So the biggest showdown of game week 5 of the Premier League is on the verge, as the Merseysiders will be travelling to London to face the all confident Chelsea this Friday.
The reds recently outnumbered the reigning Premier League Champions Leicester City with a humiliating scoreline of four goals to one, but an outing to Stamford Bridge won’t be easy as the Blues have had a great start to their new season under Antonio Conte.
Liverpool do carry an upper hand as Chelsea’s defence hasn’t been that strong and to add more to it, their skipper, John Terry will be missing the game due to an injury he received against Swansea City. Well, the last time the Merseysiders visited Stamford Bridge, they conquered London as they went on to win the game by three goals to nil.
As mentioned, Liverpool have the confidence to show for, but they need to work on their consistency and this is where Chelsea can hurt them. A nail-biting encounter is expected this Friday and here is our predicted lineup for Liverpool that could face Chelsea.
Goalkeeper: Loris Karius-
The former Mainz shot-stopper is back in training and sat on the bench against Leicester City, which means it could well be over for Simon Mignolet, who has failed to keep a clean sheet in the new season (in Premier League).
Defence: Clyne; Lovren; Matip; Milner-
Nathaniel Clyne is expected to retain his spot against Chelsea, but unlike Leicester, he will be having a busy day as Eden Hazard will be looking to make his life miserable. The Belgian was one of the brightest spots for Chelsea last time out and his pace could really expose Liverpool’s soft defence, hence the Englishman will have to be on his toes.
Dejan Lovren is expected to mark his return in the fixture. Lovren returned to first-team training a couple of days back and he will be looking to cut the comedy for Chelsea’s attack which comprises of players like Costa, Willian and Oscar. The 27-year-old will be paired with new signing Joel Matip.
The left side will surely be occupied by the versatile Englishman, James Milner. The former Manchester City star is known for his work-rate, which allows him to remain consistent throughout the game. A talent that will come in handy against Chelsea.
Midfield Trio: Henderson; Wijnaldum; Lallana-
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Klopp stressed that though Can was back following an ankle injury, he “needs to train” before returning to action.
“The players who were involved in the last game are all ready again, plus Dejan,” he explained.
“Not the others, for example Emre. Emre isn’t injured anymore, but now he needs to train.”
With that being said, the manager will surely be using the same midfield trio against Chelsea. Henderson had a great game against Leicester, but he still needs to work a bit more to justify his arm-band to be fair.
Furthermore, the new arrival from Newcastle United, Gini Wijnaldum is expected to start again. He looks sloppy at times and hasn’t started the season like he would have hoped for, but he could be a great asset as he knows how to split the opposition defence.
Adam Lallana will be playing an attacking role in the trio and the Englishman will be looking forward to replicating the same form that he showed against Leicester.
Attacking Trio: Mane; Firmino; Coutinho-
This could well be the key for Liverpool in the fixture. Both the wingers, Mane and Coutinho have been hitting the strides lately, particularly Mane. Yes, they might lose the physical battle against the likes of Cahill and Luiz, but their pace is something that could haunt the Blues. Mane has been really productive since the start of the season and will be looking to deliver more this time around.
Firmino, on the other hand, was unarguably the man of the match against Leicester and the manager won’t be looking to halt his consistency.