Big Match Focus: Chelsea v Liverpool

In what could be a cracking affair on Saturday, Premier League leaders Liverpool visit high-flying Chelsea as they seek revenge for the mid-week loss to the Blues in the League Cup.

Premier League
Date: 29 September 2018
Game week 7
Kick-off: 18:00 (GMT+2), 02:00 Sunday HKT
Venue: Stamford Bridge

Referee: M. Atkinson
Assistants: L. Betts, S. Child
Fourth official: A. Marriner

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Chelsea 170 59 40 71
Liverpool 170 71 40 59

Previous encounter:

Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea 26/09/2018 (League Cup)
Liverpool scorer: D. Sturridge (58′)
Chelsea scorers: Emerson (79′), E. Hazard (85′)

Players to watch:

Eden Hazard is in sensational form in 2018/19 and came off the bench on Wednesday to score the winner in the League Cup victory over the Reds. With six goals to his name in the current campaign, the Belgium superstar will be out to cause the visitors to London plenty of problems with his probing runs.

Sadio Mane has started the season impressively for the Merseyside outfit and already has four league goals to his name. So far in the current campaign he has out-shone Mohamed Salah and is always a threat with his pace, and his clever runs in behind. The Senegal forward will be one to watch on Saturday.

Team form and manager quotes:

Chelsea are undefeated in all competitions in 2018/19 and have won every match except for the 0-0 draw with West Ham United.

The win over the Reds in the League Cup in mid-week also provides a welcome boost for the Londoners. Manager Maurizio Sarri has engineered a remarkable transformation at the Bridge, and Chelsea look capable of fighting on all fronts.

As such, assistant to Sarri, Gianfranco Zola, believes the Blues will be confident against the visitors. He told reporters: “We’ll go into the game with a good feeling. They could have won because they are a very good team. Saturday is going to be similar. Hopefully it will be the same type of game.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool are also in stellar form having won all six matches in the league this season. In the Champions League earlier this month they defeated Paris Saint-Germain but did suffer their first loss against Chelsea in the League Cup.

Subsequently, manager Jurgen Klopp wants to see improvement this weekend. He said: “This is good preparation for Saturday but we have to defend better.

“The formation was good with the new players and we could add them on to our matchday squad because they all played really good. They may need a bit of time.”

Team news:

Chelsea trio of Pedro (shoulder), Antonio Rudiger (groin) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (foot) are doubtful for the contest after missing out in mid-week. Other than that, Sarri’s side are at full strength.

For the Reds, Alisson is expected to start in goal after number two Simon Mignolet deputised in the League Cup. Virgil van Dijk remains a doubt with a rib injury while Adam Lallana and Divock Origi are questionable.

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