Liverpool, currently leading the Premier League, will face Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night ahead of their clash in the EFL Cup final at Wembley next month.
In August last year, Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea drew 1-1 with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Following Jurgen Klopp’s announcement to step down at the end of the season, Liverpool secured a convincing 5-2 home victory over Norwich City in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.
Taking advantage of Norwich’s mistakes, Liverpool’s Curtis Jones, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota, Virgil van Dijk, and Ryan Gravenberch all scored goals, setting up a fifth-round home tie against Watford or Southampton in February.
Liverpool is undefeated in their last 10 games and has lost only once in their last 17 matches over the past two-and-a-half months. However, they face tough tests in back-to-back home league fixtures against Chelsea and Arsenal.
Currently sitting five points clear at the top of the table, Liverpool will be optimistic heading into their clash with Chelsea. However, recent history suggests that these teams are evenly matched.
The last seven meetings between Liverpool and Chelsea have all ended in draws, including four 0-0 stalemates in 90 minutes, which is a record in English football history.
After securing their spot in the EFL Cup final with a 6-1 victory over Middlesbrough, Chelsea drew 0-0 with Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round last Friday.
Chelsea has struggled away from home recently, losing five of their last six games in all competitions. However, they have a good record at Anfield, having only lost two of their last 11 visits.
Chelsea currently sits ninth in the table but has a chance to move up if they can secure a win against Liverpool.
Liverpool Premier League form: W D D W W W
Liverpool form (all competitions): W W W W D W
Chelsea Premier League form: L W L W W W
Chelsea form (all competitions): W W L W W D
Liverpool will be without Mohamed Salah, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara, and Stefan Bajcetic due to injury, while Wataru Endo is away on international duty.
Alexis Mac Allister is expected to return from a minor injury for the match against Chelsea. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, and Dominik Szoboszlai are also in contention after recovering from injury.
For Chelsea, Reece James, Lesley Ugochukwu, Wesley Fofana, Robert Sanchez, Marc Cucurella, Romeo Lavia, and Trevoh Chalobah are all sidelined. Nicolas Jackson is away on international duty.
Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto are doubtful, while Levi Colwill will be assessed before kickoff.
Ben Chilwell could start his first Premier League game since September last year after recovering from a hamstring injury. Mauricio Pochettino must also decide whether to play Cole Palmer or Armando Broja up front.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson;
Jones, Mac Allister, Gravenberch;
Jota, Nunez, Diaz
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Disasi, Silva, Badiashile, Chilwell;
Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling;
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea
Considering the history of draws between these two teams, we can expect a closely-fought contest on Wednesday. However, Liverpool’s strong home record should give them the advantage.