Chelsea will see Sunday’s match against Liverpool as the biggest game of their season. A win against the Reds can take them within three points of a Champions League place. Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge having secured their place in the Champions League final with a defeat in Rome on Wednesday and, with Mohamed Salah in their ranks, they’ll be gunning for glory in West London as well.
Antonio Conte has no new injury concerns but David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu still remain sidelined.
Marcos Alonso returns to the squad after serving the last of his 3-match suspension against Swansea.
Liverpool will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip and Emre Can through injury.
Both Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke could feature against their former clubs.
Probable Chelsea XI (3-5-2): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Hazard, Giroud.
Probable Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Klavan, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
It goes without saying that this could be a straight shoot-out between the two teams’ talismen; Eden Hazard and Mo Salah. The Egyptian has been on fine form since returning to English football and scored against the Blues at Anfield earlier in the campaign. Hazard is enjoying a late renaissance after it looked as if his season had petered out.
It could be a big game for Tiemoue Bakayoko against the solid and efficient Liverpool midfield. The Frenchman has not lived up to his £40m price tag but has shown promising signs of late in an attempt to salvage his position as a Chelsea player.
Marcos Alonso, if he can even get back into the team, will need to put in an impressive performance after Emerson’s recent form in his place at left wing-back. The Spaniard is back from his 3-match suspension and finds his place in jeopardy, as well as that, he has to keep tabs on Mo Salah as best he can if Chelsea are going to have any hope in this one.
Chelsea have not beaten Liverpool in the Premier League since 2013 when goals from Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o saw Jose Mourinho’s Blues run out 2-1 winners.
That win in 2013 is the sole victory in the last 7 league meetings at Stamford Bridge while Liverpool are unbeaten against Chelsea in their last 6 league encounters.
Mohamed Salah has scored in each of his two visits to Stamford Bridge, both coming in 2013 when he was wearing the shirt of Basel.
There has not been a goalless draw between these two in any competition for over a decade when Lampard, Anelka, Gerrard and Kuyt were involved.