Klopp’s “changes” & unpopular ref – 10 key things to know ahead of Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge hoping to bounce back from defeat against Man City and looking to build momentum heading into the home stretch.

Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Premier League (28) | Stamford Bridge
April 4, 2023 | 8pm (BST)

The game comes in the middle of a tough opening to April for the Reds, with league leaders Arsenal still to come to Anfield this weekend.

It has been a tough season for both sides, with Chelsea sitting 11th in the table having won just two of their last nine league fixtures.

Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of Chelsea vs. Liverpool.


1. Diaz and Thiago still out

Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-Chelsea press conference that Luis Diaz and Thiago remain unavailable for selection.

The manager told the media that he hopes to have both players at his disposal in the coming weeks, though, now that the pair are back in full training with the squad.

“I wouldn’t say Arsenal is completely out of the picture but it is rather likely that after that then Luis will be back,” he explained.

“We had Thiago yesterday in normal team training which is good as well – but he’s not available for tomorrow, of course.”


2. Klopp to ring the changes

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 18, 2023: Liverpool make four substitutions bringing on Diogo Jota, Harvey Elliott, James Milner and Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St. James' Park. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp also admitted that he will need to make several tweaks to his side in order to negotiate a busy period for his players.

The boss confirmed that there will “definitely” be changes for Tuesday night’s game, insisting that he wants to give his players “as long as possible” to recover.

He told reporters: “The short turnaround is the problem. In this moment I have no clue who I can line up.”


3. Potter sacked 48 hours before kickoff

Bruno Saltor has stepped up to replace Graham Potter at Chelsea (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Graham Potter was relieved of his managerial duties following a run of form which has seen Chelsea sink into the bottom half of the table.

Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel less than seven months ago, but only managed wins in 12 of the 31 games he took charge of in all competitions.

It leaves Liverpool fans dreading the notion of a ‘new manager bounce’, with former Brighton midfielder Bruno Saltor set to take over in the interim.


4. A must-win?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have appeared to talk themselves in and out of the top-four conversation on a weekly basis this season, but the picture is beginning to look bleak for the Reds if they fail to pick up regular wins soon.

Stamford Bridge has traditionally been one of the tougher grounds to visit in the country, but given Chelsea‘s form this season this fixture has to be one that Liverpool look to take all three points from.


5. “We have to sort it”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp substitutes Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp spoke with a defiant tone in his press conference about the need to turn things around, maintaining that he is “fully in” when it comes to Liverpool.

The Reds sit eighth in the league table having already lost nine league fixtures in the current campaign.

Given the recent sackings in the Premier League, he responded to questions about his own situation by saying: “There’s no need for being afraid, I need to deliver.

“I’m not here as a talisman, or for murals on the walls of houses. I’m here to deliver.”


6. A milestone for the captain

Jordan Henderson is in line for his 350th league appearance for Liverpool.

If he is involved at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder will become the 22nd player in the club’s history to reach that total.

Only Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have recorded more appearances for the Reds in the Premier League era.


7. A happy hunting ground?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 20, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (C) celebrates with team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) and Roberto Firmino (R) after scoring the first goal with a header during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool’s recent record at Stamford Bridge might be more positive than you think.

The Reds have lost just one away league outing against Chelsea since 2013, winning four times in that period.

The fixture has yielded three draws in that time, and Chelsea will no doubt be keen to improve on those numbers as the hosts.


8. A big improvement required

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker (L) and Ibrahima Konaté look dejected after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Man City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s second-half capitulation against Man City led the manager to single out just four players who were “OK” in the 4-1 defeat.

Klopp named Henderson, Fabinho, Cody Gakpo and Alisson as his only players to come away from the game with any credit, a number which will need to rise significantly if the Reds are to take anything from their trip to the capital.


9. Taylor to officiate

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 29, 2019: Referee Anthony Taylor awards the opening goal to Liverpool after a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Roberts/Propaganda)

Anthony Taylor will referee the game on Tuesday night.

It will be the fourth time he has taken charge of a Liverpool fixture this season, the most recent of which coming in one of only three league away wins for the Reds at Newcastle.

He is not a popular name among the home supporters, controversially missing a foul on Kai Havertz in the buildup to Tottenham‘s first goal during a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge back in August.


10. How to follow

Chelsea vs. Liverpool will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage starting at 7pm (BST).

You can also follow all the action with This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog, available from 7.15pm.

Up the Reds!