Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield this weekend with their eyes fixed firmly on the Premier League title.
Jurgen Klopp’s side cruised to a midweek victory over Porto but cannot afford to take their foot off the gas as England’s top tier enters the run-in.
Manchester City may well have returned to top spot before kick-off on Merseyside and the Reds will be desperate to not only climb back to the summit but also dent the visitors’ top-four hopes.
Statman Dave has tackled the major talking points ahead of Sunday’s big game….
Maurizio Sarri is a creature of habit and very rarely strays from his tried and tested methods. The Italian’s stubbornness has attracted significant criticism but don’t expect him to pull any surprises this weekend.
Jorginho will act as the Blues’ midfield linchpin while Eden Hazard will be charged with providing the lion’s share of creativity after his heroics against West Ham.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are likely to start fast in an attempt to unsettle their opponents, while Klopp may opt to put a man on Jorginho to starve the 27-year-old of possession.
It is difficult to look beyond Liverpool utilising a 4-3-3 system given that Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are all close to firing on all cylinders.
Chelsea are also set to be deployed in a similar formation, but it is likely to resemble a 4-5-1 formation when out of possession. It could be a long afternoon for Olivier Giroud or Gonzalo Higuain, depending on who leads the line for the west Londoners.
Naby Keita has staked his claim for a regular starting berth courtesy of two goals in his last two games while Andy Robertson is set to come back into the Liverpool side after serving a suspension in midweek.
Joe Gomez is closing in on a return to fitness but the game may come too soon for the Englishman, meaning Dejan Lovren is expected to be paired with Virgil van Dijk.
For Chelsea, all the focus will be on Callum Hudson-Odoi. The youngster finally has a Premier League start under his belt – but will Sarri revert to type at Anfield?
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