Liverpool will look to keep up their 100 percent Premier League record on Sunday, but Chelsea will provide them with their sternest test yet this season.
Chelsea vs. Liverpool
Sunday, September 22, 2019 – 4.30pm (BST)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Losing feels odd these days, doesn’t it?
The Reds’ 2-0 defeat at Napoli on Tuesday night was such a rarity that supporters almost didn’t quite know how to react afterwards.
It was refreshing to see no panic on show from Jurgen Klopp, his players or the fans, though, after what should have been a solid draw away from home.
They swiftly return to Premier League action this weekend, with Chelsea looking to put an early dent in their title hopes.
Klopp’s men have a five-point lead over Man City at the top of the table, but with Pep Guardiola’s side expected to beat Watford at home on Saturday, the pressure will be on 24 hours later.
This is the Reds’ biggest test yet in the league, but Chelsea remain something of an unknown quantity with Frank Lampard at the helm.
The west Londoners sit sixth currently, having picked up an impressive 5-2 win at Wolves last weekend, but also drawing 2-2 with Sheffield United and 1-1 with Leicester at home.
Lampard has reunited the supporters and brought in exciting young talent such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, however, and Sunday’s game will be a tricky one.
Trips to Stamford Bridge have been famously difficult for Liverpool down the years and they will have to click if they are to pick up all three points.
They are comfortably the superior team, though, so there’s no reason why they can’t make it six wins out of six.
Alisson and Nathaniel Clyne remain long-term absentees, but Naby Keita is closing in on a return.
He is unlikely to be available for Sunday’s game, though, having only rejoined full training on Friday, while Divock Origi is also set to miss out.
Andy Robertson didn’t look fully fit in the defeat at Napoli, conceding a late penalty, but he is expected to start.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk also look set to continue at the back—all three could potentially be rested against MK Dons next Tuesday, along with Robertson.
Gini Wijnaldum should return to the midfield after not starting in Naples, with James Milner the man to make way.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also be pushing for a start, but he doesn’t quite look sharp enough to be featuring prominently in big games yet.
Mohamed Salah will be raring to go against his former club, looking to wreak havoc alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Chelsea welcome Emerson Palmieri and N’Golo Kante back to the fold, although there is no guarantee that either will start on Sunday.
Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are still missing and Mount is a doubt.
Likely Liverpool XI: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino
Last 5 Away to Chelsea (All Competitions)
Drew 1-1 – September 2018 (Hazard; Sturridge)
Lost 1-0 – May 2018 (Giroud)
Won 2-1 – September 2016 (Costa; Lovren, Henderson)
Won 3-1 – October 2015 (Ramires; Coutinho x2, Benteke)
Drew 1-1 – May 2015 (Terry; Gerrard)
Away fans’ pubs: Courtfield Tavern.
One piece of advice for visiting fans: There’s an excellent curry house called Masala Grill close to the stadium which is worth checking out.
Did You Know?
Liverpool have now won 14 Premier League games in a row, not only breaking the club’s previous record in the competition, but also in our entire league history.
Remarkably, only Man City now have a longer winning streak in the Premier League—Arsenal matched the Reds’ current back in 2001/02—having clocked up 18 victories on the bounce back in 2017/18.
Chelsea – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 1-0 vs. Valencia
Won 5-2 vs. Wolves
Drew 2-2 vs. Sheffield United
Won 3-2 vs. Norwich
Drew 1-1 vs. Leicester
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 2-0 vs. Napoli
Won 3-1 vs. Newcastle
Won 3-0 vs. Burnley
Won 3-1 vs. Arsenal
Won 2-1 vs. Southampton
Speaking in his press conference on Friday, Klopp was full of praise for Christian Pulisic, who the German knew during his Borussia Dortmund days:
“[He is] unfortunately good!
“He will be a proper player and he is, big talent, dynamic, pretty good with both feet.
“Super exciting player, absolutely, good signing I have to say.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Chelsea vs. Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm (BST), with kickoff at 4.30pm.
Chris Williams is tasked with talking you through the action on This is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you company from 3.45pm.