Liverpool vs Chelsea Preview: Reds looking to close gap on dominant Blues in defining Anfield clash
Photo credit: Catherine Ivill/ AMA

Liverpool vs Chelsea Preview: Reds looking to close gap on dominant Blues in defining Anfield clash

Chelsea can go 13 points clear of Liverpool, with a fifth straight win in all competitions, while Liverpool will be able to close the gap on the leaders to seven points with a home win, after losing their previous three home games in a row.

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Vishal Shah

Liverpool host Chelsea during a mid-week clash between two of the top sides in the Premier League.

Chelsea have an opportunity to steer 11 points clear of second-place Arsenal, whilst also increasing the gap over Liverpool to 13 points. 

The Reds, though, will know they need to win to keep their title hopes alive - with victory cutting the gap to Chelsea to seven points with 15 league games remaining this season.

Liverpool's mini-crisis

Jürgen Klopp's side are in desperate search for a win, after a nightmare week saw them lose three times in a row, with all the games being at home, despite having gone a year unbeaten at Anfield.

The three losses have seen them fault in all three competitions that they had to play for. In their last Premier League game, Jurgen Klopp’s men lost to Swansea, which saw them drop from second to fourth in the table.

They then exited the League Cup at the semi-final after losing 1-0 in midweek to Southampton, before finally completing a week to forget with another home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup.

Antonio Conte’s men however are on a four game win streak and are easing through games, having kept three clean sheets in a row, whilst scoring 10 times.

The title-favourites will be wary of Liverpool as in the reverse fixture, earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge, the Reds manage to leave with all three points, winning 2-1 thanks to a wonder goal by Jordan Henderson.

The Reds seem to perform a lot better against the so called ‘top’ clubs, however with Chelsea being in such fine form, this could give Klopp an unwanted 94-year record, if the Reds lose at home for a fourth consecutive time, last happening in 1923.

Team News

The German manager has been lifted by the news that he will have key player Sadio Mane available, after the Senegalese winger has returned after being knocked out of the African Cup of Nations. However, after playing 120 minutes on the weekend, Mane may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Roberto Firmino is likely to start, after having a court case pushed back to Wednesday, due to originally take place on Tuesday.

England Player of the Year Adam Lallana has been passed fit, but fellow Englishman and right-back Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt, having still not recovered from a rib injury.

Conte has no injury problems to worry about, however duo Asmir Begovic and Branislav Ivanovic have been linked away from the club and will likely be omitted from the squad.

Head-to-Head

In the last four meetings between the two sides, the Reds are unbeaten winning twice and drawing twice.

However, of their last four home games against the Blues, Liverpool have not won once, losing twice.

Since the turn of the year, Liverpool have only managed to win once.

Chelsea have won 15 out of their last 16 Premier League games, with Tottenham Hotspur being the only team able to stop them.

Conte's side are the lowest scorers away from home out of the Premier League's top five this season with 17 goals.

Klopp has lost just one of his 14 league meetings against Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal, winning six of them.

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