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Preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea

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It’s a German showdown as the battle for a top four finish heats up…

 

Preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Last year’s encounter between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield resulted in a thrilling 5-3 victory to the Reds, on the day they lifted the league trophy for the first time in 30 years. The landmark victory also meant Liverpool remained undefeated at home for the third Premier League campaign running.

Fast forward to match day 27 of the 20/21 campaign and things could not be looking more different…

It’s safe to say with Liverpool’s dominant display throughout last year’s Premier League campaign-finishing 18 points ahead of runners-up city, and Chelsea’s £222m summer spending, securing Champions League football would have been a given for the two sides.

Nevertheless, a single point is all that separates the two going into tonight’s game, with Chelsea lying in fifth and Liverpool breathing down their necks in sixth. Jurgen Klopp vs Thomas Tuchel, Liverpool vs Chelsea- the fixture is delicately poised and has all the makings for an intriguing watch, as the German tacticians lay-down their Champions League credentials.

 

Current form

Liverpool

Sunday nights 2-0 victory away to Sheffield United was a timely return to form for Liverpool, putting a previous four consecutive league defeats firmly behind them. The Reds were comfortable throughout their visit to Bramall Lane and if it wasn’t for the heroics of Aaron Ramsdale, they could have easily scored four or five on another night.

However, their lack of conviction in front of goal in recent weeks (four in their last five league outings) will be a cause for concern with Tuchel’s stubborn Chelsea side only conceding twice since the German took over the reins at Stamford Bridge. Klopp will be firmly relying on his prolific front three to hit the ground running.

Local lad Curtis Jones’s continuing influence in the Liverpool XI may pave the way for just that. Jones’s dynamic displays have been a silver lining for Liverpool since their recent dip in form and the academy graduate will once more be expected to feature from the off.

 

Chelsea

It is the Blues who head into tonight’s clash boasting the better run of form. Chelsea remain undefeated since Thuchel’s arrival, winning six and drawing three, including an impressive victory away to La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid in their first-leg Champions League tie.

There is no doubt that Tuchel has transformed Chelsea into a sturdier and more resolute defensive unit with Kanté returning to his best in recent weeks, however their inability to create enough chances in a game remains an unsolved issue.

Liverpool’s makeshift defence will pose the perfect opportunity for Chelsea to improve on their goal scoring form and put a rather drab 0-0 display against Manchester United firmly in their rear-view mirror.

 

The stats

In this seasons reverse fixture, Liverpool prevailed as 2-0 victors after Andreas Christensen’s early first half dismissal. Sadio Mane went on to score both goals whilst Jorginho saw his penalty saved by Alisson in the closing stages.

Thomas Tuchel is winless in all seven away matches against his German compatriot Jürgen Klopp, drawing two and losing five.

Liverpool have won each of their last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea, netting 11 goals and conceding four. The only team to win five in a row against the Blues in this competition is Blackburn.

In head to head league outings between the two sides it is Liverpool who boast the most wins, 71 compares to Chelsea’s 50.

Liverpool have lost each of their last four Premier League home games, as many as they had in their first 100 games under Klopp. The reds have never lost five consecutive home games in their history, either in the league or all competitions.

 

Team News

Liverpool will welcome Alisson back to their starting lineup after the Brazilian was granted compassionate leave for the Sheffield United game following the tragic death of his father.

Tonight will also mark the timely return of versatile midfielder Fabinho who will once more be expected to sure things up at the back for the Reds while their three senior centre backs remain side-lined. Diogo Jota will also be included in the matchday squad for the first time in three months after suffering a knee problem.

Although Thiago Silva has returned to first team training following a thigh injury, tonight’s game comes too soon for the Brazilian veteran. Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is available after shrugging off a minor knee niggle suffered against Manchester United on Sunday.

Striker Tammy Abraham remains a doubt as he continues to recover from an ongoing ankle complaint.

 

Verdict: Liverpool to claim all three points

Despite Chelsea’s recent defensive solidarity and strong run of form sine Tuchel’s appointment, their lack of creative spark and ability to create clear-cut chances in the final third will prove costly at the hands of Liverpool.

In the absence of club captain Jordan Henderson, Fabinho’s return will provide much needed experience to the Reds back-four and should see them over the line against the Blues.

The reigning champions will be hurting from their fall from glory and tonight’s contest provides the perfect opportunity for them to lay-down a statement for those seeking to challenge them for Champions League football.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea.’ Who do you think will win tonight? Let us know in the comments! 

 

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Eli is currently completing his NCTJ Diploma in MultiMedia Journalism and has a BA in Communications and Media from the University of Liverpool. He is a passionate boxing fan and devoted Gooner who hopes he will live to see the mighty Arsenal return to their former glory days. He can be contacted at elihaidari@yahoo.co.uk

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