Chelsea host Liverpool in an early season defining game


Sarri on the touchline vs Cardiff City (Photo credit: Getty Images/Glyn Kirk).

Chelsea host Liverpool in an early season defining game

By Ryan Conway

Liverpool visit Chelsea on Saturday aiming to extend their best ever start to a Premier League season. However the Blues may already have a slight psychological edge after their come-from-behind win against Jurgen Klopp’s men in the League Cup in midweek.

Eden Hazard scored what is sure to be one of the goals of the season as his outstanding, slaloming run and finish capped off an impressive fightback. Klopp chose to rest key members of his defence, giving starts to Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, who is working his way back from injury.

Last campaign Chelsea took four points from their two league matches against the Merseyside outfit – both sides have since undergone major surgery, however.

[Chelsea 1 : 0 Liverpool –  Oliver Twist in the air after Moses parts the Red Sea]

Maurizio Sarri had very complimentary words for the league leaders in his pre-match press conference, insisting they are equipped to lift the title:

They’re a top-level team. They have worked with the same coach for four seasons; they are ready now to win the Premier League.”

The former Napoli boss also stated their his side’s victory on Wednesday will have no baring on their league encounter on Saturday:

“Tomorrow it’s another match in another competition with a different starting XI. I think maybe Liverpool can increase the determination after Wednesday, it was a difficult match on Wednesday, and it’ll be a difficult match tomorrow.”

The Italian has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game while Klopp is sweating on the fitness of Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch centre-back missed the League Cup loss after an injury he sustained during Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Southampton.

Klopp has suggested any decision regarding the inclusion of the £75 million defender will be left until the last minute:

“We have to wait, he didn’t train with the team so far,” Klopp said in his pre-game press conference, “If Virgil is fit, he plays. If not, then obviously we have options.”

The Reds boast the best defence in the Premier League having only conceded two goals from their first six games, although Chelsea are not far behind having only shipped four goals thus far.

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are expected to be recalled to the starting XI this weekend having started the cup game on the bench. Salah’s start to his second campaign at Anfield has brought about some question marks of his fitness. While the Egyptian forward has three goals in the league at this stage, his body language cuts that of a slightly fatigued figure.

For the hosts, Hazard continues to be the driving force both creatively and when it comes to finding the net. Spanish striker Alvaro Morata continues to frustrate and Olivier Giroud has failed to find the net this season so far.

The onus has fallen on the Belgian to lead any title charge Chelsea may have. The fact that Liverpool have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 14 league games against the Blues will inspire even more confidence from the visitors.

With the cup victory fresh in their minds, Chelsea will be keen to capitalise on the momentum.


Nothing Found

Apologies, but no results were found for the requested archive. Perhaps searching will help find a related post.


About Author

Comments are closed.