This exciting Liverpool-Chelsea this Thursday could have been, if the season had developed differently, a key match in the fight for the Premier 2020-21. But these two “Big Six” (the 6 greats of English football) are in trouble. The ‘reds’, sixth, are, with one game less, 22 points behind the leader Manchester City, and the ‘blues’, fifth, at 21. So this classic is key in their fight for the Champions League places.
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach who, by winning 0-2 at bottom Sheffield United last Sunday, cut a streak of 4 consecutive defeats in the Premier, confirmed this Tuesday the return of Alisson (after the death of his father a week ago) and Fabinho, recovered from his injury. Diogo Jota is also restored, pending to reappear after injuring himself in December, but suffered a gastrointestinal problem last weekend and Klopp did not ensure his presence. Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea manager, has the doubt of Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi is recovered.
It is this Thursday at Anfield a confrontation between two coaches, Klopp and Tuchel, joined by Borussia Dortmund and Mainz. Tuchel relieved Klopp at Dortmund in 2015 and both previously coached Mainz. The current coach of Liverpool, between 2001 and 2008. That of Chelsea, between 2009 and 2014. In the 14 confrontations between Tuchel and Klopp, only 2 times has the current coach “blue” won the “red”. Klopp has won 9 times and there have been 3 draws.
Chelsea are coming off 7 games without losing in the Premier since Tuchel relieved Frank Lampard. “Playing at Anfield is a dream for someone like me. We can win ”, said Tuchel this Wednesday and added that“ the result will not be decisive to be among the top 4 ”. The ‘blues’ are one point behind West Ham and the Champions League. Klopp assured that “against Chelsea you have to defend and work hard, a few weeks ago we were out, now we are there, you have to win the more games the better”. The technician ’network’ warned that he will not let the players go with their national teams “if afterwards they must spend 10 days in quarantine.” The champions of the Premier, to 2.
Anfield, 21.15 (DAZN)
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino and Mané
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rüdiger; James, Kanté, Kovacic, Marcos Alonso; Mount, Werner and Havertz
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Referee: Craig Pawson