Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea will be the main event of the Premier League tonight.
The Reds welcome one of their most entertaining and yet, stubborn rivals to Anfield, with more hunger to win following Jürgen Klopp’s decision to step down as the club’s manager at the end of the season.
Liverpool are two points clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League and will be looking to increase that difference to five and maintain their stand to end Klopp’s spell at the club with a good-bye league title. On the other hand, Chelsea will be looking to strengthen their position in the Premier League to secure European football next season.
Liverpool have won four of their last five matches, drawing to Fulham, while Chelsea have won three of their last five, losing 1-0 to Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup (but completed a 6-1 comeback in the return leg), and then drew 0-0 to Aston Villa.
Liverpool and Chelsea Team News
Liverpool will be without talisman Mohammed Salah, who has not recovered from the injury suffered during Egypt’s spell in the ongoing AFCON, while Wataru Endo is still on international duty at the AFC Asian Cup.
Alexis Mac Allister may feature after being dropped against Norwich as a precaution. Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, and Dominik Szoboszlai will be pushing for a start after coming on as substitutes in their 5-2 win against Norwich.
Luis Díaz, who scored Liverpool’s only goal in the reverse fixture, will be looking to impress Klopp after coming on as a substitute against Norwich. However, Klopp will likely stick to deploying Jota and Nunez, who have been in impressive form lately.
Mauricio Pochettino confirmed in his press conference that Levi Colwill will be unavailable for the match, but that should not be a problem because Ben Chilwell is ready for his first Premier League start after recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of action since last year September.
Chelsea have been handed a match boost following Senegal’s exit from the AFCON, which means Nicolas Jackson could feature, and Pochettino confirmed in his pre-match conference that Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto will be in the match squad.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
Despite the fact that Liverpool and Chelsea’s last seven meetings have ended in a draw (the longest run of consecutive draws between two top-flight teams in Premier League history), the former will have the advantage as they play at home (with Klopp targeting his 200th Premier League win), and Pochettino’s side have been poor away from home this season.
Both teams have many players injured but still look competent enough to mark a competitive clash. Considering Liverpool’s hunger to give Klopp a remarkable send-forth and Pochettino’s drive to be among the top six (at least for now), the clash is destined to end as a hard-fought and will likely be a draw.
Get Football | Gideon Oluwaseun