Chelsea meet Liverpool at Stamford Bridge this Sunday in the Premier League season's first blockbuster clash.
What happened last time out?
Both teams won their opening games last weekend, albeit slightly uneasily.
Chelsea rode their luck at times against Brighton, but ultimately their superior class made the difference. Manager Frank Lampard praised his side's resilience, but he cannot have been happy to see Kepa Arrizabalaga make another mistake in goal.
While Leeds won plenty of plaudits for their performance at Anfield, Liverpool should arguably have won by a bigger margin than 4-3, given their superior number of chances created. Mohamed Salah won the game for the Reds with a composed hat-trick but defensive frailties were evident.
🥊 Head To Head
These two sides faced each other on four occasions last season, with Liverpool winning both Premier League meetings and the UEFA Super Cup but being knocked out of the FA Cup by Lampard's side.
The corresponding league fixture saw Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino get the goals in a 2-1 Liverpool win almost exactly a year ago to the day, meaning that the Reds have now lost just one of their last six top-flight visits to Stamford Bridge.
Indeed, home and away Liverpool have now won the last three league meetings, and victory on Sunday would see them triumph in four such matches on the bounce for the first time since 2012.
🔮 Predicted XIs
Chelsea XI (3-4-3) – Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rüdiger; James, Kanté, Kovacic, Alonso; Havertz, Werner, Mount
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
🔑 Key Stats
- Chelsea have lost each of their last three Premier League meetings with Liverpool; only once before have they lost more in a row against the Reds in the competition (four between November 2010 and May 2012).
- After winning just one of their first 16 Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge between 1992-93 and 2007-08 (D4 L11), Liverpool have since won six of their last 12 league games away at Chelsea (D3 L3), including three of five under Jürgen Klopp (D1 L1).
- Only Liverpool themselves (22) have won more Premier League matches against the reigning champions than Chelsea (15 - level with Manchester United); indeed, the Blues are unbeaten in their last 13 home league games against the previous season's title-winning side (W7 D6), winning each of their last three in succession.
- Excluding games on the opening day of a season, this will be Liverpool's first Premier League match against a side starting the day above them in the league table since October 2018, a 0-0 draw against Manchester City.
- Chelsea finished the 2019-20 Premier League season with six consecutive home victories, last winning seven in a row at Stamford in Bridge in the competition in December 2017 under Antonio Conte.
Since their 2019-20 title win was confirmed in June, Liverpool have conceded 15 goals in their eight Premier League games (W5 D1 L2) - their previous 15 league goals conceded came across a 23-game spell.
👀 Our prediction
Though neither side looked at their best on the opening weekend, we are predicting a narrow Liverpool win in an early statement.
Having completed seven signings this summer, Lampard has a host of new additions to embed into his team, and it could take a bit of time to gel completely.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have now completed their first major coup this summer in Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.
The midfielder looks exactly what they need to freshen up the midfield, and though he may not play on Sunday, we still think they'll just edge it.
✅ Futaa tips
- Liverpool win at fulltime
- BTTS at fulltime
- Over 2.5 match goals at fulltime
- Over 1.5 Liverpool goals at fulltime
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