Europa League finalists Liverpool are looking for back-to-back Premier League victories when they face an out-of-form Chelsea side this Wednesday evening under the Anfield floodlights.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are looking to continue their fabulous recent home form of four wins and three draws against an old nemesis. The Reds are top scorers in the Premier League this calendar year with 16 strikes, having scored another two goals last Sunday as they defeated a spirited Watford side 2-0.
However, after a fine start to 2016, Chelsea have slumped in recent times having won just once in their last five league outings – including the 3-2 loss away at relegation-threatened Sunderland at the weekend.
Having netted against the Black Cats, Diego Costa’s form has been the one bright spark recently as the Spain international has scored nine times in 14 games.
Meanwhile, the Reds have only won one of the previous seven games against the former champions – which was earlier this season at Stamford Bridge, where a Philippe Coutinho brace meant they ran out 3-1 winners – a first league victory for new manager Klopp.
Both teams are positioned below the European places, however Liverpool can enter next season’s Champions League if they can beat Spanish side Sevilla in the Europa League final later this month.
But for Chelsea, a season without European football looms as they mathematically cannot reach the last Europa League spot, a major disappointment for everyone connected with the 2014/15 champions.
However, interim boss Guus Hiddink will be hoping for a cheery farewell in the final stages of a poor season as he has undoubtedly steadied the ship – yet the same cannot be said for ‘Captain, Leader, and Legend’, John Terry, with his Blues career hanging in the balance and his red card last weekend meaning he will miss the trip to Anfield and the final home fixture against champions Leicester City.
After rotating the squad for last weekend’s game against Watford, Reds boss Klopp could call upon the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, and Emre Can.
All are likely to feature, however club captain Jordan Henderson is still out and is facing a race to be fit for England duty this summer.
As for Chelsea, skipper Terry will not feature again this season after a red card in the defeat to Sunderland, while the French duo of Kurt Zouma and Loic Remy still remain sidelined.
League Positions: Liverpool – 8th (58 pts); Chelsea – 9th (48 pts)
Previous Meeting: Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool (October 31, 2015)
Form: Liverpool – WDLLWW; Chelsea – WLLWDL
Key Men: Liverpool – Philippe Coutinho; Chelsea – Diego Costa
Shoot Says: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea