English Premier League Preview – Chelsea vs Liverpool Prediction Prediction – Sept 16, 2016 – Stamford Bridge
Chelsea's bid to maintain a 100 per cent win record from the 4 matches they played so far was put paid to by Swansea. The reason was last Saturday's nail-biting 2-2 draw. Diego Costa salvaged the day for the Blues with a face-saving equalizer in the 81st minute. At the same time achieving a personal milestone of 100 goals in the Premier League.
Chelsea now await a confident Liverpool home at Stamford Bridge. Jurgen Klopp's boys will be looking for goals. The injured John Terry and Kurt Zouma are doubtful starters for Friday night's clash. The onus of putting the brakes on a rampaging Liverpool attack will fall on the likes of Gary Cahill, César Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic. David Luiz, back to his old club after three seasons away with French champions Paris St. Germain will probably complete the Chelsea quartet at the back.
Liverpool have proved to be giant-slayers this season with thumping wins over Arsenal (4-3) and title defenders Leicester City (4-1). But the boys from Anfield have been leaking more goals than any team in the top half and Chelsea have the men like Hazard, Costa and Fabregas capable of exploiting the Achilles Heel of the visitors, i.e. their defense.
To compound the Reds' woes, injuries plague Emre Can and Dejan Lovren, two key players in the midfield and central back positions respectively. But Klopp will bank more on folks like Firminio, Mane, Sturridge and Lallana to deliver the goods (goals) upfront. Philippe Coutinho's hamstring injury may rule him out of the Stamford Bridge clash and his creativity and shooting power near the goal mouth will be sorely missed.
Chelsea would definitely want to rectify the dismal record of not having won a single of their three encounters at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool last season. Under their new Italian boss, Antonio Conte, they look a much different side than the one that had to be content with a humiliating tenth spot in the 2015-16 EPL season.
Chelsea are currently on the 2nd spot in the EPL table with 10 points, just 2 points behind Manchester City while Liverpool with 7 points are in the 6th place.
Chelsea probable XI: Courtois (goal), Cahill, Azpilicueta , Ivanovic. Luiz, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa.
Liverpool probable XI: Mignolet (goal): Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana, Mane, Firminio, Sturridge.