Much-changed Reds set for FA Cup refresher – Chelsea vs. Liverpool Preview

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Just three days after their 3-0 humbling at Watford, Liverpool have a chance to respond immediately as a likely changed side take on Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round.

Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 – 7.45pm (GMT)
Stamford Bridge
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.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 29, 2019: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Roberts/Propaganda)

Liverpool are boosted by the return of Joe Gomez and James Milner for this tie, but Naby Keita is still sidelined after a hip problem kept him out of the trip to Watford.

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.

Klopp has confirmed Ki-Jana Hoever and Neco Williams are available, however, while the likes of Pedro Chirivella and Curtis Jones should also be involved.

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.

Instead, his selection will be similar to that of the initial fourth-round clash at Shrewsbury, with Adrian, Joel Matip, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino to benefit from rotation.

 

Last 5 Away to Chelsea (All Competitions)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 22, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea's FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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)

 

Stamford Bridge

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 22, 2014: A general view of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 41,631

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

CARDIFF, WALES - SATURDAY, MAY 13th, 2006: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring the third goal against West Ham United with his team-mate Jamie Carragher during the FA Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium. (Pic by Jason Roberts/Propaganda)

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.

 

Form

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 29, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as Watford score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 2-2 vs. Bournemouth
Lost 3-0 vs. Bayern Munich
Won 2-1 vs. Tottenham
Lost 2-0 vs. Man United
Drew 2-2 vs. Leicester

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 3-0 vs. Watford
Won 3-2 vs. West Ham
Lost 1-0 vs. Atletico Madrid
Won 1-0 vs. Norwich
Won 1-0 vs. Shrewsbury

 

Klopp’s View

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 22, 2019: Chelsea's Tammy Abraham (L) and Liverpool's Joel Matip during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round will be live on BBC One in the UK, and available to stream via the BBC iPlayer, with coverage beginning at 7.30pm and kickoff at 7.45pm.

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.

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