With title race expected to widen this season, the first major encounter takes place this Sunday at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea take on the defending Champions Liverpool.
This match might give a glimpse of whether Chelsea have got the skills to upsurge City and Liverpool or we will have the same repeatability that has been going on for the past 2 years.
Both teams started their campaign with a win. Chelsea weren’t convincing but got the job done at the Amex while Liverpool edged Leeds 4-3 in a thrilling encounter.
Chelsea have had an amazing window this season. They have improved their attacking deficiencies and have built a good structure for the future. The match against Brighton highlighted the time a newly made team would require and that would need patience from the ever-ambitious Chelsea fan base.
Brighton highlighted Chelsea’s ever-present goalkeeping problem and Lampard would want Kepa Arrizabalaga to perform better after his display in the first match of the season. But Chelsea’s attacking efficiency on the day got them through.
Chelsea’s defence was their Achilles heel in an underwhelming last season and their Defense has to be on their game to thwart Liverpool and its attacking qualities.
Liverpool started the season with a win. Mohammad Salah started the season where he left off the last one. He scored a hat trick that helped his team emerge victorious against a well structured Leeds team. The only point of concern for Jurgen Klopp and his team would be the defensive frailties shown against Leeds last game week.
Liverpool have finally acted in the transfer market and secured the signature of Thiago Alcantara while also closing in on the signature of Diego Jota from Wolves. The defence has been their major strength for the success they have achieved in past some years and Klopp would desire that to be back in the Chelsea game this Sunday.
Head To Head:
Wins for Chelsea: 81
Wins for Liverpool: 64
Liverpool vs Chelsea 5-3 2020
Chelsea vs Liverpool 1-2 2019
Liverpool vs Chelsea 2-0 2019
Chelsea vs Liverpool 1-1 2018
Chelsea vs Liverpool 1-0 2018
Liverpool vs Chelsea 1-1 2017
Frank Lampard declared the unavailability of Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech for the Liverpool encounter. Werner suffered a knock against Brighton but is expected to recover for this massive clash this game week. Matteo Kovacic is also expected to return after fulfilment of his suspension.
Liverpool’s new signing Thiago was registered on time for the Chelsea encounter but it is difficult to see Jurgen Klopp throwing him straight away into the starting eleven. Jurgen Klopp is expected to have mostly a fully fit squad to choose from.
Predicted Line Up:
I expect Chelsea to keep the same line up except the midfield where I expect Kovacic to return for Loftus Cheek who struggled after a long injury break he suffered last season. In my opinion ever-present Cesar Azpilicueta will have to take a place on the bench sue to his lack of fitness due to an injury he suffered in FA cup final last season and also with the display Reece James had the last game week, he will retain the right-back spot in the Chelsea lineup.
Chelsea: Kepa James Christensen Zouma Alonso Kante Jorginho Kovacic Mount Havertz Werner
Liverpool on the other hand should play the same line up that edged to a victory against Leeds United. Thiago might be a surprise inclusion but probably he won’t feature in this encounter.
Liverpool: Allison Trent Gomez Van Djik Roberston Henderson Keita Wijnaldum Salah Firmino Mane
Chelsea have only won 2 out of their last 11 against Liverpool. Liverpool has not been a kind opponent for this Chelsea side in past some years.
Jurgen Klopp and his team have won 4 out of their last 5 matches at Stamford Bridge while losing only 1 of that encounter.
Olivier Giroud has scored 8 times against Liverpool in the past 16 encounters in all competitions. Whether at Arsenal or Chelsea, he has always loved playing against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
This is going to be a tough fixture to predict with both teams boasting some fantastic players. We will have the pleasure to watch players like Werner, Havertz, Salah and Mane playing on the same pitch. Liverpool are defensively more solid than Chelsea but since the resumption after Covid break, their defence has struggled.
It was evident from the last encounter of a change in approach by Chelsea. They looked defensively more structured than the previous season. Stylistically, it looks like Chelsea won’t attack in large amounts as they did last season. With having players like Werner, Havertz and Mount on the break, Chelsea will threaten the Liverpool defence. In my opinion players like Kante and Kovacic will make a difference in the middle and Chelsea will edge Liverpool in this massive clash.