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Chelsea vs Liverpool: Match Preview

Mauricio Pochettino's blues head over to Anfield on the penultimate day of the January transfer window. The January transfer has been tranquil compared to Chelsea's previous windows, hopefully, fans underwhlemed by the window can use this game to find their dosage of football.

Not only will this game be the first league match after Jurgen Klopp announced his departure at the end of the season, but it will also serve as a dress rehearsal for the Carabao Cup final coming up next month. Both sides could use this game to fuel their preparations for the 25th of February.

Starting with the opposition, Klopp has confirmed that Mohammed Salah will miss the match as well as Thiago. However, there are no new injuries for Liverpool, with Klopp stating 'Nobody out, the other boys are still in." Alexis Mac Allister will also be in contention after returning to training on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp's press conference for Chelsea's clash with Liverpool on Wednesday night. Credit Image: Nikki Dyer - LFC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both made appearances off the bench in the 2nd half of Liverpool's clash with Norwich, the two defenders will be aiming for a start on Wednesday night. These two stars returning from injuries will cause Chelsea serious problems offensively and defensively down the wings.

The Reds will most likely place Jota up front, in between Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz. Nunez and Jota in particular have found good form whilst Salah has been away with international duties and injuries. The two forwards have both scored three goals in their last three games, it will be key for Chelsea tommorrow to keep these two quiet.

Curtis Jones has also recently shown his quality, becoming a star midfielder for Liverpool. Alongside, Szoboszlai and Mac Allister, Liverpool's strong midfield will be the ultimate test for Chelsea's £200 million midfield.

Moving on to the away side, the Blues will be expecting a tough evening at Anfield despite the improvement in recent performances.

Good news for Chelsea fans as Pochettino revealed that "Malo Gusto and Christoph [Nkunku] can be in the squad tomorrow." Whilst this may change depending on the results of late fitness tests, it is at least some motivation for fans tomorrow.

The Argentenian also hinted at the possibility of Nicolas Jackson's return after Senegal's defeat to the Ivory Coast on penalties. However, tomorrow's game will most likely come too soon for Jackson.

Pochettino speaking to the media before Chelsea travel to Anfield. Credit Image: Darren Walsh

Chelsea's injury list, unfortunately, continues to grow as Pochettino confirmed that Colwill picked up a small injury during the warm-up before playing Aston Villa on Friday and is set to miss tomorrow's fixture. Trevoh Chalobah is closing in on a return but is also unavailable for the trip to Anfield.

Pochettino's side will be looking to spoil Klopp's party, aiming to deny the German of his 200th premier league win as Liverpool manager. Liverpool have shown this season to be an extraordinarily tough team to play against, unbeaten in the Premier League since September.

Chelsea's form away from home has also left a lot to be desired this season. Winning only four away games, drawing once and losing five in the Premier League this season. Chelsea fans will need to hope that the side can soon overcome their troubles when playing away from Stamford Bridge

The Blues may find themselves unable to break through Liverpool's defence without a proper talisman. Armando Broja's disappointing displays in recent weeks, Nkunku's injuries and Jackson's national duties have encouraged Pochettino to play without a striker. Opting for Cole Palmer as a false nine instead, as good as Palmer has been this season, it has been clear to see that his talents are almost wasted when he is put up front. A partnership between Konate and Van Dijk will strike fear into any attack, but if Pochettino decides to field a team without a striker again, Liverpool's defence will favour themselves tomorrow evening.

This game will require Chelsea to dig deep and show resilience. At times this season, Pochettino's team have been defensively fragile which has put them on the back foot putting more pressure on the forwards to score. Against a Liverpool team in red hot form with extra motivation, Chelsea's focus and mentality will be pivotal to their performance and the result.

Predicted Lineups:

Chelsea XI: Petrovic, Chilwell, Disasi, Silva, Gusto, Enzo, Caicedo, Gallagher, Palmer, Sterling, Broja.

Injuries: Chalobah, Colwill, Cucurella, Fofana, James, Lavia, Sanchez, Ugochukwu.

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Bradley, Jones, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Diaz, Nunez, Jota.

Injuries: Bajcetic, Doak, Matip, Salah, Tsimikas, Thiago.

Who will win?

  • Chelsea

  • Liverpool

  • Draw

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