Liverpool v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 14th April 2019

Venue: Anfield

Kick-off: 16:30 BST

 

 

 

For those who haven’t read Gerrard’s autobiography (most, if not all of us), this fixture sent him into a spin, not to mention therapy, in 2014 and this is Liverpool’s first real go at the title since then. As Demba Ba pointed out, Mourinho didn’t even field his strongest XI for that, so one of our second string starting that day was Mohamed Salah. A very different Salah will want to win again this afternoon, this time in Liverpool colours, and whilst his form hasn’t been as prolific for Liverpool of late, he’s bound to have given his shooting boots an extra shine in the last few days.

We’ve had a good run away to Liverpool, with a record that goes back almost seven years since we last lost at Anfield, but it’s a much more lacklustre Chelsea this season and it’s just 3 short days since our last drab display in Prague. For Liverpool, a stroll over Porto on Tuesday night won’t have tired them any in their campaign to genuinely make it ‘their year’. As well as being unbeaten in their last 37 home league games, they’re a different side altogether under Jurgen Klopp and they have the title in their sights.

We might have most of Manchester and the blue half of Liverpool backing us today but as far as the press and pundits are concerned, we’ll just be there to make up the numbers. For me, though the outcome today will be less about us winning it and more about whether Liverpool let it slip.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says “I feel the positive energy. It’s a massive change from surprise we are up there to getting used to it and getting more confident.  The five or 10 seconds after the Tottenham equaliser [at Anfield two weeks ago] was the best reaction in the stadium.  We really feel as one with the supporters as a whole group. You don’t walk alone, you’re never alone in these situations.  We are trying to keep this dream alive and at the moment it’s all good.”

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri meanwhile, says “To face Liverpool is going to be difficult for us but every game now is difficult.  We know well the risks of this match but we also know that when we are able to play at 100% of our potential, we can gain points anywhere.  We are in a very good physical and mental condition right now.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Liverpool, Joe Gomez and Adam Lallana are both available and Andy Robertson returns after missing Liverpool’s Champions League game through suspension.

For Chelsea, Emerson faces a fitness test, but Eden Hazard returns to the starting line-up. Callum Hudson-Odoi was rested for Thursday’s game but whether that was for today or not, we’ll wait and see.

 

TEAMS

LIVERPOOL (Possible line-up): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Higuain, Hazard

 

LAST SEASON

Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea (25th November 2017)

 

CURRENT FORM (PL)

LIVERPOOL: WDWWWW

CHELSEA: WDLWWW

 

OTHER STUFF

  • Liverpool are without a win in their past five league and cup games against Chelsea.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in eight matches at Anfield in all competitions since 2012.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their past 17 Premier League fixtures at Anfield against the other established top-six sides.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 37 home league games.
  • Liverpool have the division’s best defensive record
  • Liverpool have come back to earn 16 points from losing positions – more than any other Premier League side this season.
  • Liverpool have scored 21 Premier League goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season.
  • Chelsea have recorded three consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since winning their first five top-flight matches under Maurizio Sarri.
  • Chelsea have lost their last five away league games against sides from the established top six, conceding 14 goals.
  • Chelsea have also lost five of their six away matches this season against sides currently in the top half of the table.

 

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea

 


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