Can Chelsea bring Liverpool back down to earth with a victory on Sunday? The Reds make the trip south with their minds drifting towards their meeting with Real Madrid in the Champions League final at the end of the month, which marks a huge step up for the Merseyside outfit. Jurgen Klopp is about to take charge of his biggest game as Liverpool boss, having guided them through against Roma with a 7-6 aggregate win. However, before all of that the Reds need to get their minds back on to the league, ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues know that three wins from three would see them finish the season level on points with Liverpool, although they’d be trailing in terms of goal difference. However, it would be impressive if they could cut the gap to the Reds, given the praise lavished on Klopp’s side, while Conte’s men are having a poor campaign all around. Can they muster the skill and invention required to finish on a high with a victory in the weekend’s biggest top flight clash?
Team News: Can Blues Inspire a Top Four Fightback?
Chelsea have no new injury concerns ahead of this clash, and they should set up with a side who can push Liverpool in this one. We expect a strong side from the hosts, who are missing David Luiz and Danny Drinkwater once again this weekend. The hosts should stick with their 3-4-3 set-up, which has helped them to four straight victories ahead of Liverpool’s visit this weekend. With so much on the line, we can’t see Conte making any big changes for the weekend clash, and yet again his only real decision is to settle between Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata. The Italian has also been handed a boost, with Marcos Alonso ready to return at left-back after serving his suspension.
Liverpool have a considerable injury list ahead of this trip, which could see as many as eight players ruled out. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all expected to miss out, while Adam Lallana and Emre Can should join them on the side-lines. While Klopp has been used to making changes in between European games of late, he could be forced into more shuffling of the pack when they visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Reds are coming off a 4-2 loss in Rome, which was just enough to send them to Kyiv following their 5-2 win in the first leg. The visitors were lucky at times, and they certainly made life difficult for themselves with some poor defensive mistakes. They’ll be hoping to cut those out ahead of this clash, especially with an eye towards their showpiece clash in Ukraine. However, in the short term, Klopp’s side are coming in to Sunday’s game on the back of a Premier League clean sheet.
The Reds were held to a 0-0 at home to second bottom Stoke last weekend, as they continued their struggles throughout April. They’ve won just one match in the league this month, as they’ve struggled to split attention between two competitions. That’s probably in part due to their issues at the back on their travels, as 73% of the goals they’ve conceded in the league have come on the road so far this season.
Chelsea v Liverpool Head to Head
The Blues have really been struggling against Liverpool of late, with their last home win coming over three years ago. They’ve been waiting since 2013 to claim a Premier League victory against the Reds here, when Samuel Eto’o scored the winner. Meanwhile, the Reds are unbeaten in six meetings, having won both of their visits here under Klopp’s stewardship.
- Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Nov 2017
- Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Jan 2017
- Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Sept 2016
- Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, May 2016
- Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool, Oct 2015
- Draw – 13/5 with Betfred
- 2-2 Draw – 12/1 with Bet365
Chelsea come into this clash priced at 5/4 with BetVictor for the victory, despite Liverpool’s European heroics. The visitors can be found at 11/5 with Coral to claim the three points, while the bookies are clearly expecting some entertainment from this one. You can back both teams to score at 6/10 with Ladbrokes, which could prove an interesting option to many who see this one producing goals. Will this clash live up to expectations this weekend, or will the Reds come here looking to shut down the hosts and scrape a point? That’s hardly been Klopp’s style so far, and we don’t expect him to start now.
The visitors don’t really have it in them to play for a clean sheet, but they’d certainly take a point from this game if offered before kick off. A draw is all they need to secure their place in the top four, so it’s not the worst result, especially just days after returning from a tough away trip in Europe. The visitors are bound to be riding high, and refocusing on this one is likely to be a challenge, so getting their domestic campaign back on track could be key. The visitors have drawn three of their last four in the league, while the Blues have won just one of their home meetings with the top seven, so we’re backing a draw at 13/5 with Betfred.
We can see quite a high scoring clash in this one, given that the visitors have conceded quite a few goals on their travels this term. However, in 18 away trips in the top flight Liverpool have scored at least twice in two-thirds of those, so they are certainly capable going forward. Half of the Reds’ trips have seen over 3.5 goals scored in total, and we think there’s value in backing a 2-2 correct score in Sunday’s match, which looks like a temping option at 12/1 with Bet365.