Date: Sunday 20th September 2020
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 16:30 BST
Our first home game of the new season, sees us take on Liverpool but it probably isn’t the best time for us to be facing the current Champions.
Newly-promoted Leeds might have given them a bit of a test in the opening game but Salah looks like he can score for fun right now. That’s obviously not ideal for us, with the goal conceded against Brighton reigniting an absolute intolerance of Kepa from some quarters. Personally, I think Brighton saw far too much of the ball, had too much space, and were handed invites, with lace bows and all, to have a go at us. Still, everyone loves a scapegoat.
Either way, the result didn’t really reflect the game, although to be fair, the players had barely had time to moisten a training top and we were a few light in terms of selection options. That remains the case again today though, and if Salah goes on the rampage again, it will get messy for us.
Liverpool have also added to their ranks – presumably from a charitable cause, given they don’t actually spend money like other clubs – and both Kostas Tsimikas and Thiago Alcantara could be available for them this afternoon. Timo Werner, on the other hand, opted to make himself available for us, and I suspect will get a lot of attention from the visiting defence today.
Last time we met, there was as much going on off the pitch as on it, and as expected, the press are stirring that pot. Whether that serves as a distraction or motivating factor for our players remains to be seen.
With much being made of the manager rivalry going into today’s game, Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, says “That’s the nature of the world we live in. There’s a lot of airtime for you to have fill with these rivalries. I understand sometimes they can be scrutinised in every single way. I just reiterate what Jurgen Klopp said on his part. I have got a huge amount of respect for him as a manager. I always have. What he has done at Liverpool over time has been incredible and that’s on him as the focal point of the club. There’s nothing in it for me. The competitive nature of the 90 minutes can always slightly boil over in different directions. The respect I have for Jurgen Klopp will never change.
If you are two teams pushing and driving to be successful, we had it in our years where I was a player here. Chelsea were competing to win the leagues here and Liverpool not so much. In the Champions League, we drew each other a lot and those games were ultra-competitive and difficult for us always. In modern-day terms, it looks slightly different because in the last few years Liverpool have been fighting at the top of the league and last year they win it. With competition like that, we are in a position where we are trying to improve, trying to close that gap. It means both squads, coaches and fan bases et cetera that are very driven to win and that’s what the Premier League is all about.”
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp meanwhile, says “Between Frank (Lampard) and me there is absolutely nothing – I admired him and loved him as a player and now he is doing a really good job as a coach. So I can’t help you with some ‘rivalry’ between us, we will obviously be rivals on Sunday but apart from that it’s all good. We are different clubs, leading in a different way, that’s how it is – we invest what we earn and sometimes we invest before we earn but it’s still based on these kind of things and it’s not like this for other clubs. Whatever they do though I am completely fine with that – they can all do what they want and it’s a free world. We have our way of dealing with the club.”
On Chelsea, Klopp says “There’s plenty of threats, they’ve signed really well and already had an unbelievably good team. We had to suffer a lot against them in the games last season. Christian Pulisic obviously wasn’t involved but he’ll probably be fit for the game, Mason Mount and I know Kai Havertz from the Bundesliga – he will play a proper role this season. There’s so many good players up front, in midfield, the defensive line and the full-backs – there’s not a biggest threat, Chelsea themselves are the threat – that’s how it is in football.”
For Chelsea, Billy Gilmour (knee) and new signings Hakim Ziyech (knee) and Ben Chilwell (heel) also remain out. Christian Pulisic is still to shake off a hamstring problem and Thiago Silva lacks fitness, but Mateo Kovacic is back from suspension and Timo Werner has overcome a dead leg sustained against Brighton.
For Liverpool, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is absent through injury, whilst Shaqiri is pushing for a return. New signing Kostas Tsimikas has recovered from covid-19 and should be available, and Klopp will need to make a decision on Thiago Alcantara who only arrived on Friday.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; James, Zouma, Christensen, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho; Havertz, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Werner
LIVERPOOL (Possible line-up): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool (22 September 2019)
- Liverpool can equal their longest winning streak against Chelsea in the Premier League
- Liverpool have won six of their past 12 league games at Stamford Bridge
- Chelsea won 2-0 at home in the most recent fixture between the sides, an FA Cup fifth-round tie in March.
- Chelsea have lost their opening home match in two of 28 Premier League seasons: (1993 and 2017).
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their past 13 home league games against the reigning champions.
- Chelsea lost eight home fixtures in all competitions last season (their most since 1985-86).
- Liverpool set a club record of 14 top-flight away wins last season
- Chelsea ended last season with six consecutive home league wins.
- Liverpool have conceded 15 goals in eight games since winning the title in June.
BBC Sport: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool
Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool
90min: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
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