Powered by the league’s top scorer, Mohamed Salah, Liverpool have been terrific to watch while going forward but not so when they are are defending and their 3-3 draw with Sevilla in mid-week was a emblematic of their issues at the back.
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Third-placed Chelsea, who haven’t begun their title defence in the best manner, have revitalised their season in recent weeks and emboldened by the form of their star duo —Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard—will be confident of securing three points.
However, the Blues have a poor record at Anfield and the Reds could go level on points with Antonio Conte’s men should the manage to win on Saturday.
An entertaining draw, replete with plenty of goals and crunching tackles, seems to be on the cards.
After Dejan Lovren’s calamitous performance against Tottenham, the Reds had recovered to string together a run of wins only for Alberto Moreno to have a shocker against Sevilla to bring the focus back on their error-prone defence.
The fullback was at fault for the first two goals his former club scored and question marks were once again raised over his defensive qualities after he had forced his way into Jurgen Klopp’s first-team plans.
Joel Matip is expected to miss out on Saturday’s clash and that would mean Ragnar Klavan will continue to partner Dejan Lovren in the centre of defence.
Against Hazard and co, that doesn’t seem like good news but the Reds can take solace from the fact that Chelsea’s defence isn’t as impregnable as it was last season.
Mohamed Salah is the centre of attention after his goalscoring exploits and while the Egyptian will be eager to prove a point against his former club, Liverpool are so much more than just one player.
Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho are two players in fine fettle at the moment as is the hard-working Roberto Firmino and the host possess plenty of firepower
Talking Corner: Liverpool playing at Anfield should always be favourites. It doesn’t matter which side is coming to Anfield-Liverpool icon Dirk Kuyt (www.liverpoolfc.com)
Injury concerns: Nathaniel Clyne (back), Adam Lallana (hamstring), Danny Ward (back), Joel Matip (thigh) and Adam Bogdan (knee).
Suspension Alert: None
Star defender David Luiz has returned from his ‘exile’, much to the relief of the Blues faithful, and it seems things are looking up for the reigning Premier League champions.
Considering Manchester City are nine points clear, every game is a virtual final for the Blues as they cannot afford to cede further ground in the title-race and that is why it is imperative for them to come back from Anfield with three points in the bag.
Summer recruit Tiemoue Bakayoko is finding his feet in English football and his presence in midfield, along with the indefatigable N’Golo Kante, has seen Chelsea not just win, but dominate.
However, the fact that Liverpool will have had an extra day’s rest (they played on Tuesday night while Chelsea played on Wednesday night) could prove to be telling, despite Conte rotating his squad in mid-week.
Liverpool’s defence may be shambolic, but their offence more than makes up for it and at Anfield, Chelsea’s back-three will likely be on their toes all night.
Talking Corner: The time between the two games is very short. We need to adapt and we didn’t adapt well against Manchester City, so we need to do better on Saturday (against Liverpool)-Chelsea winger Eden Hazard (Daily Express)
Injury concerns: Victor Moses (Hamstring) and Michy Batshuayi (ankle).
Suspension Alert: None