Liverpool head to Stamford Bridge on Sunday aiming to keep their 100% winning record intact. The Reds are the only Premier League team not to drop points this season. However, Liverpool are coming off of a loss to Napoli, 2-0, in the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s team may have misfired in Naples, but they have been red-hot in the Premier League. The Reds are two points ahead of Manchester City after Pep Guardiola’s side blasted the league’s worst team Watford, 8-0, on Saturday.
The pressure will be on the Reds to perform well and re-extend their lead at the top of the table to five points.
Although Chelsea are undefeated in their last four Premier League games (they kicked off the season against Manchester United who beat them 4-0), they have been far from convincing. Frank Lampard’s squad has conceded the third-most goals (11) this term.
Their last four matches saw draws against Leicester City and Sheffield United and wins over Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chelsea’s wins came against teams in 16th place or lower.
The Blues lost to Valencia in the Champions League in midweek, 1-0. They conceded a goal to Rodrigo Moreno from a set-piece in the second half. Ross Barkley missed a penalty late in the second half dooming the Blues to a matchday 1 loss.
On paper, Liverpool’s attack should excel against Chelsea’s porous defence more than it did in the UEFA Super Cup in August.
Klopp has stated Divock Origi could play a part on Sunday. The striker came off injured against Newcastle United with a sprained ankle and missed Liverpool’s loss to Napoli in midweek. He could find a place on the bench to give Klopp further attacking options.
“Div, we have to see day by day, that’s how it was from the first day – how can he deal with the pain and stuff like that. We will see,” Klopp said on Friday. “It is pretty early, so I don’t know exactly what the medical department will tell me [today] about that case.
“I think it’s unlikely [he will be fit for Chelsea] but why should I rule him out? But it’s unlikely.”
Liverpool are still without Naby Keita, Alisson Becker, and Nathaniel Clyne. Keita has returned to full-team training but is not match fit to play against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Alisson is still recovering from his calf injury.
Lampard has a number of players ruled out of Sunday’s match. Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante are recovering from ankle injuries. Both could still find a place in the team.
Antonio Rudiger (groin) and Emerson Palmieri (thigh) missed Chelsea’s midweek game against Valencia. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) are still on the comeback trail and will play no part at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool predicted XI versus Chelsea
Klopp fielded a strong team against Napoli but the Reds could never find high gear in Italy. James Milner started in place of Georginio Wijnaldum. The Englishman, who is out of contract next summer, failed to make a mark on the match. Klopp could bring Wijnaldum back into the starting XI while keeping the rest of the team intact.
Liverpool have been very strong with the starting midfielder three of Wijnaldum, Henderson, and Fabinho. Klopp should restore that three-man midfield to the team.
Defenders: Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson
Midfielders: Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum
Forwards: Salah, Firmino, Mane
Liverpool are unbeaten in six of their last eight matches against Chelsea. Their last defeat against the Blues came at Anfield last season in the Carabao Cup.
Last season, Liverpool earned a come from behind draw at Stamford Bridge in the league thanks to a Daniel Sturridge wonder goal in the 89th minute.