By 90Min
September 28, 2018

In any season, in any competition, a meeting between Chelsea and Liverpool is one of world football's great fixtures on the calendar, and after the two sides met only days ago in the League Cup at Anfield, the Blues this time play hosts at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

As two of only three sides remaining unbeaten in the English top flight this season, Jurgen Klopp takes his Reds side to the capital, bent on exacting revenge for Wednesday night's defeat on Merseyside.

The visitors have won all six of their opening league meetings to start the new campaign, there is genuine belief on Merseyside that the Reds can win their first ever Premier League title. 

Chelsea, meanwhile, were held against a vastly improving West Ham United side last Sunday, and as they face the table-toppers this weekend, will be eyeing consecutive wins against the visitors in a matter of days.

Here is all you need to know ahead of Saturday evening's top of the table clash at Stamford Bridge.


Recent Form

Despite their 2-1 win over their visiting league leaders in the Carabao Cup in midweek - coming from behind courtesy of late goals from Emerson and a scintillating winner from Eden Hazard - Chelsea were the first of the two sides to drop league points last weekend, after being held by Manuel Pellegrini's fast-improving West Ham United 0-0 at the London Stadium.

Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Winning their opening five games previously, goals have not been a problem for Maurizio Sarri during the opening weeks of his Blues tenure. However, keeping winning clean sheets has been of slight concern to the Italian - conceding four times in six games.

That could become a factor this weekend, as the Reds play a full strength XI with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino coming back into the fold.

Conversely, whilst taking a maximum points haul of 18 points thus far, Klopp's men have conceded just twice in the league.

Whilst their defence is becoming a stronghold, goals continue to flow for the Merseysiders having netted 14 goals - intriguingly the same tally as their opponents this Saturday.

Salah has begun the season in uncertain fashion after his fireworks of last term, but having found the target against the Saints last time out and with goals flowing across the pitch from the ilk of Sadio Mane also, Chelsea may find their opposition a tougher nut to crack second time around.


Team News

The hosts are sweating on the availability of two of their first-choice defenders for the visit of Liverpool.

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Andreas Christensen was withdrawn with knock in midweek and is a major doubt for the game, as is Antonio Rudiger, who was forced off against West Ham last Sunday with a groin problem.

If both miss out, Gary Cahill could partner David Luiz in defence, however Ethan Ampadu is also an option.

Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also a major concern ahead this weekend's clash (shin), but Pedro could make a return earlier than expected from a shoulder problem. Marko van Ginkel remains absent with an ACL injury.


The main concern for Klopp is over defender Virgil van Dijk, who is struggling with a bruised rib. The Dutchman was left out of Wednesday night's game regardless, but is expected to be passed fit. 

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Forward Divock Origi (ankle) and midfielder Adam Lallana (groin) are both out, however both could return before the international break next weekend. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains absent and will miss the rest of the season with an knee injury.


Predicted Lineups


Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Hazard.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.


Prediction

Wednesday evening's encounter was a fiery one, with no less than eight bookings during the 90 minutes and this weekend's meeting should be just as interesting.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

One would expect Hazard to be the 'X' factor once more, with the Belgian arguably in the form of his life; however, Liverpool have their own aces in the form of Mane, Salah and Firmino.

It could however, come down to a battle on the flanks. The Reds played their second string full-backs in Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno on Wednesday, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson set to come back in here which will undoubtedly provide greater defensive solidity.

For the Blues, Marcos Alonso will again be galloping down the left wing on a regular basis and will be looking to provide the front men with ammunition once - if the Spaniard himself is not on the scoresheet himself. 

This midweek's encounter began in cagey fashion before bursting into life after the interval and this clash may see a greater emphasis on attack. Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game when the two last met at the back end of last season in the league, but these are two very different teams now and with both evenly matched, we could see a high-scoring stalemate.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

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