CHELSEA v Liverpool: Preview

Date: Friday 16th September, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 20:00 BST

The tantrums after last weekend’s draw against Swansea have barely subsided and we’re already back in action for tonight’s game at home to Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side have struggled for anything resembling consistency in their first four games, with the edge just taken off high-scoring wins against Arsenal and Leicester, by a defeat to Burnley.
Whilst they’ve been tested with 3 of their 4 games against last season’s top three, our biggest battles seem to have been with the officials so far. Accuse me of bias, but some things never change and last week’s game against Swansea ended with far more focus on the ref than any game should have. Not that we helped ourselves either because the game should have been put to bed by half-time anyway.
We’ll need to be a lot more clinical if we’re to get a result tonight. After a 3-1 win in this fixture last season and full of themselves off the back of a 4-0 win against the current Champions, Liverpool will undoubtedly turn up with enough confidence for both of us.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into tonight’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte confirms, “David Luiz will play for the first time with us and we are confident about this. We expect him to play very well, with great attention. We know David is a good player and we are working to put him in the best condition to give us the best of him. I’m confident for him. He’s a good player and during the training sessions I have been seeing good things.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp meanwhile focuses on the player everyone loves to hate, saying “He (Costa) is a real warrior on the pitch. He uses his body all the time and that is a quality. He was nearly unstoppable against Swansea. He is world class and that’s the best thing football fans can say about you. Last season was not a Chelsea season and now they are back on track, so we need to be ready for a real challenge.

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Kurt Zouma still isn’t ready for a return and John Terry (ankle) is out after picking up an injury against Swansea, so David Luiz gets his first start since returning.
For Liverpool, Emre Can is expected to remain out although, Dejan Lovren (eye) should return. Philippe Coutinho should also be available after his rest.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois: Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cesar: Matic, Kante- Willian, Fabregas, Hazard: Costa
LIVERPOOL (Possible line-up): Mignolet: Moreno, Matip, Lucas, Clyne: Wijnaldum, Lalana, Henderson: Mane, Firmino, Coutinho

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool (31st October 2015)

CURRENT FORM (PL)
CHELSEA: WWWD
LIVERPOOL: WLDW

OTHER STUFF
~ In 175 competitive games Liverpool lead Chelsea by 75 wins to 61
~ Chelsea have only beaten Liverpool twice in the last nine league games at Stamford Bridge
~ Chelsea could record three successive home wins in the Premier League for the first time since May last year.
~ Villa were the only side to do worse than Chelsea at home last season
~ Chelsea have scored at least two goals in each of their opening four league games.
~ Liverpool’s 32 points from their last 17 games is only bettered by Manchester United
~ Liverpool have scored 50 Premier League goals in 2016
~ Liverpool haven’t kept a clean sheet in 8 away games

PREDICTIONS
Soccerlens: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool
SkySports: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool
BBC: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool

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