of what form they are in. It's difficult to know whether it's a good time to play them.

"The last two years have been good for us (at Newcastle). We drew under Brendan (Rodgers) and won 2-1 under Michael Laudrup. The record up there has been good, so hopefully we can carry that on."

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