Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the pair look to get back on track after their Champions League struggles in midweek.
Late goals saw both the Reds and Blues lose their opening group games in European competition, with Rodrigo volleying home to condemn Frank Lampard’s men to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Valencia before Ross Barkley blazed a penalty over.
Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente downed Jurgen Klopp’s recruits in the dying embers of their meeting; Napoli inflicting Liverpool’s first defeat of the campaign after a brilliant start to their title challenge.
Check out 90min’s preview of the mouth-watering match-up below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 22 September|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||16:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stamford Bridge|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Lampard is set to be without three midfielders as N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marco van Ginkel all battle fitness issues.
The Frenchman is nearing a return to action following an ankle issue and could still be fit to face Liverpool, but his English counterpart will be sidelined until November due to an Achilles tendon rupture.
Van Ginkel has a knee injury, with a similar injury keeping Reds right-back Nathaniel Clyne out until the new year. He is one of a trio of Reds players expected to miss the heavyweight match-up.
Naby Keita and Alisson are likewise unavailable for Klopp – a groin complaint meaning the former sits out, whilst a strained calf has seen the latter spend the last month on the treatment table.
|Chelsea||Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Tomori, Alonso; Jorgiinho, Kovacic; Willian, Mount; Abraham.|
|Liverpool||Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Mane, Firmino.|
Head to Head Record
A classic fixture in English football, this will be the 184th occasion on which the two clubs have met, as well as the second in 2019/20.
Liverpool’s penalty-shootout victory in the UEFA Super Cup was their 79th win over Chelsea, extending their lead to 16 as Adrian clawed away Tammy Abraham’s decisive spot-kick.
The captivating encounter ended with the youngster missing his attempt and handing the Reds yet another European trophy.
An ice-cool finish from Olivier Giroud put the Blues one up, but that advantage soon became a deficit when Sadio Mane bagged a brace. Jorginho slotted Chelsea level with a penalty before also converting in the shootout, though Abraham’s subsequent failure sealed Liverpool’s success.
The sides each endured difficult beginnings to their respective European campaigns, but they have been worlds apart in domestic matters.
Liverpool have been terrific since the start of the new Premier League season, winning every match with relative ease. Mane has been particularly fearsome in Klopp’s frontline with centre-back Joel Matip likewise looking impressive.
Lampard has struggled to get consistency from his team, seeing them shred Wolverhampton Wanderers last Saturday, whilst also allowing a two-goal lead slip in a home draw with Sheffield United.
Abraham is currently sitting on seven goals from five appearances this term, the striker proving he is more than capable of leading the Chelsea attack.
Here’s how the two clubs fared in their last five games:
|Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City (18/8)||Southampton 1-2 Liverpool (17/8)|
|Norwich City 2-3 Chelsea (24/8)||Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (24/8)|
|Chelsea 2-2 Sheffield United (31/8)||Burnley 0-3 Liverpool (31/8)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-5 Chelsea (14/9)||Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United (14/9)|
|Chelsea 0-1 Valencia (17/9)||Napoli 2-0 Liverpool (17/9)|
What happened to Liverpool in Naples? Was it just a blip or something more? Their clash with Chelsea will give a bit more insight into how the squad are holding up as the weight of expectation grows.
Klopp’s men have the power to punish the Londoners and their attacking trident will cause endless trouble for the Blues. Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino could prove the difference at Stamford Bridge.
The trio can outscore the likes of Abraham and Mason Mount, making up for a backline that has looked ever-so-slightly vulnerable at points this year.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-3 Liverpool