EPL

Chelsea v Liverpool: Preview and prediction

By Sports Desk April 03, 2023

Chelsea are regrouping again after their second coaching departure of the season, with Bruno Saltor tasked with taking on Liverpool on Tuesday.

Former Brighton and Hove Albion defender Bruno arrived at Stamford Bridge along with Graham Potter when he was appointed in place of Thomas Tuchel in September.

But Potter has also now been sacked, leaving Bruno in interim charge for a daunting first fixture at home to Liverpool.

It is at least a game that has relatively little riding on it for Chelsea, who are 11th in the Premier League with little chance of recovering Champions League qualification.

Still, Bruno knows there is always pressure for his players and has been taking preparation for the match seriously.

"[We are] seeing it as an opportunity for the players," he said. "We are representing Chelsea, a club with an amazing history.

"It is about winning, it is about dominating, and what we need to do is prepare for the game.

"Preparation helps a lot for performance, and that is what the players need to focus on."

Despite the disruption, Bruno suggested his Chelsea team would "keep as close as we can" to the side that lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, having believed the Blues "dominated".

Meanwhile, Liverpool's preparations have been a little more routine, although Jurgen Klopp's side have had little opportunity to get over Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.

 

"We cannot work on the pitch, that's it," Klopp said on Monday. "Games like [City] have an impact. We might lose more confidence, but the desire to show a reaction is there as well. The boys are still good people.

"The short turnaround is a problem; at this moment, I have no clue who I can line up. We have to give the boys time to recover.

"There will be changes, definitely – 48 hours, then you travel, wait in London for the kick-off, it's all here [in the mind]. That's what we are working on."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chelsea – Kai Havertz

Chelsea need to rediscover their scoring touch, having failed to net in five home games this season, including four since the turn of the year.

Meanwhile, their shot conversion rate of 8.2 per cent is their lowest since records began in 1997-98. But Havertz had looked to be finding form before the Villa defeat, scoring in three consecutive games in all competitions.

Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Chelsea let Salah go, and he has taken great enjoyment from punishing them ever since. He has four goals in 11 Premier League games against the Blues, with only Kevin De Bruyne (five) netting more goals against Chelsea among former players.

Salah was the last ex-Blue to score a league goal at Stamford Bridge, back in January 2022.

 

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

Liverpool are unbeaten in their past four Premier League away games against Chelsea, although they have never gone five league matches without defeat at Stamford Bridge.

There have been two Reds wins across those four games, but the past five meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions have ended as draws. In fact, their past three encounters have finished goalless.

Chelsea will kick off in 11th, their lowest position this late in a season since their penultimate game in 1995-96, when they were also 11th when playing Tottenham. That game was also drawn.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Chelsea - 31.1 per cent

Liverpool - 40.2 per cent

Draw - 28.7 per cent

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