Liverpool welcome Chelsea to Anfield in a blockbuster Premier League clash as both teams look to seize an early advantage in the title race.
Both teams enter this round locked on six points apiece, equal goal difference and scored five goals without conceding, meaning that whoever wins here could go top if West Ham fail to beat Crystal Palace or manage to achieve a better goal difference come the final whistle than the Hammers.
Andrew Robertson is set to be in contention for Liverpool after recovering from an ankle injury suffered in pre-season.
James Milner (knock) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (personal) are doubts.
Chelsea could welcome Ruben Loftus-Cheek back after the midfielder resumed training this week following a period of self-isolation after a positive Coronavirus test.
Christian Pulisic (Coronavirus) remains absent.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in five of their last six league meetings against Chelsea (W4, D1, L1).
- Chelsea have won just one of their last six league visits to Anfield (W1, D3, L2)
- There has been 10 red cards in 58 Premier League meetings in this fixture, with seven of those red cards served to Chelsea players.
- No defenders have delivered more crosses in the Premier League’s opening two rounds of this season than Liverpool’s Konstantinos Tsimikas, who has delivered 21 crosses.
- Chelsea are the only team to score once from a free-kick in the Premier League this season in the opening two fixtures.
Given that this is the first major clash between likely title contenders this season, I am expecting a good game here because there is currently very little to separate both teams.
Liverpool have home advantage like last weekend where they overcame early defending to comfortably defeat Burnley with excellent counter-attacking, which actually will stand them in good stead because I can see them forced to do a lot of counter-attacking here if don’t hit front foot early.
Chelsea meanwhile were just ruthlessly dominant at Arsenal with Reece James looking dangerous on the right flank defensively, yet this is their first proper test because Arsenal and Crystal Palace were easy opposition in reality than on paper so we will truly see where Thomas Tuchel’s Blues stack up in the title mix.
Add in the various individual battles across the pitch then this game could well boil down to the goalkeeping and finishing aspects, but my gut instinct is a draw.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Result: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea