Liverpool vs Chelsea: Line-ups
Expect a Cagey Goal Feast
Both teams – and Liverpool in particular – have been forced to temper their expectations over the course of the season and securing Champions League football next term is now the sole priority for both as far as their league ambitions are concerned.
Liverpool’s winless run at Anfield now stretches back seven games to December 16, and they have scored just once in their last five matches at Anfield, having netted in each of their 42 outings prior to that. Those stats paint a bleak picture, particularly coming up against a Chelsea side that has looked so solid defensively under Thomas Tuchel, but the positive for Liverpool is that they still have time to save their season.
The champions outclassed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture, but Friday’s visitors appear to be a different proposition under Tuchel and only Manchester City have picked up more points over the last six league games. Indeed, Tuchel is yet to taste defeat since taking over as manager, winning six and drawing three of his nine games at the helm
Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the fact that Chelsea have conceded just two goals in nine games – they shipped 12 in their final nine under Frank Lampard – giving Tuchel a firm foundation to build upon. While they have only conceded twice, they have also only scored 10 goals in those nine games and drew a blank last time out against Manchester United.
There have only been three goalless draws between these two sides in the Premier League era, so goals are likely, but while a top-four spot awaits the winner, defeat would be a huge blow for either side’s Champions League hopes and there is a high possibility for this one to end all square.