The Premier League title race is heating up and one game this week has the potential to decide the title winner. In what is easily the match of week, Antonio Conte’s top of the table Chelsea travel to Anfield to face a Jurgen Klopp side that is having one of the worst months in the history of the club. The Reds were knocked out of two cup competitions in 4 days and lost the last league game against Swansea at Anfield. Chelsea are fresh from a victory over Burnley in the league and will be high on confidence going into this game. Conte lost the return leg earlier this season but a victory in this game can take his side 11 points clear of the 2nd place and will also push Liverpool 13 points off the top of the table. Both teams have some super stars that are sure to produce some high-quality entertainment and here is the preview of this game along with this team news, predicted lineups, predictions and betting odds:
The league game between Liverpool and Chelsea will be played at Anfield on Tuesday the 31st of January. The kick off is scheduled at 8:00 pm BST (1:30 am IST on Wednesday)
Jurgen Klopp will be ecstatic with the return of Senegal winger Sadio Mane who is expected to make the bench for this game. Midfielder Adam Lallana was absent for the most recent game at Anfield but is expected to be back for this clash but Nathaniel Clyne has not yet trained with the first team and will play no role in this game.. Danny Ings remains the only other injury concern for Klopp ahead of this game.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Mignolet; Trent AA, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum; Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho
Antonio Conte’s side have now new injuries to worry about and have a fully fit squad for this trip to Liverpool.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Costa
Philippe Coutinho vs Cesar Azpilicueta:
The Brazilian playmaker for Liverpool has not yet made an impact on the side coming back from injury but he will be the danger man for Chelsea on the night. Spanish defender Azpilicueta, who has been solid at the back for Chelsea, will have to be at his best to stop Coutinho from having an effect on the game.
Diego Costa vs Joel Matip:
In what is the most entertaining battle on the night, Chelsea’s top scorer Diego Costa will take on Liverpool’s defensive back-bone Joel Matip this week. Costa is in some sublime form and Matip will have to stay close, deny him space or time on the ball, if his side are to take anything from this game.
This will be the 70th competitive meeting between these clubs in the Premier League era; the most played fixture between two professional English clubs in this period.
Liverpool will be looking to defeat Chelsea both home and away in the same Premier League season for the first time since 2011-12.
Chelsea will be looking for their 50th league victory against Liverpool in this match – a tally they have only achieved against eight opponents in their league history.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four Premier League trips to Anfield (W2 D2 L0), last losing there in May 2012.
Of players to have made 20+ Premier League appearances, Diego Costa has scored in the highest proportion of games (55.4% – 41/74).
Costa has scored in 15 of his last 21 Premier League matches (16 goals in total).
Based on three points for a win, only four teams have accumulated more points from their opening 22 games of a season than Chelsea (55, this season) in top-flight history. Preston North End (1888-89), Tottenham Hotspur (1960-61), Liverpool (1987-88) and Chelsea (2005-06). All four of these teams won the league.
Antonio Conte has taken just 22 games to pick up 55 points in the Premier League; a joint-record with Jose Mourinho for the highest points tally after this number of games. In comparison, it took Jurgen Klopp 34 PL games to reach 55 points.
Jurgen Klopp has lost just one of his 14 Premier League meetings with the other ‘big six’ teams (Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal). He’s won six and drawn seven of these matches.
Liverpool have picked up one point in the three Premier League games that Sadio Mané has missed this season (W0 D1 L2). The Senegalese forward has been involved in 13 goals for the Reds in the league this season (nine goals, four assists).
The Blues are currently the most inform sides in the tournament and going by form, Liverpool will be demolished at Anfield. However, Jurgen Klopp’s side have shown great resistance against the stronger teams and are set to put in a strong effort with their strongest squad to try and get all three points and keep the title race going.
Our Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea