Chelsea and Liverpool meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday knowing neither can afford to drop points in the Premier League title chase (4:30pm kick-off UK time).
Both team lost further ground on Premier League leaders Manchester City in midweek, with Pep Guardiola’s side now 11 points clear of second-placed Chelsea. The Blues suffered a late setback in their game against Brighton, drawing 1-1 with Danny Welbeck scoring in injury time to cancel out Romelu Lukaku’s opener. Liverpool, meanwhile, lost 1-0 to Leicester City thanks to Ademola Lookman’s second-half goal, their second defeat of the season. They now sit one point behind Chelsea in third but do also have a game in hand on Sunday’s opponents.
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Where to watch Chelsea vs Liverpool on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League
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Chelsea team news
The draw was not the only setback Chelsea suffered in midweek as the Blues saw two more players fall to injury. Having already seen Ben Chilwell effectively ruled out for the season after knee surgery, Reece James also suffered a hamstring injury, so Chelsea are now without both of their first-choice wing-backs. Andreas Christensen is also a doubt after picking up a knock, joining Thiago Silva and Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the sidelines, while Timo Werner is still not fully fit
But Chelsea’s biggest problem could be with Romelu Lukaku, who recently spoke out about his unhappiness at the club and has since been omitted from Thomas Tuchel’s squad for the visit of Liverpool, though it has not yet been confirmed whether the two are related.
“I am not happy with the situation at Chelsea, that is normal,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italia.
“I think the coach chose to play a different system, I just have to not give up, keep working and be professional. I am not happy with the situation, but I’m a hard worker and I mustn’t give up.”
Lukaku went on to speak about the way he left Inter Milan, saying: “I think everything that happened last summer was not supposed to happen like this… how I left Inter, the way I left the club, how I communicated with Inter fans – this bothers me because it was not the right time.
“Now it’s the right time to share my feelings. I have always said that I have Inter in my heart: I know I will return to Inter, I really hope so. I am in love with Italy, this is right moment to talk and let people know what really happened.
“I really hope from bottom of my heart to return to Inter not at the end of my career, but when I’m still at top level to win more together.”
With Lukaku now unavailable, Christian Pulisic is likely to retake his position as a repurposed centre-forward, a role he occupied in four successive Premier League matches prior to the Brighton draw. The American is set to be flanked by Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the Blues not having too many options up front.
Chelsea predicted XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Sarr, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Hudson-Odoi, Mount, Pulisic.
Liverpool team news
Andrew Robertson is serving the final game of his suspension this weekend so Kostas Tsimkas will continue at left-back in Liverpool’s usual back four. Thiago and Takumi Minamino could return to contention for Liverpool this weekend but neither will likely start. Nathaniel Phillips, Divock Origi and Adrian are expected to miss out.
Liverpool predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Jota, Mane.
Premier League 2021/22 recent form:
- Chelsea: DWDDW
- Liverpool: LDWWW
Scoreline prediction: Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool
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