Second in the Premier League table, Chelsea, host third-placed, Liverpool, for a mouth-watering clash on Sunday afternoon. All the pre-game talking points are right here!
Second plays third in an exciting opening to 2022 at Stamford Bridge, as English Premier League (EPL) title rivals, Chelsea and Liverpool, prepare to face off in west London on Sunday.
Thomas Tuchel’s outfit could only register a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion last time out, while the Reds went down to Leicester City, in a 1-0 away defeat.
The Blues are now eight points adrift of runaway leaders, Manchester City, in the EPL table. Despite the fact that the season has only just reached its halfway point, Tuchel claimed that it would be “stupid” to think his injury and Covid-hit side are capable of challenging for the title.
However, it would be naive to write off Chelsea for top-flight glory at this point in the season, and Leicester may have done them a favour, ahead of the confidence-drained Reds’ journey South.
Jürgen Klopp’s men will overtake the Blues and go back into second place with a win in west London. However, on their travels this season, Liverpool have so far failed to beat three sides from the capital, in Brentford, West Ham United, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah may be required to feature from the start in this depleted Chelsea side, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kai Havertz come into the attack.
A Havertz appearance looks especially likely if Romelu Lukaku’s recent interview, where the Belgian hitman suggested that he was unhappy at Chelsea, will leave him out of contention.
For Liverpool, Andy Robertson serves the third and final game of his suspension following his sending off against Tottenham, while Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Naby Keïta are available ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Expect Liverpool to edge a tight encounter at Stamford Bridge. Our prediction is 2-1 to the away side, with the Reds finding the net in both halves.
Chelsea possible starting XI:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Rüdiger; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kanté, Alonso; Mount, Havertz; Lukaku
Liverpool possible starting XI:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Jota, Mané