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Match Day

Liverpool v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Thursday 4th March 2021

Venue: Anfield

Kick-off: 20:15 GMT

Tonight’s Premier League game sees us face Liverpool at Anfield.

We had a 0-0 draw against United last time out, whilst Liverpool looked back on track with a win against Sheffield United. That win left them within a point of us, so they’ll go above us with a win tonight.

Liverpool are without a win in seven at Anfield and they’ve scored just once in their last five games at home, so it’s almost scripted they’ll rectify that tonight. Chelsea have won six and drawn three from their last nine games, with four wins from five away in all competitions. We haven’t won a league game at Anfield since 2014 though, with Liverpool winning five of the last six meetings across all competitions and all of the last four in the Premier League, including a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture in September.

Our last trip to Anfield ended in a 5-3 defeat but this is likely to be a very different game, we couldn’t buy 3 goals for a start and Liverpool won’t be lifting the Premier League trophy this season either. We’ve improved defensively and you’d have to think (or hope) we wouldn’t be conceding that many goals to anyone, given we’ve only conceded 2 in our last 9 games. Liverpool’s injury crisis does seem to be easing a little though but even without their preferred backline, we’re unlikely to give the returning Alisson much to do tonight.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, says I think a lot of the things we saw already in the games they played so far. They were very successful. Obviously a clear philosophy, clear idea, absolutely possession-based, different formations. He used the time and got immediate results but used the time as well to get more knowledge about the squad. He changed quite a lot and that’s normal with the amount of games we have, but he really changed a lot. I think pretty much all three left-backs played – Emerson played, Alonso played, Chilwell played. Centre-half maybe didn’t change that often. Up front, a lot of options, changed them, tried them all. Just Mason Mount, Kovacic and Jorginho are sort of like the fixed points, maybe I missed now one, but all the other positions he changed a lot, just to get all the information you need about the squad. I think now they are a step further and we will face them now. So, yeah, it will be interesting.

I think, first and foremost, it’s quite difficult to get more possession than Chelsea. I think they changed maybe slightly since Frank [Lampard]. But the full package is required, let me say it like this. So you have to defend because they let the ball roll, let me say it like this. You have to work a lot and then there are situations [where] it’s not that you have the ball all the time and face a deep block. There will be a deep block when we can be dominant but in other moments they are just defending in the right way and use then the space you give them for counter-attacks. Patient you always have to be but I don’t think this is a game where [you have to be] specifically patient. You have to be patient in moments, you have to be lively in other moments. You have to be creative in moments and you have to show your desire for defending in all the moments because this is a top team and they will ask for a lot, and we should try to make sure that we have all the answers.”

Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, says “I am pretty relaxed. I am pretty sure Liverpool miss their fans, I know from experience the impact the Anfield crowd has on their team. Yes, they have dropped points, many times not deserved and they have had some unlucky results. They are one of the best teams in Europe but we are confident we can go there and do what we have to win.

These are the fixtures, going to Anfield as regular games. This is what you dream of as a player like me not at the highest level, normally you watch these games on TV. Now I am part of it, I am very grateful for it and it makes me feel alive. This is the challenge, this is the benchmark in terms of league wise and of course in Liverpool at Anfield, we are absolutely aware of this that we step into the biggest challenge. The best players play here and we have to face teams with the best managers.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Liverpool, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Caoimhin Kelleher all remain out. Alisson (compassionate leave) and Fabinho (muscle) are expected to return, whilst Diogo Jota (illness) is another possible return.

For Chelsea, Thiago Silva remains out, Tammy Abraham (ankle) will be assessed but Callum Hudson-Odoi (thigh) is expected to be fit.

TEAMS

LIVERPOOL (Possible line-up): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Werner

LAST SEASON

Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea (22nd July 2020)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

LIVERPOOL: WLLLLW

CHELSEA: WWWWDD

OTHER STUFF

  • Liverpool have four successive league wins against Chelsea
  • Chelsea have won just once in the past 12 league meetings
  • Chelsea have lost 23 Premier League games to Liverpool.
  • Liverpool have lost four consecutive Premier League home games
  • Liverpool have scored just one first-half goal in their past 11 Premier League games.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions.
  • Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in his five home league games
  • Tuchel has not won in seven away matches against Klopp.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

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