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Premier League [Preview]: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool play host to Chelsea in Saturday’s much-anticipated clash at Anfield. The Reds have tasted victory in the last three league outings, but they will be bitterly disappointed by the midweek Champions League result versus Sevilla, where they squandered a 3-0 lead at half-time to draw 3-3. Meanwhile, the Blues had pleasant progress in Europe as they swept past Qarabag by a comfortable 4-0 scoreline. Likewise, the Reds, Antonio Conte’s side have built up a four-match winning streak in the top-flight since their surprise 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in mid-October.

Previous outing:

The last meeting between the sides was at Anfield last season which ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Blues defender David Luiz opened the scoring with a memorable free-kick as he caught Simon Mignolet unaware of the referee’s whistle. The Blues went into half-time with a 1-0 lead but it was shortly overturned by Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Players to watch for:

Mohamed Salah – Liverpool: The Egypt international has flourished on his Premier League return, and this sees him top the Premier League scoring charts with nine goals in 12 matches (ESPN). Gary Cahill is often indicated as a weakness in the Blues backline, and his involvement at Anfield is likely to spice things up. The former Chelsea ace is a potent force on the right wing with his speed and dribbling skills, and the Blues backline will have to guard against any potential counterattack.

Alvaro Morata – Chelsea: While all the attention has been focused on Eden Hazard, Morata has slowly continued his excellent progress, netting in back-to-back games against Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion. The ex-Real Madrid man has already notched eight goals (ESPN) for the campaign, and he could relish the chance of running behind a Liverpool defence, which does not always only assurance with Dejan Lovren around.

Prediction:

Despite Liverpool’s defensive frailties, their record at Anfield is excellent with five clean sheets in six matches. We still expect both sides to score but the Reds could prevail with the home advantage.

Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

Image – Getty

 

 

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