Chelsea vs. Liverpool
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 – 7.45pm (GMT)
FA Cup Fifth Round
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Few expected the Reds to suffer such a disappointing defeat at Vicarage Road, but it may be the warning shot needed to revitalise Jurgen Klopp‘s flagging side.
Since their return from the winter break, Liverpool have lacked real urgency, perhaps with the knowledge that they are just four wins away from the Premier League title allowing bad habits to creep in.
The FA Cup is up next, though, and Klopp is expected to make changes for the trip to Stamford Bridge, rewarding those on the fringes as has been the case throughout the season so far.
Neil Critchley won’t be in charge this time, having left to take the manager’s job at Blackpool, but many of those who triumphed under the 41-year-old in the fourth-round replay win over Shrewsbury could be involved again.
This will be the third of at least four meetings with Chelsea this season, with Liverpool having won the previous two, and it provides the perfect opportunity for the Reds to send a message.
They may set up differently to the weekend at Watford, but Klopp will be looking for a better performance from those who come in as he aims to reach the sixth round for the first time.
Keita joins Jordan Henderson and Xherdan Shaqiri on the sidelines, while Harvey Elliott is absent having travelled with the under-19s for their UEFA Youth League last-16 clash with Benfica, also on Tuesday.
Adam Lewis is too old to feature for the U19s so could provide another option at left-back, though Klopp will not be fielding an entire side comprised of academy talents.
Last 5 Away to Chelsea (All Competitions)
Won 2-1 – September 2019 (Alexander-Arnold, Firmino)
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)
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.
FA Cup History
Liverpool have met Chelsea on 10 previous occasions in the FA Cup with their most recent being the final in 2012, when Andy Carroll’s goal was not enough to clinch victory for Kenny Dalglish‘s side as they lost 2-1.
The two sides have contested two semi-finals—in 1965 and 2006—with the Reds winning both on their way to lifting the trophy, with the latter being the last time Liverpool have won the competition.
Their only previous clash in the fifth round came in 1982, with Peter Rhoades-Brown and Colin Lee scoring in a 2-0 victory for Chelsea.
Overall, Liverpool have won just four of their 10 meetings with the Blues in the FA Cup.
Chelsea – Last five results (all competitions)
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking at Melwood on Monday afternoon, Klopp highlighted the quality and variety at Frank Lampard’s disposal, with Chelsea slight “favourites” due to being at home:
“If you look at the squad, if they make changes—I don’t know if Frank is doing that—then it’s still a very, very experienced team.
“We saw their lineups when we did the analysis yesterday, I saw that they made eight or nine changes in the games but when you look at the team, they were playing Pedro, Giroud and Willian—wow, that’s a nice second formation, if you want!
“We don’t really think about it, it’s not more pressure or less pressure than before, it’s just the last 16 of the FA Cup and we want to go through.
“That’s the plan and that’s what hopefully everybody can see.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Chris Williams will take duties for the This Is Anfield live blog, providing updates, analysis and trivia throughout in our usual interactive, biased view of the game.