Preview: Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Preview: Liverpool vs. Chelsea

With their 100% starts to the season on the line, Liverpool and Chelsea prepare for a blockbuster Premier League clash at Anfield on Saturday evening.

Jurgen Klopp’s side saw off Burnley 2-0 in gameweek two, while Chelsea eased to victory at Arsenal by the same scoreline.

With the Anfield faithful returning to the scene of the crime in the 2020-21 season, Klopp insisted that Liverpool would not be out for revenge against Burnley, who ended the Reds’ 68-game unbeaten home run in the top flight last term.

Lightning would not strike twice for Sean Dyche’s men on Merseyside, as Diogo Jota’s header and Sadio Mane’s calm finish either side of the half-time whistle propelled Liverpool to a comfortable win after their equally dominant success over Norwich City on the opening weekend.

Starting as they mean to go on, Liverpool’s back-to-back wins and clean sheets have seen them rise to third in the rankings – level on points and goal difference with Chelsea and West Ham United – and Klopp’s men will endeavour to once again take advantage of Manchester City and Manchester United’s early slip-ups.

Victory over the Clarets marked Liverpool’s seventh in a row in the Premier League – the last four of which have seen Klopp’s men record shutouts – and the Reds’ bright attacking contingent have helped their side score at least two goals in each game during that hot streak.

Also unbeaten in 12 Premier League matches since going down 1-0 against Fulham back in March, a Liverpool side with a near-empty medical room certainly have the look of title challengers once again, although their opponents are equally desperate to reclaim the crown.

There were no prizes for guessing who would make the net ripple first at the Emirates Stadium last week, as Romelu Lukaku up against Pablo Mari and Rob Holding certainly spelled trouble for the Arsenal defence.

The £97.5m man’s physical presence proved impossible for the Gunners to deal with as he bullied his way through to tap home Reece James’s cross in the 15th minute, and James soon went from provider to goalscorer to put the tie to bed with 35 minutes on the clock.

Thomas Tuchel’s side may not have made a lot of additions this summer, but the re-signing of Lukaku may have given the Blues the attacking edge that they need to turn into genuine title contenders, although that tag will certainly be put to the test against the 2019-20 champions this weekend.

It has been 11 years since Chelsea last opened a Premier League campaign with three wins and three clean sheets on the trot, but having restricted Arsenal and Crystal Palace to a combined 10 shots earlier this month, Tuchel’s resolute defence will aim to replicate such performances against one of the most famed attacks the country has to offer.

Mason Mount scored the only goal as Chelsea prevailed 1-0 at Anfield last term, but that defeat represented only Liverpool’s second in 13 league games against Chelsea, who had previously failed to win in five on the Merseyside turf.

Liverpool Premier League form:
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Chelsea Premier League form:
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Chelsea form (all competitions):
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We say: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea
Something has to give in this crunch battle between two of the league’s eye-catching performers, but the calibre of their respective early opponents must be taken into account.

Tuchel’s staunch rearguard will consider themselves fortunate if they do not concede against the Reds, but with attacking threat coming from all areas, we think the Blues’ firepower will help them maintain their perfect start to the season at the expense of Liverpool’s.

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