Liverpool v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 25th November, 2017
Venue: Anfield
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

Today’s game sees the 55th meeting in all competitions between Liverpool and Chelsea since the turn of the century, with us taking the trip to Anfield for the late kick-off.
Liverpool come into the game off the back of a mid-week slip up against Seville in the Champions League where another defensive disaster turned a comfortable 3-0 lead into a 3-3 draw. Chelsea meanwhile, have had a day less to prepare after the much longer trip to Baku midweek resulted in a more fruitful 4-0 win against Qarabag.
In Liverpool’s corner, there’s Coutinho who might want to get himself in the shop window for the New Year sales and obviously there’ll be much talk of Salah ahead of this game. Fair play to the man, he’s in great form for Liverpool but “the one that got away”? behave! He was a very different player during his spell at Chelsea, whatever his goal tally at Liverpool. In the Chelsea corner, there’s the blossoming relationship between Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas which has flourished since the return of N’golo Kante.
Undoubtedly plenty of talent on show and a hard one to call, which is probably why most of the predictions have called it a draw or a marginal home win.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp says “They lost decisive players with Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa. With Chelsea last year, everything worked. They didn’t need many chances to win a game. It’s difficult to play the same season again, especially when you lose players. Our job is to stay really consistent. It will be a really tough job to do but we have nothing else to do.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte meanwhile, says “To have only one day to rest and only one day to prepare this big game is not simple, is not easy. I think also it’s not right. I don’t want to make excuses, but this is the reality. Also, when people hear the complaints of the coach, also someone has to help us. The press, the TV, to underline this strange situation.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Liverpool, Joel Matip (thigh) looks likely to return, Adam Lallana (thigh) could be involved for the first time since pre-season, but Emre Can (muscle strain) is a doubt.
For Chelsea, Michy Batshuayi (ankle), Charly Musonda (knee) and Kenedy (no idea) all remain out but Victor Moses is available after six weeks out with a hamstring injury.

TEAMS
LIVERPOOL (Possible line-up): Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Milner, Coutinho; Mane, Firmino, Salah
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Hazard; Morata

LAST SEASON
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea (31 January 2017)

RECENT FORM
LIVERPOOL: DDLWWW
CHELSEA: LLWWWW

OTHER STUFF
~ Liverpool are unbeaten in the last five Premier League meetings
~ Chelsea haven’t lost any of their last five league visits to Anfield since 2012
~ Liverpool have won three consecutive Premier League games for the first time in 2017
~ Liverpool are unbeaten at home this season and have lost just two of their last 33 league matches at Anfield
~ Liverpool have only conceded one Premier League goal at home this season
~ Liverpool have the best head-to-head record in matches between the big six sides since Jurgen Klopp took charge in October 2015.
~ Chelsea have won 10 of their last 12 Premier League away games

PREDICTION
BBC Sport: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
SportsMole: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

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