Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

On May 10th, Liverpool travel down to Stamford Bridge to take on champions Chelsea.  A week after securing the league title, the Blues welcome Brendan Rodgers’ side to the Bridge.  After Manchester United’s loss at the weekend, Liverpool have a chance at top four.  It’s a small chance, but Brendan Rodgers does have a chance to salvage this season with a top four finish.  To do so Liverpool will need to win all of their remaining games and that includes this one at the home of the champions.  It may not be the high stakes game it looked on the fixture list at the beginning of the season, but this match could still have a lot riding on it.

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Team News

Both teams are battling a couple of injuries to key players.  Liverpool will be without Daniel Sturridge who is reportedly out until September.  They’ll also be without Jon Flanagan who is undergoing another knee surgery.  Both Mario Balotelli and Momadou Sakho face late fitness tests to see if they’ll be able to play.  Chelsea will be without both Ramires and Oscar until the end of the season.  Diego Costa will undergo a late fitness test to see if he has recovered from his hamstring injury.

Interesting Statistics

  • Liverpool are win-less in their last seven against Chelsea, with their last win coming in May of 2012.
  • Since Jose Mourinho took over for his second spell at Chelsea, Liverpool have not scored multiple goals in a game against the Blues.
  • Liverpool have the edge in the all time head to head with 69 wins, 36 draws, and 56 losses.
  • After scoring an astonishing 101 goals last season, Liverpool rank sixth in goals scored so far and are only on pace for 53.
  • Chelsea have conceded only seven times in 17 home matches this season.
  • When Liverpool visited the Bridge earlier this season in the Capital One Cup, the Reds were held scoreless for 120 minutes.

Key Men

Chelsea: Eden Hazard

Player of the Year Eden Hazard is the key man in any game that he plays in.  The Belgian is one of if not the best player in the league and can change a game at the snap of a finger.  His ability to beat a player then play a killer ball for a teammate is vital for this Chelsea side.  With Cesc Fabregas losing form during the second half of the season, the Belgian has been the main creative force in the second half of the season.  If he can work his magic the way he’s been doing so all season, Liverpool will have a very hard time getting all three points.

Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho

On the other side, Liverpool have their little Brazilian magician.  Coutinho may not be on the level of Hazard, but he does have the ability to beat multiple people and/or unleash a vicious shot.  Chelsea are a very good defensive team that will not make sloppy errors that lead to goals, so Brendan Rodger’s side will need some magic from his little magician if they are to score let alone win.

Prediction

This game has uninspiring draw written all over it to me.  While Chelsea don’t have to win, they still won’t want to lose purely based on pride.  Liverpool may be desperate for this result, but they’ve had real trouble scoring this season, and it’s unlikely they’ll score multiple goals.  It is also unlikely they’ll keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge, so I’m going to go with a draw here.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw