Games between Chelsea and Liverpool are usually big occasions, be they in Europe or England, and this one will be no different, with both teams suffering midweek defeats in the Champions League and looking for a response to it. It will be the 62nd meeting of Blues and Reds, the most of any two teams in English football in the 21st century. And it’s also a chance for Chelsea to knock-off the team in first place, something which we’ve done 18 times, most in Premier League history.
Having come ever so close to their first top flight title since 1990, Liverpool have rocketed off the line this season and will be looking to keep the throttle wide open, knowing that every little point will be crucial in their own little two-team league with Manchester City.
For Chelsea, it’s a matter of keeping touch with the top end of the table, which has a glut of teams all with decent, but far from stellar, starts to the season — coming into the weekend, only three points separated 3rd place from 16th, with all four of the remaining top six from last season level on 8 points (and Spurs already losing this weekend).
The 2-2 draw in the Super Cup showed that Chelsea are able to match Liverpool. Need more of the same, if not better on Sunday.
Date / Time: Sunday, September 22, 2018, 16:30 BST; 11:30am EDT; 9pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Michael Oliver — England’s premier referee gets the premier assignment, his 35th Chelsea match, 40th Liverpool, and 5th between the two teams. Last time we saw him was at Anfield, in fact, in last season’s 2-0 win for the Reds.
Forecast: Morning thunder gives way to afternoon rain
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India)
Chelsea team news: Chelsea’s injury situation is getting better, but not quite quickly enough with Emerson and Antonio Rüdiger still sidelined, N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount facing late fitness tests, and Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James not yet match fit. The latter two are actually playing for the U23s in today’s PL2 match against Southampton — Hudson-Odoi just scored to make it 1-0 in fact — and should be ready for action against Grimsby Town in the League Cup in midweek.
Seven games into the Lampard Era, Chelsea are still looking for a home win. There would be no better time to get it than on Sunday.
Liverpool team news: Coming off a 2-0 defeat in Naples, Klopp’s side will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats — uncommon as they may be, Liverpool did lose twice in a row at the start of the calendar year. And before then, in the dying moment of the 2017-18 Premier League, Conte’s Chelsea beat Liverpool at the Bridge, after they had lost to AS Roma a few days before. It can be done!
Goalkeeper Alisson remains out injured, while Naby Këita and Divock Origi are doubtful. Like Chelsea, Liverpool have a midweek League Cup tie against lower league opposition next on the schedule after this game (MK Dons, away), meaning that they can and will throw everything possible at this showdown at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Previously: Champions of Europa Chelsea even outplay Champions of Europe Liverpool for solid stretches in Istanbul last month, but eventually lose in the penalty shootout.