Liverpool have a chance of leapfrogging their rivals Chelsea in the quest for Champions league football next season.
Liverpool are back in action in the Premier League on Thursday in a game with real stakes. The English champions welcome Thomas Tuchel’s resurgent Chelsea, in a game which could have major implications on who finishes in the top-four.
Thanks to a goalless draw with Manchester United, the gap between the Reds and the Blues is just a solitary point. An overdue Anfield win would see the hosts leapfrog the travelling side in the league standings, while also completing an emphatic league double over Chelsea for a second consecutive season.
An unthinkable fourth consecutive home defeat would certainly be detrimental to Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions for next season.
Alisson Becker will come back into the side in goal as Liverpool’s undisputed goalkeeper. The Brazilian missed the previous outing due to his father’s death.
The full-backs will be Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Liverpool’s first choice in that department in no immediate threat of debate. Klopp paired Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak together against Sheffield United but may opt for the experienced Fabinho against the in-form Chelsea.
Naby Keita is another Liverpool player hoping to make his first start in some time, too. The Guinean talisman came off the bench at Bramall Lane and will hope for a more prominent role on Thursday. Keita will come in and complete an experienced midfield triumvirate alongside Thiago Alcantara and Gini Wijnaldum.
The front-three, as ever, will remain as it has in recent months, although Diogo Jota represents an exciting option to utilize from the bench.
Sadio Mane scored both goals in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge to make it seven goals in 16 appearances against Chelsea across all competitions – only against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa has he scored more in England. Mohamed Salah will look to haunt his former side once again, whereas Roberto Firmino will provide both wingmen with a platform to have numerous chances.