Reds face biggest remaining Premier League hurdle – Liverpool vs. Chelsea Preview

13 April 2019

Liverpool host Chelsea on Sunday in their most important Premier League game of the season, seeking a monumental win in their quest for title glory.


Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Sunday, April 14, 2019 – 4.30pm (BST)
Anfield
Premier League
Referee: Michael Oliver


When a Champions League quarter-final feels like welcome respite, it sums up the relentless nature of the Reds’ league campaign.

Tuesday’s comfortable 2-0 victory over Porto was achieved in relatively serene fashion—something that cannot be said of the 3-1 triumph at Southampton in their last league outing.

Liverpool’s win at St Mary’s was enormous and they now face comfortably their biggest remaining test, as Chelsea head to Anfield.

The Blues know all about breaking Reds hearts, having inflicted a fatal 2-0 defeat on them back in 2013/14, as Brendan Rodgers’ side lay on the cusp of greatness.

Maurizio Sarri’s side may not have consistently performed this season, but they are still third in the table and in the Europa League quarters.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 29, 2018: Liverpool's Joe Gomez (left), Trent Alexander-Arnold (right) and Eden Hazard (centre) during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In Eden Hazard, they have one of the Premier League‘s outstanding players, as well as other individuals who have the ability to win games in an instant.

Anfield will be bouncing by the time kick-off arrives and Jurgen Klopp‘s men will need a huge performance if they are to walk away with all three points.

With Man City likely returning to the top by the time the match starts—they visit Crystal Palace earlier in the day—only a win will do for Liverpool, yet again.

A repeat of the Tottenham and Southampton victories would be great in terms of the result, but supporters might struggle to handle yet another nerve-shredding affair.

This is massive.

This fixture last season: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

 

Team News

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 3, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates his side first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Etihad Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Andy Robertson returns to the side after serving a suspension against Porto in midweek.

Klopp has no new injury problems to contend with, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are still not ready for first-team action.

Joel Matip is expected to return to partner Virgil van Dijk at centre-back, having been rested in place of Dejan Lovren on Tuesday night.

As is the case in most matches now, Klopp has a healthy selection headache in midfield, with various options to choose from.

Fabinho looks a certainty to start, but with Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita excelling in more forward-thinking roles, is there a place for Gini Wijnaldum?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 3, 2019: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 233rd Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

The Dutchman has shown signs of tiredness in recent weeks but he is a key man when fit and firing, which he might be after being rested for the Porto game.

James Milner is also someone Klopp often turns to on the big occasions, so he could feature prominently, too.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all raring to go and Liverpool are fortunate that the trio have missed just three Premier League matches between them this season.

Chelsea have a clean bill of health, although Sarri may juggle his pack after Thursday’s Europa League exertions away to Slavia Prague, which saw them win 1-0.

Reported Liverpool transfer target Callum Hudson-Odoi could start on the right-hand side, providing Robertson with food for thought.

 

Last 5 at Home to Chelsea (All Competitions)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 25, 2017:Liverpoolís Mohamed Salah scores the opening goal against Chelsea during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield. (Pic by Lindsey Parnaby/Propaganda)

Lost 2-1 – September 2018 (Sturridge; Emerson, Hazard)
Drew 1-1 – November 2017 (Salah; Willian)
Drew 1-1 – January 2017 (Wijnaldum; Luiz)
Drew 1-1 – May 2016 (Benteke; Hazard)
Drew 1-1 – January 2015 (Sterling; Hazard pen)

 

Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 8, 2012: Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring the second goal against Chelsea during the final home Premiership match of the season at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is almost seven years since Liverpool last beat Chelsea at home in any competition, highlighting the Blues’ success in the fixture this decade.

That win came back in May 2012 when Kenny Dalglish’s Reds ran out 4-1 winners, although even that game saw the visitors rest players ahead of the Champions League final.

Since then, there have been eight meetings at Anfield, with Chelsea winning three and the other five ending in draws.

Will Sunday finally see Liverpool end their hoodoo?

 

Form

Firmino, Keita celebrate (Max Maiwald/DeFodi.eu via www.imago-images.de/Imago/PA Images)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-0 vs. Porto
Won 3-1 vs. Southampton
Won 2-1 vs. Tottenham
Won 2-1 vs. Fulham
Won 3-1 vs. Bayern Munich

Chelsea – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 1-0 vs. Slavia Prague
Won 2-0 vs. West Ham
Won 3-0 vs. Brighton
Won 2-1 vs. Cardiff
Lost 2-0 vs. Everton

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking at Melwood on Friday, the Liverpool manager said the memories of 2014 are irrelevant to both him and his players:

“I’m not sure if that’s in anybody’s mind apart from [the media]. I didn’t think a second about it, I heard about that ‘incident’, if you want.

“You can tell all the fans out there [to] ignore it, it’s nothing to do with us, it’s a completely new story. Things happen once in a lifetime, sometimes twice and sometimes never, that’s how it is.

“It’s all about the game on Sunday, it’s has nothing to do with any games before.

“I don’t know how many Chelsea players are still involved from that game – Salah, yes, so then we changed it completely!

“We have to be in a good shape in this moment because we have really big targets, that’s clear. That’s what we have to show again. We have to really fight for it and not think about [2014].

“Anybody who wants to talk to any of my players about what happened I don’t know how many years ago: don’t do it, just forget it.

“We want to write our own history, and if you do that then you can only build on the positives of the past.”

 

Live Blog & TV Info

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates the win during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Darren Staples/Sportimage/PA Images)

Liverpool vs. Chelsea is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm (BST) and kickoff is at 4.30pm.

Chris Williams is in charge of This is Anfield’s live blog from 3.45pm, as he tries to steady his nerves and guide you through another huge 90 minutes.

Come on you Reds.

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