Chelsea will be hosting Liverpool on Sunday afternoon as the first ‘big six’ clash of the new Premier League gets underway. It is a game that was played four times last season and each time it was a seriously entertaining encounter.
Three out of the four times Liverpool won, the only time they lost was in a FA cup tie and it would be fair to say that the FA cup was not a priority for Liverpool last season. So, in the pressure games and situations Liverpool had an edge over Chelsea whereas a certain someone lost their edge on the side-line.
In the match before Liverpool’s title lift it was clear to see Chelsea manager Frank Lampard have a go at Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp and his backroom staff. He then went onto further comment after the game which Klopp said he did not like. The pair have been asked questions about the other this season and have had plenty to say but Klopp has made it clear that there is “No rivalry” and that everyone “should stop reading newspapers.”
The German was eager to get the point across that there is not a rivalry between the two clubs and the two managers however there has always been a close competitive rivalry between the sides and that may be reignited this campaign if Lampard can get it right. He has spent money and spent a lot of it, he may be under pressure if he is not in the title race around Christmas which Liverpool and Klopp are expected to be in.
A few of Chelsea’s new big money signings will be missing for the game against Liverpool as defenders Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell will not be involved as well as midfield maestro Hakim Ziyech. Arguably a bigger absentee will be American winger Christian Pulisic who tormented Liverpool’s backline every time he came up against them last season.
Chelsea will though be with two of their mega money signings and they are the two Bundesliga superstars. Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. They both started for their league debut against Brighton on the opening weekend and Havertz did not sparkle whilst Werner shown glimpses of what he is capable of with his smart and intelligence movement to the annoyance of Liverpool supporters.
Werner said in his first game that “I have never played against three defenders like this so tall, so big massive defenders”, so he will more than likely be in for a surprise when he comes up against Van Dijk and possibly Joel Matip as the Cameroonian made his way back into competitive action against Leeds United.
Joe Gomez will more than likely be the defender to partner Van Dijk however even if he did look slightly vulnerable at times in the opening game, but so did the whole backline so Klopp will have looked at ironing them issues out in the past week of training.
Jurgen Klopp revealed that he does not know what to fully expect from Chelsea in his pre-match press conference and instead he is focusing more on his own side as he said: “We don’t know a lot about Chelsea at the moment. We are very early in the season.
“We’ve had an intense week and worked on decisive stuff. Some things were good some not so good but only game 1, we don’t make it a bigger deal.”
There are no new injuries for Klopp to deal with and there is no players coming back from injury so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he were to name a unchanged side from last weekend. Whether Thiago Alcantara will get his debut remains to be seen as the Spanish intentional only signed on Friday.
It shall be an interesting match and an early challenge for both sides to put down a marker for their ambitions this season, if it is anything like the last game from these two it shall be a cracker.
Sunday, 4:30pm. Enjoy.
Written by Elliot Thompson