The time has rolled around for our beloved Blues to face the reigning champions once more. A fixture with an enriched history. Goals. Bites. Slips. You name it, this game has seen it. Liverpool vs Chelsea has always impressed, and tonight will be no exception.
Now, lets start by looking at the season so far. Both sides have endured some ups, alongside some downs, but it’s the London boys who own the position of promise for this game. Chelsea currently sit 5th in the Premier League, just once place above their opponents, holding the Reds off by a single point. Earlier in the season, Liverpool picked Chelsea off in a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, which saw Andreas Christensen sent off for a clumsy challenge on Sadio Mane.
Liverpool have the home advantage, but in recent weeks, this has proven to be nothing but a myth. The Reds have failed to secure a victory at Anfield since December 16th, 2020. Now, three months into the new year, Klopp’s men are still struggling. Chelsea, on the other hand, have won four out of five away bouts under Thomas Tuchel. Not only is the away record impressive for the Blues, but Tuchel’s army are unbeaten in 10 games, nine of which have come under the German’s reign. Compare that with the hosts, who have just four wins out of their last nine games, and the odds swoop in the favour of the South West Londoners.
The fixture seems to have landed at the perfect time for Chelsea, but business is still business, and the Blues will not tread lightly over this evenings opponents.
Player updates and news:
During yesterday’s press conference, Tuchel revealed that Thiago Silva is still not fit for action, which does provide a blow to Chelsea, given the opponents strength in attack. That said, the trio of Antonio Rudiger, the aforementioned Christensen, and skipper Cesar Azpilicueta have taken the Brazilian’s absence as a reason to step up, and all three players have shown signs of improvement over recent weeks. If we see the trusted back three, I have no doubt this will continue.
“Thiago made his first training with the team but did not finish the last exercise, not because of any pain but just to be aware of taking a risk.” (Thomas Tuchel via The 5th Stand app.)Callum Hudson Odoi is fit, however, after the player was once again subbed off in the last game against Manchester United. This is pivotal for Chelsea as the youngster has shown a real insurgence of quality into his game, which is no surprise as we all knew he had it.
The only other concern is Tammy Abraham, who was left out of the matchday squad on Sunday. Tuchel said “Tammy had some problems yesterday on his ankle again. Let’s see how this works out.”
Everyone else seems to be available, so with that being said, who can we expect to see this evening?
Mendy, Azpi, Christensen, Rudiger, Hudson Odoi, Kovacic, Kante, Alonso, Mount, Werner, Giroud.
My heart is saying Havertz but my head is saying Giroud. Tuchel has mentioned he sees Kai as someone he can rely on at the top of our attack, but I just don’t think Liverpool away is the right time to test this. I also think Ziyech will drop to the bench as the Moroccan has struggled to find any form since his move to SW6.
Players to watch:
Mason Mount: Our trusted number 19. He’s always worth watching. Mount commands every blade of grass he plays on, and can release some killer passes through to Werner and Giroud, which could give Chelsea a real chance. Chelsea have produced the second most attempts on goal (86) in the league since Tuchel arrived, but have struggled to convert these into goals. Hopefully we can see this change tonight.
Allison Becker: Now, when I looked at Liverpool’s past games, no one has stood out significantly, which sounds bizarre to even say when you look at the star power across the whole squad. I went for Allison, as the Brazilian has a real point to prove following some lacklustre performances as of late, those including some serious mistakes which have cost the Reds a lot of points. Jurgen Klopp will need his number one to be at his best tonight.
Written by @mashgreaves