Chelsea host champions Liverpool on Sunday, the Blues looking to make a major statement after a summer of extensive recruitment.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge:
How did Chelsea get on on opening weekend?
The hosts began their season with a 3-1 victory away to Brighton and Hove Albion, the scoreline potentially flattering the visitors and doing little justice to what was an excellent performance from Graham Potter’s side.
With new signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz in tow Blues fans would have been expecting an instant impact, yet Monday night’s fixture was a stern test, and one which Frank Lampard will have been glad to get out of unscathed.
Despite not scoring, German international Werner looked a real menace in attack and should be able to find some space in behind Liverpool’s high backline, while young defender and Reece James will have been buoyed by his thunderous effort at the Amex. Much like they did last season, the Blues did look suspect defensively against Brighton and
As for absentees, Lampard revealed today that he will be without Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, and Christian Pulisic, although Werner looks set to start despite suffering a dead leg at the Amex.
How did Liverpool get on on opening weekend?
The Reds also began their title defence with victory, Jurgen Klopp’s men seeing off a resilient and mightily impressive Leeds United side to claim all three points – courtesy of a Mo Salah hat-trick.
Despite the 4-3 win, there have been some questions raised over Liverpool’s potentially leaky defence, although criticism after just one fixture seems rather foolish, particularly with the Reds backline being so dominant over the last couple of seasons.
The visit to Stamford Bridge will be an excellent marker of where the two sides are at this season, with talk of a potential Chelsea title challenge making this a particularly exciting encounter to look out for.
In terms of team news, Klopp will likely stick to the side which claimed victory over Leeds on Saturday. However, Reds fans will be hoping to get a glimpse of new signing Thiago, while the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri remain unavailable through injury.
Last Meeting – Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea, 22 July 2020
If the two sides last encounter is anything to go by then Sunday’s meeting should be a thoroughly enjoyable and highscoring affair.
That July meeting was particularly thrilling, the Reds racing into a 3-0 lead before Olivier Giroud pulled one back on the stroke of half-time. The game then looked to be out of sight once more as Roberto Firmino added fourth, yet a resilient Chelsea clawed their way back to 4-3 due to an inspired display from young Pulisic.
With the game in the balance, it was former Arsenal man Oxlade-Chamberlain who made the difference, latching on to an Andy Roberston cross to seal the win.
Predicted Line ups
Chelsea: Kepa; James, Zouma, Christensen, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Barkley; Werner.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish Readers can watch on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?