Premier League 2019/20: Five talking points as Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge for key clash
The last time Chelsea and Liverpool came face to face, the latter walked out as the Super Cup champions. This Sunday, The Blues welcome league leader Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Matchday 6 with Jurgen Klopp’s men looking forward to registering their 6th win in 6 matches played and keep their 100% Premier League start intact.
With both teams suffering from Champions League defeats on Tuesday night, they’d be looking forward to bouncing back to winning ways. Below, we take a look at the five talking points ahead of the Chelsea-Liverpool clash.
#1 - Midweek European disappointment
The first game of the Champions League group stage ended in defeat for both Liverpool and Chelsea. The reigning Champions League winners found themselves against a familiar foe on Tuesday night and saw familiar results against them.
Last season, Liverpool came out 1-0 down against a strong Napoli side. This season saw them losing 2-0 with a controversial penalty turned in by Dries Mertens and a late goal by the former Champions league season 2018-19-runner up with Tottenham, Fernando Llorente.
If Liverpool suffered an away loss then Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side were beaten 1-0 at home by Valencia. They missed the opportunity to equalize as Ross Barkley missed a penalty in the last minutes of the game.
This Sunday would be the perfect opportunity for both sides to brush away their opening day European disappointments and get back to winning ways.
#2 - Massive injury boost
Frank Lampard had a real injury concern ahead of the game but has been handed a massive injury boost. N'Golo Kante, who hasn’t featured for Chelsea since the Leicester game due to an ankle injury and Emerson Palmieri who limped off in Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia, were both back in training on Thursday. Should they pass the fitness test, both Kante and Emerson could be back in contention for the Liverpool match.
Calum Hudson-Odoi, who recently signed a 5-year contract extension with Chelsea, declared himself fit and ready after recovering from an Achilles problem and could find himself on the bench.
Jurgen Klopp, on the hand, confirmed that their £48 million-star player is back in training with the first team. Naby Keita, who last featured in Liverpool’s defeat against Manchester City in the Community Shield, is set to be back in training but it still remains unclear as to whether he’ll be part of the match squad travelling to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea would still be without Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger, Marco van Ginkel and Ruben Loftus-Cheek while Klopp, who confirmed that Alisson Becker is making "big progress" and Origi will be assessed "day by day”, would opt not to take a risk with the two stars.
#3 - Recent form
Having lost 2-0 in Naples during the week and thus continuing their away defeats in the Champions League group stages from last season, Liverpool will be itching to put the defeat past them with a victory in the Premier League. Currently, the Reds hold a 100% Premier League record in 2019/20, winning five games out of five and earning a five-point lead over defending champions Manchester City.
Already suffering from a transfer ban, Chelsea’s new manager hasn’t had the best of starts. They have won only two of their three Premier League games so far, drawing both their home games, 1-1 against Leicester City and 2-2 against Sheffield United. Frank Lampard lost his first Champions league game on Tuesday night against Valencia.
If Liverpool will be confident ahead of travelling to the Stamford Bridge then Frank Lampard will surely not make life easy for them.
#4 - Key players
While other teams were busy recruiting players, Chelsea had the transfer ban looming over their heads. With Mauruzuio Sarri leaving for Juventus, Chelsea turned to their own icon, Frank Lampard to helm the team. Lampard’s belief in the young stars seemed like a good plan until they saw themselves without a home win from the start of this new season.
Tammy Abraham, who grabbed a hat-trick in their last game, in a 5-2 win at Wolves is undoubtedly one of the players to watch out for. Tammy, who was the one to miss a crucial penalty against Liverpool in the Super Cup, would be pining for revenge.
Meanwhile, the focus will be on Mohamed Salah on Liverpool’s side as the Egyptian star faces his former team. Sold by Chelsea in 2016, the former Chelsea star had been labelled as a Chelsea reject when bought by Liverpool. With two Premier League golden boots, Salah let his stats speak for himself and would undoubtedly be one to keep an eye on as his quest for the third Premier League golden boot is on.
#5 - Previous meetings
The last time Chelsea and Liverpool faced each other, was in August as the Europa League winners played the Champions League winners’ Liverpool for the UEFA Super Cup. The two sides played out a fascinating 2-2 draw as Sadio Mané scored a brace while Olivier Giroud and Jorginho were on the score sheet for Chelsea before Tammy Abraham’s penalty was saved by Adrian who won them their Super Cup on score line of 5-4 on penalties in Istanbul.
Last season, Liverpool managed to grab a late 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge with a top strike from Daniel Sturridge, cancelling out Eden Hazard’s opener. This season, both teams are without those players but if Liverpool coped well without Sturridge then it hasn’t been the case for Chelsea who lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
If the Super Cup was anything to go by, then the Reds would know that facing Chelsea wouldn’t be a walk in the park as they travel to Stamford Bridge this Sunday.