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Attendance: 40,638
Chelsea logo
Premier League | Gameweek 6
Sep 22, 2019 at 4.30pm UK
 
Liverpool logo

1-2

Kante (71')
FT(HT: 0-2)

Preview: Chelsea vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's blockbuster Premier League clash between Chelsea and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and head-to-head record.

One of the standout fixtures of any Premier League season takes place on Sunday when Chelsea welcome league leaders Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.

Both sides suffered defeats in the Champions League during the week and will be looking to return to winning ways domestically in what has all the makings of a goal-laden contest - as it was when the two sides went to penalties in the UEFA Super Cup last month.


Chelsea

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard on August 31, 2019© Reuters

Frank Lampard was part of the Chelsea team for many a memorable battle against Liverpool, although the balance of power has switched slightly since his playing heyday.

Whereas the Blues used to be the dominant force in English football while Liverpool were battling for a top-four spot, the roles have now been reversed with Chelsea coming into this match already seven points adrift of their opponents.

There was always going to be an asterisk next to this season for Chelsea; a first campaign under Lampard has coincided with a transfer ban which has subsequently forced the club to finally tap into their sizeable pool of young talent.

So far, it seems to have been a blessing in disguise. All 11 of their Premier League goals this season have been scored by English players aged 21 or younger - the first time that has ever happened - while Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham were all on the scoresheet last time out in the league.

Tomori may have produced the goal of that particular game, but Abraham was once again the star of the show as Chelsea made light work of a difficult-looking assignment by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2 at Molineux.

It continued an entertaining start to the season for Chelsea, whose games have seen a league-high 22 goals so far, although the fact that those have been evenly shared between goals scored and conceded will be a concern.

It was a Liverpool legend who once said that "you can't win anything with kids" and, while Alan Hansen may have been proved wrong on that occasion, the early signs certainly suggest that Chelsea are lacking the balance to truly trouble the main title contenders over the course of a 38-game season.

Throwing away a two-goal lead against Sheffield United in their most recent home league game is perhaps the best example of that so far, and even their scoring touch deserted them at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Lampard's managerial debut in the Champions League ended in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Valencia, although the Blues could have come away with a point had Ross Barkley converted his penalty rather than putting it over via the top of the crossbar.

The result means that Chelsea are still winless at home under their former talisman, although in the Premier League they remain unbeaten there in 2019.

Recent Premier League form: LDWDW
Recent form (all competitions): LDWDWL


Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on August 31, 2019© Reuters

There were concerns in the Liverpool camp that it may take a while for them to get going this season considering their disrupted pre-season and the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all being involved in international tournaments during the summer.

The reality could not be further from the truth, though. Jurgen Klopp's side have won five from five in the league so far this term, storming into a five-point lead and taking full advantage of Manchester City's unexpected dropped points.

Such form has picked up exactly where it left off last season, and the Reds have now won a club-record 14 games in a row in the top flight. Indeed, they are the first team in English top-flight history to ever achieve that feat while scoring more than one goal in each of the victories.

Another triumph this weekend would leave only Pep Guardiola's Man City with a longer run of wins in Premier League history (18), although Liverpool's momentum was halted somewhat with a midweek defeat in Naples.

The Reds held their own for long spells in the opening match of their Champions League title defence, but two late Napoli goals saw them fall to defeat at the Stadio San Paolo for the second successive season.

It did not hamper them too much last term as they went on to lift the trophy in Madrid, of course, but a hiccup in a winning habit is never a good thing and Klopp will be desperate to avoid any hangover on Sunday.

It was the first time Liverpool had failed to score in a match since the Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona at the start of May, and the attacking trident of Salah, Firmino and Mane will be keen to get back on the scoresheet too.

Mane did the damage with a brace when the two sides met in Istanbul, although Chelsea will no doubt take confidence from the fact that they were also able to breach the Liverpool defence twice in that game.

If there has been one notable concern in the early weeks of the campaign then it is that the Reds have still only kept one clean sheet - after seven games last season they had four - although they do still boast the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League.

Klopp will be the first to silence talk that his side are now clear favourites for the title, but a win at Stamford Bridge in a Champions League week would certainly send out a statement to the rest of the division.

Recent Premier League form: WWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWL


Team News

Chelsea's Mason Mount lies injured on September 17, 2019© Reuters

Chelsea are sweating over the fitness of Mount, who was forced off during the Valencia game following a poor challenge from former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin.

Lampard is confident that the injury is not as bad as first feared, although he must wait for further scans before deciding whether he will be available this weekend.

Mount is one of a number of injury concerns for the hosts; N'Golo Kante is still struggling with an ankle injury but did return to training this week and could therefore be involved in some capacity, although whether he plays from the start in what is likely to be an intense game remains to be seen.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are also nearing a return and could be involved in the squad as they continue to work their way back up to match fitness, while Emerson Palmieri still has an outside chance of featuring too.

Antonio Rudiger is expected to be sidelined, though, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a longer-term absentee and is not expected back until November.

Lampard deployed a 3-4-3 formation for the second successive game in midweek, although he is expected to revert to a 4-3-3 in order to avoid being overrun by Liverpool's midfield and attack.

Klopp has no new injury concerns, and could even welcome Divock Origi and Naby Keita back into the picture - although both only have slim chances of returning in time for Sunday.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker still faces another month or so on the sidelines, while Nathaniel Clyne is not expected back until next year.

Georginio Wijnaldum should return to the side after being rested in midweek, while Klopp must also make a decision between Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Tomori, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pulisic, Abraham, Willian

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane


Head To Head

Sunday's match will be the second time these sides have met already this season, with Liverpool winning the UEFA Super Cup on penalties following a 2-2 draw in Istanbul last month.

Liverpool have only won one of the last seven meetings inside 90 minutes, though, picking up a 2-0 victory at Anfield in April - the last time the two sides faced off in the Premier League.

The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-1 draw, with Daniel Sturridge rescuing a point for the visitors with an 89th-minute stunner to cancel out Eden Hazard's opener.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool

Chelsea have already shown that they have plenty of goals in them this season, while Liverpool's struggle to keep clean sheets suggests that the hosts will get on the scoresheet. However, Lampard's side have also shipped goals at an alarming rate and that could prove to be the deciding factor against such a potent Liverpool attack



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Chelsea's Mason Mount lies injured on September 17, 2019
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Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool26186263253860
2Manchester CityMan City26185359263359
3Arsenal26184462233958
4Aston Villa26164656352152
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2610974941839
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham2611694046-639
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves26115104040038
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle26114115445937
11Chelsea25105104241135
12Fulham2695123642-632
13Crystal Palace2677123144-1328
14Bournemouth2577113347-1428
15Everton2687112834-625
16Brentford2674153748-1125
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2666143448-1424
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
19Burnley2634192558-3313
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2634192266-4413

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