Liverpool return to Premier League action on the weekend as two title contenders go head-to-head in just the second matchweek of the 2020/21 campaign.
Jurgen Klopp’s English champions will take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of the season.
Chelsea look set to reduce the 33-point gap the Blues fell behind Liverpool last season and their business in the transfer window typifies that particular notion after Lampard invested over £200 million on new signings.
Liverpool’s opponents could be without their new No.10 Christian Pulisic at the weekend after the American international was absent from Chelsea’s 3-1 victory against Brighton on Monday and there has been no guarantee from Lampard that he will be fit in time to feature at the weekend.
Speaking after the Brighton victory, Lampard said: “Christian was training with us last week but he had a bit of discomfort a couple of days ago when he was trying to be in contention for today.
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“It would have been a big ask for today and he has had to take a few steps back and we will have to see.”
Pulisic enjoyed a stellar debut season during the 2019/20 campaign and the forward undoubtedly stole the show for Chelsea the last time these two teams met.
The former Borussia Dortmund star came off the bench against Liverpool at Anfield back in July and was the standout player for his team despite only a short 30-minute cameo.
Christian Pulisic's game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
100% passing accuracy
100% take-ons completed
Electric in his 32 minutes on pitch. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/tM8RiOTpHC
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 22, 2020
Have watched this mesmerizing Christian Pulisic dribble and assist vs. Liverpool about 100 times.
His goal later in the game was quality too, but THIS move should have #USMNT dreaming about him being back in a national team uniform:
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) July 23, 2020
Pulisic was scintilating at the home of the English and World champions only a couple of months ago. He scored and assisted for his team during a thrilling 5-3 defeat to Liverpool and his statistical output was nothing shy of incredible.
According to Opta powered site WhoScored, Pulisic enjoyed a 100% pass success rate as well as winning 100% of his take-ons. He managed three shots, 23 touches and three dribbles.
Liverpool must improve
Liverpool will be hoping for a much more composed and assured display against Chelsea than the performance against Leeds United at the weekend.
The Reds managed to get the better of Marcelo Bielsa’s newly-promoted outfit in a stunning 4-3 spectacle at Anfield but were indebted to the individual brilliance of Mohamed Salah who conjured up an opening day hat-trick.
Klopp and his team have to improve especially from a defensive standpoint ahead of the Chelsea clash after Liverpool conceded three goals from every shot on target they faced against Leeds.
Individual errors and mishaps came to the fore again. It is becoming a worry how Liverpool have gone from conceding just 15 goals in their opening 26 league matches last season (an average of 0.58 per game) to a team that has since leaked 21 goals in 13 league matches (an average of 1.62 per game).
If Liverpool fail to tighten up against the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner then Chelsea will have a field day at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking of Werner, Lampard also provided a fitness update on the German international ahead of the Liverpool contest.
Lampard told Chelsea’s official website: “Werner took a knock when he won the penalty which we hope is a dead leg.
“I would like to think if it is that we have a bit of time to get him back [for the Liverpool game].
🗣"The rest of the game it hurts so I can't do certain movement
Timo Werner on his injury from the penalty! pic.twitter.com/N0hj5N4sT5
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 14, 2020
Asked whether he would be fit, Werner reassured Chelsea fans of his fitness levels (via Football Daily), saying: “Of course. For games like these, you’re always fit.”
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