Liverpool vs Chelsea preview
All the latest news and information ahead of Wednesday’s game between Liverpool and Chelsea with Frank Lampard’s men in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
Liverpool Predicted XI vs Chelsea
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho,Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Chelsea Predicted XI vs Liverpool
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic
Liverpool vs Chelsea Preview
There may be nothing left for Liverpool to win this season but their final game at Anfield in their historic 2019/20 season will be a night that lives long in the memory for supporters. Thirty years after the league title was last brought to Merseyside Jordan Henderson will lift the Premier League trophy on a specially-built platform in the Kop. Before the game Liverpool will receive their sixth guard of honour of the season from the team who beat reigning champions Manchester City to confirm their title.
There are still personal achievements to reach for some in the Liverpool squad with Mohamed Salah one goal short of reaching the 20 league goal-mark for the third consecutive season. Roberto Firmino, so central to Liverpool’s play, is still yet to notch a home league goal this campaign and will be desperate to break his Anfield duck. The draw with Burnley two weeks ago was the first time Liverpool have dropped points at home all season but their record has been incredible in recent years. Jürgen Klopp’s men have not lost a Premier League game at Anfield since April 2017 and avoiding defeat against Chelsea would make it a third consecutive unbeaten campaign at home.
But while it will be party time on Merseyside the visitors will be in no mood to be generous and have ambitions of their own. With two games remaining Chelsea are in pole position to finish in the Champions League places ahead of Manchester United and Leicester City, but have two tough games to end their season. Unless they win at Anfield they will likely go into the final game needing at least a point against Europa League-chasing Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Champions League qualification was the main aim for Frank Lampard’s first season as a Premier League manager and a win at Anfield would make it a successful season for the Chelsea legend. They have been in good form since the restart but have a tendency to blow hot and cold; in recent weeks they have beaten Manchester United and Manchester City but also suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United. Sloppiness at the back has been the issue for Lampard’s Chelsea and no side in the top half have conceded more goals than the Blues, meaning we should be in for an exciting end-to-end game on Wednesday.
Liverpool vs Chelsea: Injuries and Suspensions
Jordan Henderson will be lifting the Premier League trophy at full-time but the Liverpool captain will not be involved on the pitch after picking up a knee injury in the win over Brighton and Hove Albion. Joel Matip is also out so Joe Gomez is expected to keep his place at the heart of the defence.
Klopp confirmed last week that James Milner should be fit enough to return for the fixture against Chelsea having recovered from a hamstring injury, although he is unlikely to start.
The visitors had hoped that midfielder N’GoloKante would be fit for the trip to Anfield but Lampard confirmed on Tuesday that the Frenchman will miss out. Youngster Billy Gilmour, who performed so well in the FA Cup fixture between the two sides, is also out with a hamstring injury.
Christian Pulisic was not involved in Sunday’s win over Manchester United with a “small injury” but should be fit to return to the starting XI at Anfield.
Liverpool vs Chelsea: What the managers said
Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool):"This is a challenge, being champions and playing these teams. I thought about how it was when I've won something before and it's football. The boys love doing what they do. So far I am fine with attitude we've shown. I expect a good game from us and Chelsea."
Frank Lampard (Chelsea): “Sometimes after a good result everything can look rosy, defeats the opposite. I have to look at the bigger picture. We have to try to replicate the mentality that we showed against Manchester United.”
Prediction: Liverpool’s performance levels have dropped slightly since their title was confirmed and the absence of Henderson remains a big miss for the Reds. Chelsea have it all to play for in the hunt for a top four finish and are boosted by the return of Pulisic. However the champions have been exceptional at home all season and they should have enough left in the tank to end their season at Anfield on a high. 2-0
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