Date: Saturday 28th August 2021
Kick-off: 17:30 BST
We’ve had a good start to the season but let’s be honest, we’ve only played twice so far and weren’t tested in either of them. Our first real test will come in today’s late game as we face Liverpool at Anfield.
Despite losing 6 points to Arsenal last season, we were just too good for them last weekend, whilst Liverpool also had a comfortable win against Burnley. That leaves us level on points and goal difference after the first two games.
Lukaku had it pretty easy against Mari and Holding in his debut last week but this weekend he’s up against Virgil van Dijk, so he’s in for a much tougher time of it today. Last season, we seemed to be all about service but no substance with the finishing, so if I was disappointed with anything against Arsenal, it was probably that we’d have beaten them by 4 or 5 if the service had been better. We had more space and time against them than we’ll get against Liverpool too, so it’s not ideal.
Klopp, who clearly isn’t much of a mathematician, has had his say on the financial wealth of others being a threat to Liverpool but with their injury woes seemingly behind them, and key players fighting fit, they’ll be thanking whichever benefactor generously donated them their squad, because they don’t look like a side needing much refreshing anyway. Not the best time to face them really.
Going into today’s game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, says “What Thomas did at Chelsea is absolutely exceptional. I never doubted that he would have a massive impact there. That it would go that quick? I think not even he would have expected that. Last night he (Tuchel) won the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year and absolutely deserved it. Nobody had a bigger impact last season than he had. I said it before, a combination of financial wealth and football knowledge is always a threat for all of us. That’s how it is.
I expect a very difficult game for both teams, I don’t think there is an easy way through any line. Both teams are really well organised, and will be I’m pretty sure, so it will be a big fight, definitely. It’s one of these games that I would watch 100 per cent if I would not be involved. It’s pretty much a must-watch game, if you want. Chelsea are obviously in a really good moment, won the Champions League in the last club game of last season, played an incredible, I don’t know, last half of the season since Thomas [Tuchel] was in [they have] really developed in the right direction. They brought now [Romelu] Lukaku in, which doesn’t make them worse, obviously. So, it’s a tough opponent but we are not actually in the worst moment as well and hopefully we can show that.”
Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, says “He [Klopp] has my full respect. He is one of the best managers in the world and has proven it in every club he has worked. He has the ability to make huge footprints in any club and make huge impacts and becomes one with the club on a level that was in Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool. Unbelievable achievement but we need to be careful when he talks too good about you. You need to be careful with Jurgen, he prepares something maybe.
I think any time when you play at Anfield, with spectators against Liverpool, it’s one of the toughest challenges you can face in European football. We had a good start, Liverpool had a good start. Tomorrow we will fight from the first minute to get a good result but it will be a huge challenge. No result will be a decision for the season. We are fighting for it because this is the challenge where we need to prove and want to prove ourselves.”
For Liverpool, Fabinho and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain missed the last game through personal reasons and may return, Andy Robertson (ankle) could start.
For Chelsea, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both remain out after positive covid tests, N’Golo Kante (ankle) came through his cameo performance against Arsenal and should be ok to start.
LIVERPOOL (Possible line-up): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mane
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Lukaku
Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea (4th March 2021)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
- Liverpool have lost just two of their last 13 Premier League meetings with Chelsea
- Chelsea won this fixture in March.
- Chelsea have won 7 times at Anfield in the Premier League
- Both Liverpool and Chelsea have started the 2021-22 campaign with two wins, two clean sheets and five goals scored.
- Liverpool have started a top-flight campaign with three wins without conceding twice before
- Chelsea have started a top-flight campaign with three wins without conceding three times.
- Liverpool have won their last seven Premier League games
BBC Sport: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Sportsmole: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea