Liverpool have been warned that Rafa Benitez could cost them the title
That’s the opinion of former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will travel up north for the penultimate game of the season on May 5, and could be in a position to put one hand on the Premier League trophy.
With four games remaining in the league, the Reds are two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table, but Pep Guardiola’s side has a game in hand.
When Liverpool travel to Tyneside, however, it will be they who have a game in hand, as City play Leicester the day before, meaning the Reds will know exactly what they have to do.
However, Burley believes this could be the game where the season unravels for Liverpool, but not because of matters on the pitch.
Instead, he indicated that the influence of former Reds boss Rafael Benitez, now at Newcastle, could prove to be a spanner in the plan.
Benitez is a cult legend at Anfield, having delivered the club’s fifth Champions League trophy in 2005, as well as one FA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.
He also guided the Reds to a second-placed finish in the league in the 2009/10 season, their joint-best league finish.
Rafael Benitez was part of the Champions League-winning team of 2005
Speaking on ESPN FC, Burley explained that Benitez could be key to Liverpool’s season unravelling at the latest possible stage.
“Every time we look at the Liverpool run in, there’s always one thing that I get drawn to,” he explained.
“It’s not for footballing reasons, but it’s Newcastle.
“That’s because of Rafa [Benitez].
Mohamed Salah’s wondergoal was the second for Liverpool against Chelsea on Sunday
“He was so successful and had such a special time there, he’s got such a good repoir with the fans, I believe his family still live there.
“His Newcastle team are safe, they’re playing alright.
“There’s a story there somewhere, I don’t think he’s going to say ‘go out there and don’t try today’.
“But I think there could be a little twist there, with Liverpool going to Newcastle, and if they were to lose the title going to their old boss and losing.”