Liverpool vs Chelsea: 5 key battles to watch out for
All eyes will be at Anfield on Saturday night when Chelsea and Liverpool go head to head for the first time this season. Both sides have seemingly settled in and are surely aware of their best combinations, strengths and weaknesses by now which makes the tie even more interesting. Add to that the mere three-point difference between the clubs in the table and one can easily make out that this fixture will be highly contested.
Liverpool have not lost to Chelsea in the league since November 2014 but they threw away a 3-0 lead against Sevilla in midweek to further underline their defensive woes. Chelsea, on the other hand, continued their fine form in front of goal with a 4-0 win away to Qarabag.
Chelsea have won 10 of their last 12 away games in the league while Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in 7 of their last 8 league games at home. Joel Matip could feature for the Reds after returning to training from a thigh problem whereas Victor Moses is still far from being able to play a part in the game.
The fixture will surely provide goals considering the qualities possessed by both sides while going forward. Here we take a look at the 5 key personal battles to watch out for in this blockbuster of a game:
#5 Roberto Firmino vs Andreas Christensen
Roberto Firmino rediscovered his form in front of goal after he bagged a couple of goals against Sevilla during midweek. The Brazilian was at the right place at the right time on numerous occasions as Liverpool displayed some fine form with him leading the line alongside the in-form Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Firmino has not scored in his last three appearances for Liverpool in the league but will look to take inspiration from his recent antics in Spain as he prepares to take on the defending champions. The 26-year-old’s inability to leave a mark on games against the bigger teams in the league has been a medium of measuring his capabilities in recent times and this fixture will provide the perfect opportunity to repair the tarnished reputation.
Andreas Christensen has been a revelation at Chelsea ever since returning from his successful loan spells at Borussia Monchengladbach. The Dane will certainly come up against Firmino who leads the line for Liverpool’s highly clinical strike force and will be assigned the task of keeping them at bay.
Christensen has been one of Chelsea’s star performers in the big games so far this season after displaying impressive performances when he was pitted against some of the deadliest strikers in the form of Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero. However, Liverpool at Anfield could be his biggest test yet and this battle will be one to keep an eye out for.