Chelsea vs. Liverpool
Sunday, September 20, 2020 – 4.30pm (BST)
Premier League (2)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Largely fuelled by the media, the two clearly hold a lot of respect for one another, but find the ideals of their respective clubs jarring, while a touchline spat at Anfield back in July over exacerbated the situation.
On the pitch, Liverpool and Chelsea are both seen as strong contenders for the title, with the Blues’ big-spending summer forcing them back into contention.
One of their signings came at the expense of those at Anfield, with the Reds pulling out of a deal for Timo Werner only to see the striker swap RB Leipzig for Stamford Bridge soon after.
Both sides began the campaign with a win, and whoever comes out on top in west London would give themselves a big early boost for 2020/21.
Perhaps the biggest team news heading into this tie is that Thiago is eligible to make his Liverpool debut at Stamford Bridge, having been registered with the Premier before the weekend’s cutoff.
Fortunately, Klopp is not short of options ahead of this clash, and is in fact buoyed by the return of Kostas Tsimikas following the left-back’s reported positive test for COVID-19
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp revealed he was facing no new injury problems after the opening 4-3 victory over Leeds.
He added, though, that “nobody is coming back,” which rules out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as expected.
The manager could make at least one change, with Joel Matip possibly replacing Joe Gomez, but he will not alter things drastically, with the majority of those to play in the 1-1 friendly draw with Huddersfield B on Sunday instead saved for Lincoln.
In his own press conference, Lampard ruled out new signings Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech, along with Christian Pulisic, who scored and assisted in Chelsea‘s 5-3 loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in July.
Werner, however, has shaken off a knock and is fit to feature, but Billy Gilmour is a long-term absentee.
There are unlikely to be many changes from the side that beat Brighton 3-1 on opening weekend, with Kai Havertz also expected to start.
Andreas Christensen should partner Kurt Zouma in defence, which could serve as a route to goal for Liverpool, with the Blues’ brittle core shining through at the Amex.
Possible Chelsea XI: Kepa; James, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho; Havertz, Loftus-Cheek, Mount; Werner
Last 5 Away to Chelsea (All Competitions)
Lost 2-0 – March 2020 (Willian, Barkley)
Won 2-1 – September 2019 (Kante; Alexander-Arnold, Firmino)
Drew 1-1 – September 2018 (Hazard; Sturridge)
Lost 1-0 – May 2018 (Giroud)
Won 2-1 – September 2016 (Costa; Lovren, Henderson)
* Game to be played behind closed doors.
Did You Know?
Lampard has come up against just two managers more times than he has Klopp in his short managerial career so far, with his four meetings with the German behind only Graham Potter (five) and Dean Smith (six).
That is the joint-worst record Lampard has produced against any manager he has faced more than twice, with Klopp sharing the same number of wins, draws and losses with Marcelo Bielsa and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The former midfielder came up against Liverpool more times than any other club in his playing career (45), winning 21, drawing nine and losing 17, but left England before Klopp took over at Anfield in 2015.
He never faced either of Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund or Mainz sides, either.
Chelsea – Last five results (All competitions)
Liverpool – Last five results (All competitions)
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp urged his side to put their efforts in training into practice, having been afforded the rare luxury of a week’s work at Melwood:
“We are very early in the season, so we had an intense week of work. [We] worked—how we see it—on decisive stuff.
“A lot of things were good in the first game, some things were not that good.
“I know that but it’s the first game, so we don’t make it less important or more important than necessary, just work with it and use it as one information.
“All the rest of the week was absolutely good so far.
“So now we have to make sure that we can transform that on the pitch because we better be at our best otherwise it could be really, really tricky.”
TV & Liveblog Info
On This Is Anfield, Chris Williams will be providing all the coverage you need in our matchday liveblog, starting from 3.45pm.