Photo: Goal
Photo: Goal

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Kick-off time

Goalkeeper Alisson will return to Liverpool's starting line-up following the death of his father.

Follow Liverpool vs Chelsea live on Sky Sports PL and Main Event from 8pm; Kick-off at 8.15pm, on Thursday.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Team News

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker will return to Liverpool's starting line-up (Photo: Skysports)
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker will return to Liverpool's starting line-up (Photo: Skysports)

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker will return to Liverpool's starting line-up for the visit of Chelsea after sitting out their last match following the death of his father.

Midfielder Fabinho returns from injury while forward Diogo Jota, who would have been in the squad for Sunday's win at Sheffield United but for late illness, is set for his first involvement in three months after a knee problem.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has to decide whether to keep the inexperienced centre-back partnership of on-loan Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips after they became the 17th different central defensive pairing of the season at Bramall Lane.

Thiago Silva will miss out for Chelsea, with the Brazil defender not yet ready for match action after a thigh issue.

Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is fully fit after a minor knee niggle though, and will be in the squad.

Striker Tammy Abraham remains a doubt due to an ongoing ankle complaint that he has managed over a number of weeks.

Liverpool possible starting lineup: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Werner.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Predictions

Given the way in which Liverpool won the Premier League last season, there can’t have been too many who expected Jurgen Klopp’s side to be fighting for a top four spot in 2020/21. But after a positive start to their title defence that is exactly the case, with the Reds currently down in sixth, albeit just two points behind fourth-placed West Ham.

Prior to their 2-0 win over bottom-of-the-league Sheffield United at the weekend, Liverpool had lost four games in a row for the first time since December 2002, conceding 10 goals and scoring just twice. They remain in terrible form at Anfield, losing their past four home league games having previously gone 68 without defeat, and are the first reigning top-flight champions to go on such a run since Everton in 1928/29.

Travelling to Anfield, looking to condemn Liverpool to five consecutive home defeats for the first time in their history are Chelsea, who will also be hoping to end their own mini winless run in the Premier League. The Blues have drawn their past two games in the league, against Southampton and Manchester United, but remain in a good position in the race for the Champions League.

Chelsea are now unbeaten in nine games across all competitions since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager in January, winning six and drawing three, their third-best start to life under a new boss. That form, which includes seven unbeaten in the Premier League, has seen Chelsea move to within one point of fourth-placed West Ham and they will be looking for the win to jump into the final Champions League spot ahead of the final run-in.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Possible lineups
Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Possible lineups

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Betting Tips

Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Form guide
Liverpool vs. Chelsea: Form guide

Home comforts in short supply

Chelsea have been in good form under new manager Thomas Tuchel and are unbeaten in nine matches under the German.

On Thursday, they travel to Anfield to face a Liverpool side who had lost four Premier League matches in a row before their victory at Sheffield United on Sunday.

Three of those defeats came at Anfield, where they have not won in six league matches. Two draws either side of the new year against West Brom and Manchester United extended their remarkable home run to 68 league games unbeaten, since when Burnley, Brighton, Manchester City and Everton have all taken three points there.

Chelsea will be looking to capitalise on that form, and in the likes of Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud, have a potent goal threat, which is why we’re backing them to come away with three points.

Tip: Chelsea to win @ 21/10 with bet365

Blues have half a chance

Given their good recent run of results, Chelsea’s price of evens to win a half on Thursday represents real value in our opinion.

Clearly the bookies do not expect them to take much from the fixture, but they have already won away to good sides such as Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid under Tuchel.

If they can keep up their strong defensive record under the new man, then there’s a strong possibility that Chelsea will win either half on Thursday.

Tip: Chelsea to win either half @ 1/1 with bet365

German’s pace to hurt high Liverpool line

This pick could raise a few eyebrows. It centres on Liverpool’s inexperienced central defensive partnership of Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips, who are both still learning their trade

Liverpool could find themselves struggling to get through a very structured Blues side, and if Jurgen Klopp opts for a high line, it could pave the way for Timo Werner to run in behind.

Werner needs the confidence, although his performances have warranted more goals than he has, and we’re backing the German to exploit Liverpool’s defence and get a goal at Anfield on Thursday.

Tip: Timo Werner to score at any time @ 2/1 with bet365

Key points

The last time Liverpool won at home against Chelsea was in 2011-2002 season.

Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions this season so far.

Liverpool have failed to score a goal in their last three games.

Opta stats

Liverpool have won each of their last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea, netting 11 goals and conceding four. The only team to win five in a row against the Blues in the competition is Blackburn (7 between February 1993 and May 1996).

Chelsea have lost their last two away league games against Liverpool, last losing more consecutively at Anfield between September 1992 and October 1997 (6).

Of all the 15 fixtures between the six ever-present Premier League sides, only Everton vs Manchester United (1) has seen fewer goalless draws than matches between Chelsea and Liverpool (3).

Chelsea have won just 10 per cent of their 10 Premier League games against Liverpool taking place between Monday-Friday (W1 D4 L5), compared to a 40 per cent Premier League win rate against the Reds at the weekend (W19 D10 L18).

Liverpool have lost each of their last four Premier League home games, as many as they had in their first 100 at Anfield under manager Jürgen Klopp. The Reds have never lost five consecutive home games in their history, either in the league or all competitions.

No team has benefitted from more own goals in the Premier League this season than Liverpool (3). The last campaign to see the Reds benefit from more own goals was in 2014-15 (4).

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