After facing the top 3 teams of the previous season in the first four games of the new campaign, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool are now facing an even more daunting task early in the season. In what will be their third trip to the capital city, Liverpool will face Antonio Conte’s unbeaten Chelsea side in one of the most awaited clashed of this extraordinary Premier League season.
This is a game that has always produced some feisty affairs and is a game a fan of neither team would want to lose. As a Liverpool fan, it is hard for me to even imagine losing to the Blues from London this early in the season especially with a new coach who is making his debut in the Premier League (not like we have an Arsene Wenger). However, with the amount of change that the former Italian boss has brought to the Stamford Bridge side, it is hard to see the Reds repeating their heroics from the 3-1 victory which was incidentally Klopp’s first victory of his Liverpool career.
It is going to be a close game, which is almost impossible to call, but there is one strong reason why I think the visitors might run away with a victory from this game.
It is evident from the first few games of the season that Klopp’s Liverpool can blow sides away with their slick and ‘heavy metal football’. There is a sense of excitement every time you watch them play and this is a team that is at the start of its long relationship with the manager. They have their own weaknesses at the back but have been superb in attack and have already scored 9 goals in the league this season. But a trip to the Bridge is never an easy one for the Reds.
It is a game that the players hate to lose as much as the fans which will add that bit extra to the affair in the middle. In such games, there is bound to be loss of concentration from both sets of players and this has in the past settled games between the sides. It will only intensify now with just a line of paint stopping both managers from jumping into the game. We have an expressive personality on our touchline but they have now bought into the league a competition from Conte.
Klopp is expected to go with a false 9 in Firmino for the game against Chelsea and will apply a high level of his ‘geggenpress’ which will be exciting to watch as Chelsea have not yet looked a side that can handle such intensity. They are yet to face a team from the top 5 of the previous season and looked lethargic in the draw against Swansea recently. Liverpool have nothing to lose and will go all out for a victory in this game and Conte’s defence have to stern enough, like never before this season to stop the Reds from breaching them.
Though Liverpool might have an off day, like at Turf Moor, the one reason that I mentioned earlier that makes me confident of a victory for the Reds is the absence of John Terry (and may be the presence of David Luiz up to an extent). The Chelsea skipper is currently nursing an injury that will keep him out for at least another week leaving the Blues with a centre-back pairing of David Luiz and Gary Cahill for the first time this season.
The Brazilian international has been erratic in the past and has been tagged over-priced in the transfer window recently. He is not as commanding as Terry and Liverpool will have a fairly less amount of concern than with Terry. Liverpool are in good form and will create a few chances for sure. They looked clinical in the last game and with no one to have the authority of a Terry in the defensive line, it can even be a long night for the Blues. Who do you think will come out victorious from this game?