Potter a top coach – Klopp
Saturday’s early Premier League kick off is a battle of the chasers with Liverpool and Chelsea going head-to-head at Anfield. Both Jurgen Klopp and Graham Potter are in desperate need of wins as they try and close the gap on the teams currently sitting in the Champions League spots.
The Reds have been beaten by Brighton and Brentford in their last two league outings with Klopp admitting he didn’t see the defeat coming against the Seagulls. Liverpool did beat Wolves in the FA Cup in midweek, which will give them a confidence boost though Klopp must decide whether to stick with the players who impressed in that game or whether to give another chance to those who have underperformed this term.
However, Chelsea’s plight is worse than Liverpool’s. Despite winning their own last league game the Blues sit 10th in the table, level on points with Liverpool (9th) but they have an inferior goal difference and have played a game more. Graham Potter has been given a boost with new €100m signing Mykhailo Mudryk to call on and the winger could make his debut given Chelsea’s extensive injury list and the suspension of fellow January arrival Joao Felix.
Follow all the action as Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield:
Liverpool and Chelsea’s decline detailed with chances to salvage gloomy season
Both sides finished in the top four last season but are faring much worse this time round, sitting in ninth and 10th respectively and trailing fourth-placed Newcastle by 10 points.
With Liverpool having gathered 28 points from 18 games and Chelsea on the same tally from 19 matches, both are tracking well behind 2021-22 when they each had 41 points at the halfway stage.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the extent of their declines and their chances of recovery in the second half of the campaign:
Michael Jones21 January 2023 11:15
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp set for managerial milestone against Chelsea
Jurgen Klopp will mark his 1,000th match as a manager with Liverpool’s home game against Chelsea on Saturday.
The 55-year-old German began at Mainz, where he took charge for the first time on February 28, 2001, just one day after being promoted from the playing staff, and beat MSV Duisburg 1-0 before going on to win six of his first seven games in charge as the club avoided relegation.
After spent seven years at Mainz, whom he got promoted to the top flight, he moved to Borussia Dortmund where he broke Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga stranglehold with back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.
He brought up his 500th managerial game with a 5-0 win over Freiburg on September 28, 2013, but eventually left Dortmund two years later.
Michael Jones21 January 2023 11:10
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Liverpool have lost just two of the last 15 Premier League meetings racking up six wins and seven draws during that run.
The two sides could draw three consecutive league games against each other for the first time but the last time they met in the Premier League while both teams being outside the top eight was October 2015.
Liverpool won 3-1 in what was their first league victory under Jurgen Klopp.
Michael Jones21 January 2023 11:05
‘I cannot explain it’: Jurgen Klopp impressed by Chelsea’s big spending
The Blues have spent over £400million since the consortium headed by billionaire Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over in the summer, with £140m of that outlay coming in the last 15 days with potentially more expected before the end of the month.
That is a lot more than Liverpool, who after buying Benfica forward Darwin Nunez for an initial £64m – which could rise to a club-record £85m with add-ons – and youngsters Fabio Carvalho (from Fulham for £5m) and Calvin Ramsay (from Aberdeen for £6.5m), have added £38m PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo as their likely only January transfer.
Michael Jones21 January 2023 11:00
Jurgen Klopp on Mykhailo Mudryk
As part of his pre-match press duties for today’s game against Chelsea, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was asked about his thoughts on the Blues new signing Mykhailo Mudryk.
“A really good player, incredible Champions League campaign,” he said. “Speed, technique, goals. Combines a lot.
“So, having him on one wing and [Joao] Felix on the other is interesting. Chelsea sort problems differently to us, so let’s see.”
Michael Jones21 January 2023 10:55
Liverpool vs Chelsea prediction
A narrow victory for the hosts, though this is a tough one to predict given the woeful defensive displays from both sides of late. Perhaps the midweek FA Cup win will be enough of a reset, though, for Klopp’s team to find the organisation they need?
Michael Jones21 January 2023 10:50
Liverpool vs Chelsea predicted line-ups
Liverpool XI – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Konate, Robertson, Bajcetic, Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott, Salah, Nunez
Chelsea XI – Kepa, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Hall, Kovacic, Jorginho, Ziyech, Mudryk, Havertz
Michael Jones21 January 2023 10:45
What is the early team news?
Both sides remain beset by injuries, with the visitors having it worse heading into this encounter. Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz are missing from the Reds’ attack, but Darwin Nunez could return. Roberto Firmino remains a doubt.
Arthur, Virgil van Dijk and Kostas Tsimikas are the other absentees. Jurgen Klopp must decide whether to recall the likes of Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip after they were left out in midweek.
Graham Potter is missing nearly a full potential 11, from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy through to suspended striker Joao Felix. The biggest other absentees are Wesley Fofana, Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, though the loss of options such as Ben Chilwell, Reece James or N’Golo Kante also make a big difference.
The right-back is back in training but this game will surely be too soon to start, having suffered a setback last time out. Denis Zakaria, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Armando Broja are also sidelined. Mykhailo Mudryk is in line for his debut.
Michael Jones21 January 2023 10:40
How to watch Liverpool vs Chelsea
Liverpool play Chelsea at 12:30pm GMT on Saturday 21 January 2023, with the game taking place at Anfield.
The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. Subscribers can stream the match via the BT Sport app across all devices or via the BT Sport desktop website.
Michael Jones21 January 2023 10:35
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Liverpool vs Chelsea.
The two underperforming sides go head-to-head in the Premier League this afternoon knowing that three points could lift them up the table and back in the hunt for the Champions League spots.
The Reds have been beaten by Brighton and Brentford in their last two league outings with Klopp admitting he didn’t see the defeat coming against the Seagulls whilst Chelsea won their last league outing 1-0 against Crystal Palace thanks to Kai Havertz’s second half winner.
Both teams are languishing in midtable and could use the boost that a victory against one of the big six usually brings. Graham Potter is under more pressure than Jurgen Klopp but has to contend with injuries and suspensions. That means the Blues new signing Mykhailo Mudryk could make his debut and provide a bit of threat on the wings.
We’ll have all the build-up, team news and updates throughout the morning so stick with us.
Michael Jones21 January 2023 10:29