Chelsea vs Liverpool
| Sunday, May 6th |
Premier League | Stamford Bridge
4:30 PM GMT/11:30 AM EST
Another important reunion awaits Mohamed Salah — the second in the span of a week — as he returns to Stamford Bridge with his fellow Reds to take on Chelsea in a battle for top four. Wednesday saw Salah return to the Stadio Olimpico to help Liverpool make it into the Champions League final. This reunion will likely not be as warm, since Salah’s one year with Chelsea ended with Mourinho dumping him off to AS Roma after barely making a splash.
He may be looking to prove a point, and certainly breaking the Premier League scoring record at his old stomping grounds would be an awfully good way to do that. Right now, Salah sits tied with Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo, and former Red Luis Suarez on 31 goals. One more would boost him into a category all his own.
While individual triumphs would be exciting, what’s most important is that Liverpool get a result from this game. After drawing their last two league matches, they find themselves in a bit of a pickle, with Chelsea breathing down their necks for that all important fourth spot. After a bonkers game in Rome, and with a threadbare squad, Klopp will need his men to get themselves up for it again for another difficult game.
It’s not ideal, and Liverpool have no one but themselves to blame for this predicament, but the good news is that if they can get a result on Sunday, then the pressure will largely be relieved for their final match against Brighton.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Karius; Clyne, Lovren, van Dijk, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
The injury situation could reasonably be called a crisis at this point, considering the importance of the matches still left to play. Full-back is the only place where Klopp has any depth, so we may see Clyne and Moreno in to give Alexander-Arnold and Robertson a deserved break. The rest will be as expected, assuming that Klopp decides to play a strong squad, which it’s assumed he will.
Liverpool will be missing (deep breath): Adam Lallana, Joel Matip, Emre Can, Joe Gomez, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
As for Chelsea, David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu are both out, but Marcos Alonso returns after serving a three match ban, and Danny Drinkwater.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “In the end, we need to be ready for Chelsea, it is the same situation as Roma. It is clear we can make life easier for us if we get a result. It is always a difficult place, but we will try to be 100 per cent ready.”
Antonio Conte: “This could be a good opportunity for us. As I said a lot of times in the last three games, if we want to keep the hope alive we have to win. We have to get three points.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn Fourth official: Craig Pawson
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.