CHELSEA VS. LIVERPOOL
| Sunday, September 20th |
Premier League | Stamford Bridge
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
Liverpool will step onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge with their first big signing of this window. Thiago Alcantara has officially been registered and is available for contention against Chelsea. If he does make it into the squad, it will likely be on the bench.
But while the Reds will have their new signing, they’ll also be faced with the one who got away. Timo Werner should be fit to start for Lampard, which will be interesting.
Liverpool have lost the last six times in all competitions at Stamford Bridge. What do you say we avoid lucky number seven?
While Liverpool’s opening fixture against the newly promoted Leeds United was a thriller from start to finish, Chelsea eased past Brighton and Hove Albion at Falmer Stadium on Monday with an effective, if unremarkable, performance. After the cash they tossed around in this window, people expected a more spectacular start to their campaign. However, the Blues did pull out a win, which is what matters most.
Let’s hope whatever downers the Liverpool defense took before the watch against Leeds United have worn off, because if they play the same sloppy, lethargic game on Sunday, Werner and Kai Havertz will have a very enjoyable evening. Good news for Liverpool is that Fabinho will probably start in the defensive midfield position, where he was a stand out last season. His astute and measured way of playing was sorely missed last Saturday when the back line looked about as impenetrable and stable as Jell-o salad.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Gini Wijnaldum’s future seems up in the air, so it will be interesting to see if he starts in this game. Elsewhere, Fabinho will likely return to the starting eleven after beginning last week’s match on the bench.
On the injury front, Xherdan Shaqiri remains in his perpetual state of ‘near fitness’ while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still out as well.
We’ll all be looking for Thiago to make his debut, but Klopp may wait until a safer time to do it, Or at least until he’s had more training with the team under his belt.
Aside from Werner, three of Chelsea’s other new signings will not be seen in this match. Lampard confirmed that Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are all unavailable as of yet. Christian Pulisic’s involvement is uncertain. Mateo Kovacic served his red card ban against Brighton, so now will be back against Liverpool.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “Last year we played Chelsea pretty often and pretty early in the season. All the games were really difficult, so that’s what I expect, first and foremost.”
Frank Lampard: “Now we take on the best team in the country last season. It’s a nice challenge for us to go head to head with them. They were the outstanding team last year, and we competed in every game against them. They will always give you a tough match, and we will have to push the limits and try and close that gap. That’s the challenge in front of us.”
Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Daniel Cook, Constantine Hatzidakis. Fourth official: Stuart Attwell. VAR: Michael Oliver. Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
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.