CHELSEA VS LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, September 29th |
Premier League | Stamford Bridge
4:30 PM GMT / 5:30 PM BST / 12:30 AM EST
Saturday’s match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is a chance for Liverpool to strike back at the Blues after losing to the London side on Wednesday. The two teams battled it out in the Carabao Cup third round but Chelsea advanced when Eden Hazard did the magic stuff and left Liverpool’s second-string defense wondering how he did it.
Maurizio Sarri has the wind in his sails heading into the match. His team have just beaten Liverpool at Anfield and will now have another opportunity to do the same in front of their home supporters.
Sarri will most certainly bring Jorginho back into Chelsea’s starting midfield for the Premier League fixture. Marcus Alonso should return to his position in defense and Olivier Giroud could very well replace Álvaro Morata up top. But otherwise, Chelsea’s team sheet could look very similar to what we saw on Wednesday. Maybe Sarri adds a dash of Pedro for taste, if the Spaniard is fit.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keïta, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Liverpool will have a much changed side when they walk out on the pitch in London. Jürgen Klopp’s entire backline from Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat was made up of players who have had minimal to zero action this season.
Virgil Van Dijk will be assessed up until the last minute, in an effort to give his healing ribs all the time possible. But Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Joe Gomez and Alisson are expected to return to the field.
Fabinho will presumably move back to the bench with Gini Wijnaldum returning to the midfield along with Naby Keita. It’s a toss up for me between Jordan Henderson and James Milner in the middle. Tactically, Klopp may want Henderson to take advantage of his passing range if Chelsea look to clog the center. On the other hand, Milner is a pressing and ball-winning master who operates effectively all over the pitch.
For the entertainment value, I’d go with Milner every time. But the tidy play of Henderson may be what’s required.
Liverpool’s front three should look as it regularly does: frightening. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané will be aiming to shake off Wednesday’s loss with a host of goals at the Bridge. Daniel Sturridge has played well when given the chance but Klopp’s preferred attacking trio is the right stuff for the occasion.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “Striking back is a duty in sports. That’s the plan.”
Maurizio Sarri: “He [Klopp] is one of the best coaches in the world at the moment. He did very well last season with his players. They are ready to win maybe the Premier League or Champions League.”
Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
Kickoff is set for 4:30 PM GMT/12:30 AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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.