Chelsea and Liverpool will lock horns at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in a tantalising battle between two of the Premier League‘s top three teams.
Both sides enter this clash on the back of disappointing results; Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion, while Liverpool suffered their second defeat of the season, losing 1-0 at Leicester City.
That’s allowed runaway leaders Manchester City to build a sizeable lead at the top of the table which means nothing but a win would do for Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday.
Liverpool do not have a great record against London sides this season, dropping points to Brentford, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur. However, they will be buoyed by the fact that they’ve lost just two of their last 11 visits to the Bridge.
The last meeting between these two sides ended in a 1-1 draw in August.
Chelsea vs Liverpool —Team News
Ben Chilwell is a long-term absentee after undergoing knee surgery. Reece James is expected to miss this clash after limping off with an injury against Brighton.
Andreas Christensen also picked up a problem in the 1-1 draw and it remains to be seen if he can shake off the injury in time for Sunday’s clash.
First matchday of 2022!#CheLiv, let’s go! 👊 pic.twitter.com/QFlCHF0GOg
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 2, 2022
Romelu Lukaku started for the first time in six games against Brighton, but he could be dropped after a controversial interview was aired earlier this week.
Thiago Silva and Timo Werner have returned to training and are in contention to start.
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita are available for one last game before heading to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Andy Robertson will miss out once again as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension. Injured duo Thiago Alcantara and Takumi Minamino remain sidelined.
Jurgen Klopp revealed that three members of the Liverpool set-up had tested positive for COVID-19, although the German did not mention who they were.
The german himself will not be able to travel with the team after a suspected positive COVID-19 test result.
Chelsea vs Liverpool — Predicted Lineups
Chelsea Predicted Lineup (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger; Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso; Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic
Liverpool Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Kostas Tsimikas, Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita; Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane
Chelsea vs Liverpool — Key Players
Chelsea – Mason Mount
The England international enjoys playing at Stamford Bridge, with six of his last eight goals coming at home.
Liverpool – Mason Mount
The Egyptian is arguably the best player in the world on current form and has netted 22 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions this season. Salah might still be stinging from his penalty miss against Leicester and will look to make amends with a blistering performance against the Blues.