Liverpool v Chelsea match preview
Both sides come into Saturday’s match having won their two opening Premier League fixtures, scoring five goals each and conceding none in the process. A pleasing start for both however, Liverpool have faced Norwich and Burnley while Chelsea have beaten both Crystal Palace and a rather tame Arsenal.
But I’m sure that’s not what Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel think though, as they both build momentum towards this game. The German pair will defiantly have marked this one in their calendars as they prepare to face off for the 16th time, with Klopp getting the better of Tuchel nine times out of their previous 15 meetings.
2005, 2008, 2009. There’s certainly been some classics and controversy over the years between these two sides but it’s The Reds who have won the most clashes between them in the Premier League claiming 23 wins, two more than The Blues. However, The Blues aren’t afraid of a visit to Anfield with only Manchester United (12)
winning more Premier League games at Anfield than Chelsea (7), and after Tuchel’s men took the bragging rights in this fixture last year they certain will have belief they can get the three points again.
With undoubted quality in both sides, it may be a game of fine margins or a moment of real quality. One man who can change a game is Chelsea’s £100 million pound man, Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium got his Chelsea return of to a flyer when he made his debut last weekend against Arsenal. With a goal and a Man of the Match display the striker has certainly got the Premier Leagues attention. However, this weekend he faces arguably the world’s best defender in the form of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and man who he has faced three times, failing to score on all three occasions. It is sure to be a mega battle between the pair and possibly a decisive one for either side.
When the sides met in March, Liverpool found themselves paired at the back with Fabinho and emergency loan signing Ozan Kabak. The pair struggled all evening with Chelsea’s pace in behind their disjointed high line. Chelsea’s forward runs from Werner, Mount and Havertz caused all sorts of havoc at the back for The Reds and with better finishing and a bit of VAR luck it could have been three or four on the evening.
It’s sure it be a more assured and recognised defence this weekend for Liverpool, which could even see the return of Andy Robertson at left back, and they’ll be hoping to keep chances to minimum with the likes of Lukaku lurking.
Many have claimed that the arrival of Lukaku could smell the end for German forward Timo Werner. However, maybe it could see him return to a more familiar position on the left of a front three, an area where he made a name for himself. With Trent Alexander-Arnold bringing so much to the game going forwards, it’s clear the space he leaves behind him, which could suit Werner perfectly allowing him to operate in Liverpool’s vacated left channel. It will be interesting to see what Tuchel will do with the German international that’s for sure.
A blockbuster clash in front of a full Anfield crowd which have waited to 18 months to roar their side on in big games. We’ve seen it numerous times play a factor in games and I’m sure The Reds fans will be ready come 5pm Saturday evening, as will we all.