Chelsea v Liverpool

15 Sep

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Chelsea v Liverpool: Flashpoints of a modern rivalry

TEAM NEWS

David Luiz will make his first start for Chelsea since rejoining the club in a £34m switch from Paris Saint-Germain.

He replaces captain John Terry, who suffered an ankle ligament injury against Swansea last weekend.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is expected to return against Chelsea after missing Saturday’s 4-1 win over Leicester because of a bruised eye.

There could be a recall for Philippe Coutinho, who was rested for that game after a long flight from Brazil.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Simon Brotherton: “Liverpool’s tricky early run of fixtures continues, with unbeaten Chelsea certain to be fired up for this one after dropping points for the first time this season in last Sunday’s 2-2 with Swansea.

“Liverpool have already played last season’s top three, putting four goals past both Arsenal and Leicester and drawing at Tottenham.

“Unlike certain other encounters between these sides in recent times, there’s no league title or place in the Champions League final at stake, but the game will be no less intense for that.

“Liverpool were 3-1 winners in the corresponding fixture last season, which was also their first league win under Jurgen Klopp. I’m expecting a close, high-octane encounter to start the weekend.”

Twitter: @SimonBrotherton

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: “David Luiz will play for the first time with us and we are confident about this.

“We expect him to play very well, with great attention. We know David is a good player and we are working to put him in the best condition to give us the best of him.

“I’m confident for him. He’s a good player and during the training sessions I have been seeing good things.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Chelsea’s Diego Costa: “He is a real warrior on the pitch. He uses his body all the time and that is a quality. He was nearly unstoppable against Swansea.

“He is world class and that’s the best thing football fans can say about you.

“Last season was not a Chelsea season and now they are back on track, so we need to be ready for a real challenge.”

Antonio Conte has only lost one of his last 34 league games in charge<!–

Conte has not lost a home league game as manager since Juventus were beaten by Sampdoria in January 2013

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Chelsea have only beaten Liverpool twice in the last nine league meetings at Stamford Bridge (W2, D3, L4).
  • This is the 175th competitive fixture between the clubs. Liverpool lead by 75 wins to Chelsea’s 61, with 38 draws.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea could record three successive home wins in the Premier League for the first time since May last year.
  • Relegated Aston Villa were the only side to earn fewer home victories than Chelsea’s tally of five in 2015-16.
  • The Blues have scored at least two goals in each of their opening four league fixtures.
  • Diego Costa has already scored four times – it took him until Boxing Day to reach that tally in the Premier League last season.
  • Antonio Conte has won his last 21 league games at home as a manager, and not lost in 30 since Juventus were beaten by Sampdoria in January 2013.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool’s tally of 32 points from their last 17 games is only bettered by Manchester United (34).
  • The Reds have scored an unrivalled 50 Premier League goals in 2016, managing three goals or more in eight matches.
  • However, their only clean sheet in 12 away games during this calendar year came against Aston Villa in February.
  • They could go nine away matches without a clean sheet in the league for the first time since May 2005.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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