EPL

Van Dijk out through illness and Salah omitted as Klopp rings changes for Chelsea trip

By Sports Desk April 04, 2023

Virgil van Dijk has been ruled out of Liverpool's Premier League trip to Chelsea through illness, with Mohamed Salah surprisingly named on the bench as Jurgen Klopp makes six changes to his side.

Van Dijk reportedly missed training after feeling unwell ahead of Tuesday's game at Stamford Bridge, where Liverpool are looking to end a run of three successive defeats either side of the international break.

The defender previously missed seven games with a hamstring injury in January and February, with the Reds suffering demoralising defeats at Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves in his absence.

Van Dijk is not the only notable absentee from Klopp's starting lineup in west London, with Salah joining Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in dropping to the bench.

Joe Gomez and Konstantinos Tsimikas replace the full-back pair, while Curtis Jones, Joel Matip, Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino have been brought in, with Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo also replaced. 

Chelsea's interim head coach Bruno Saltor, meanwhile, has made two changes to the side that began Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa – a result that led to Graham Potter's dismissal.

N'Golo Kante will captain Chelsea on his first Premier League start since last August, with Wesley Fofana the second player introduced by former Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Bruno.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mykhailo Mudryk are both named on the bench after starting the defeat against Villa, a result that left Chelsea mired inside the Premier League's bottom half.

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    The 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with a Stamford Bridge exit amid reports the Blues might cash in to ease their Profit and Sustainability rules situation, with any sale for Gallagher classed as 100 per cent profit due to the fact he came through the academy.

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    However, Gallagher - chosen for a second successive major tournament - is not allowing himself to look beyond the Euros as Gareth Southgate's men prepare to begin their Group C campaign against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

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  • Orlando City v Los Angeles FC: Pareja seeking injection of confidence Orlando City v Los Angeles FC: Pareja seeking injection of confidence

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    Orlando City – Nicolas Lodeiro 

    Lodeiro has been involved in nine goals in MLS play against Los Angeles (five goals, four assists, including playoffs). 

    Only Cristian Espinoza (15) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11) have been involved in more versus them.

    Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga 

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    The goal was Bouanga's 48th in all competitions since the start of last season, 16 more than any other MLS player in that time.

    MATCH PREDICTION – LOS ANGELES FC WIN

    LAFC are unbeaten in four all-time meetings with Orlando (two wins, two draws), though the Lions did eliminate them on penalties from the quarter-finals of MLS is Back in 2020.

    Orlando are winless in their last five home matches, drawing two and losing three while failing to net in each of their last three – they had only previously gone three home matches without netting in their second, third and fourth home MLS games back in 2015.

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    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Orlando City – 37.7%

    Los Angeles FC – 35.9%  

    Draw – 26.4%

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