Chelsea v Liverpool Preview - Reds up against it to keep 100% start on track
Venue – Stamford Bridge, Chelsea
Referee – Michael Oliver
Date & Time – Sunday, September 22nd @ 16:30
Current Odds – Chelsea 5/2, Draw 11/4, Liverpool 1/1
With both sides suffering defeat in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Sunday’s fixture is a lot about the ‘bounce-back-ability’ of each team. Will Jurgen Klopp’s ‘Mentality Monsters’ live up to the name and come away from Stamford Bridge with their 100% Premier League start to the season still intact?
Chelsea are yet to win at Stamford Bridge this season. They have drawn both their home games so far – against Leicester City (1-1) and Sheffield United (2-2) – while winning two of their three Premier League games on the road.
On Tuesday night, they lost 1-0 at home to Valencia in the Champions League. Liverpool can be confident of posing Frank Lampard’s side all kinds of problems when they visit London on Sunday.
Yet, with players like Tammy Abraham displaying excellent early-season form, it’s a very tough game to call. Chelsea did, after all, just win 5-2 at Molineux, overcoming a more-than-capable Wolves side on their own backyard.
Liverpool lost 2-0 in Naples during the week, continuing on with their shocking run of away defeats in the Champions League group stages from last season. We all know how they responded once reaching the knockout stages though so it’s hardly time to panic.
Domestically, Jurgen Klopp’s side is the only one with a 100% Premier League record in 2019/20, winning its opening five games of the campaign.
There is no doubt, however, that Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge provides their toughest test so far.
Chelsea Team News
Frank Lampard has something of an injury crisis to deal with at the moment.
Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger, Emerson, Marco van Ginkel, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all ruled out of Sunday’s game. N’Golo Kanté is also a serious doubt with an ankle injury.
Lampard has tried a 3-4-2-1 shape in Chelsea’s last couple of games. It worked very well at Wolves but not so much against Valencia on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see if he reverts back to the more orthodox 4-3-3 formation to nullify Liverpool’s wide threat this weekend.
Liverpool Team News
Jurgen Klopp is without Alisson Becker for another few weeks at least. Nathaniel Clyne is unavailable until early 2020.
Naby Keita is not expected to be fit for selection yet and Divock Origi is also still a doubt after missing the trip to Italy during the week.
Klopp will probably stick with the same back four that played in Napoli while Gini Wijnaldum will most likely come back into the starting lineup in place of James Milner.
In attack, The Reds will be at full strength.
Chelsea XI (4-3-3) – Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Jorginho, Barkley, Kovacic; Pedro, Abraham, Pulisic
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup in August, beating Chelsea on penalties after the sides played out an enthralling 2-2 draw in Istanbul. Chelsea were more than a match for The Reds that night. Sadio Mané scored both Liverpool’s goals that night.
Last season, Liverpool snatched a late 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge with a top-drawer strike from Daniel Sturridge cancelling out Eden Hazard’s opener.
The Reds won 2-0 at Anfield in April with goals from Sadio Mané and an absolute bullet strike from Mohamed Salah.
Chelsea 1 – 2 Liverpool
Liverpool should keep Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge hoodoo alive and well with victory on Sunday. Expect another exciting game with goals for both sides but Klopp’s men should do enough to take all three points.