Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview: Conte looking to shut out former Blue Salah

Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview: Conte looking to shut out former Blue Salah

The Blues will want to keep the pressure on Spurs as they continue their quest for a Champions League spot.

alexander-ford
Alexander Ford

Chelsea will host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon as they look to continue their efforts for an unlikely top-four finish.

The Blues kept their hopes alive with a 1-0 victory against Swansea City last weekend, stretching their run of wins to three wins in three in the Premier League, however, five points behind Tottenham Hotspur makes the task seem too large for Antonio Conte’s side.

Liverpool will hope they will not have any hangover’s lingering from their Champions League victory against AS Roma and will know that one point can secure them their place in the competition next season.

Alonso set to make a return

Marcos Alonso is back from his suspension and will be available to return to the first-team following his three-match ban for an alleged stamp on Southampton’s Shane Long, although Emerson Palmieri has deputised in fine form for the Spaniard’s absence.

Danny Drinkwater could return to the Blue’s matchday squad having missed the last two games with a groin problem, although the England midfielder could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge in the near future.

David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu continue to remain absent with knee and ankle injuries respectively, however, Conte will be pleased that he has no further concerns in what will be a tough contest.

Predicted Starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Emerson; Hazard; Giroud

 

Klopp has a number of absentees

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he will treat the visit to Stamford Bridge as another semi-final and will expect his team to perform to a better standard than they showed in Rome during the middle of the week.

Liverpool have been successful when visiting the Bridge in the past two years, having picked up three points on both occasions, and will be hoping Mohamed Salah will be on form when he faces his former club.

The Egypt international was brought to the Premier League in 2014 by Chelsea, however, he found his time very difficult and limited, having spent two loan spells in Italy, before joining the Anfield outfit.

The attacker will be looking to show his previous employers first-hand on what they are missing out on when he looks to add to his 31 Premier League goals so far in the top-flight.

However, the Reds will be without a number of players when they travel to the capital, with Joel Matip, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all unavailable with injury.

Joe Gomez also remains a doubt with an ankle problem, which had forced him out of the second leg victory.

Predicted Starting XI: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Background

Chelsea have failed to win their last six matches in the top-flight against Liverpool, having drawn three and losing the three others.

Conte’s side will be hoping to shut their opponents out as well, however, the attacking options of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have meant the Reds have not failed to score in two consecutive Premier League matches since 2015.

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