Chelsea vs Liverpool: 3 battles that will decide the game
The tastiest match in England this week will see Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge, a place echoing vibes very disparate to that of last season when Chelsea were on cloud nine as they were crowned champions.
Chelsea will be under pressure to get a result from the game as they are fighting desperately to finish in the top 4 and play Champions League football next season.
It is a match that Chelsea simply must win if they are to have any chance of the same and even if they manage to beat the Reds, their hopes lie on either Liverpool or Spurs dropping points in the games that remain. Tough odds, to say the least.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be heading into the showdown in very high spirits after reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League and will be hoping to cement their top-four position.
A draw will not be a bad result for Liverpool but Chelsea have everything to fight for in what is bound to be a very feisty affair between the two clubs.
So, on that note, here is a look at 3 key battles that will have a major say in deciding the outcome of the match:
#3 Olivier Giroud vs Virgil van Dijk
The battle between the January signings!
Many people believe it is a gamble to make big changes to the squad in the January transfer market but two players who have recently put that notion to bed are Giroud and Van Dijk.
Giroud was signed form Arsenal and despite a slow start to life at his new club, the Frenchman has been playing well in the past couple of months and has even ousted record signing Alvaro Morata from the starting lineup.
Liverpool's defensive crisis led Jurgen Klopp to splash out a world-record €78.8 million for Van Dijk and the decision to do so has paid dividends. He has undoubtedly strengthened their defence and has been pivotal in their march towards the Champions League final.
Giroud has scored 4 goals and has assisted 3 times in 14 appearances for the club and he will be looking to get the better of Van Dijk physically and in aerial combats in a bid to bring glory to Chelsea.
This is going to be a brilliant battle between the two throughout the game and will certainly be a battle to watch out for.