Liverpool Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Chelsea

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Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Anfield on Saturday evening

Liverpool had hoped to welcome Chelsea on Saturday with qualification for the Champions League knockout stages already secured via a strong showing against Sevilla in midweek.

Instead, the blockbuster fixture arrives with Jurgen Klopp's side having surrendered a 3-0 advantage in Spain and needing to answer the same questions that plagued them earlier in the season.

Wijnaldum Liverpool v Sevilla

The Reds boss will expect an immediate reaction to the midweek disappointment, and for his charges to show that their capitulation at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan was only a stumble in their recent turnaround rather than a a wrecking ball.

Liverpool have enjoyed an extra day of preparation for this encounter and it will need to show at Anfield.


LIVERPOOL INJURIES


Joel Matip could return to the heart of defence having shaken off a thigh injury, with Adam Lallana also edging closer to making his first appearance of the season.

"Adam​ ​​is on his way, no doubt about that," Klopp said on Friday at Melwood.

"We have to see how we will handle this in the next few days and weeks.​ ​Joel​ ​trained yesterday for the first time with the team and, again, we have to to see as well. But both give good​ ​signs - nothing else to say about that in the moment."​

HD Joel Matip

Midfielder Emre Can is a fitness doubt for Saturday's encounter. "He struggles a little bit," Klopp said.

"A strange situation in the game, a little muscle [issue]. It could be close - he is a doubt, let me say it like this​."

Nathaniel Clyne continues his recovery from a back problem that eventually required surgery and the England international is likely to be sidelined until February.


LIVERPOOL SUSPENSIONS


Neither side have any suspension worries for this fixture, but Antonio Rudiger is a caution away from receiving a one-match ban.


LIVERPOOL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


After Liverpool's 4-1 humiliation at Tottenham in October, Klopp made just two changes to his starting XI in the next match against Huddersfield - one enforced by injury - allowing those who erred the opportunity to strike back. 

It would be unsurprising if he does the same, but the Reds had a full week to prepare between those games, while Saturday's test against Chelsea will be their third in seven days. 

The German will look to balance rhythm with freshness and has told Alberto Moreno he trusts him "100 per cent" following a nightmarish second half against his former club Sevilla.

Liverpool Possible XI v Chelsea

The Spaniard had been a top performer this season until Tuesday night and Klopp has the option to persist with him, hand Andy Robertson a rare opportunity or return James Milner to the position.

Liverpool's midfield let themselves down after the interval against Eduardo Berizzo’s men so Can - if fit - and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping to start while Adam Lallana could offer an extra option on the bench.

Chamberlain 10/3 to score v Chelsea

Simon Mignolet will replace Loris Karius in goal and Matip should be restored to the XI if he is fully fit.

With a trip to Stoke following on Wednesday, greater rotation could happen for that encounter.


CHELSEA TEAM NEWS


Chelsea head to Anfield having recorded two consecutive 4-0 victories, preceded by a triumph over Manchester United.

Wednesday night's win over Qarabag secured their spot in the Last 16 of the Champions League, but Antonio Conte has had less time to formulate a plan for this fixture.

“We have to work during the flight, to prepare the game against Liverpool,” the Italian said.

Eden Hazard Pedro Chelsea

"To have only one day to rest and only one day to prepare this big game is not simple, is not easy. I think also it’s not right

“I don’t want to make excuses, but this is the reality. Also, when people hear the complaints of the coach, also someone has to help us. The press, the TV, to underline this strange situation.

"It’s important to prepare for the game and for us to try and play a really good game. We know very well what are the qualities of Liverpool."

While time may not be on his side, Conte already took a view to the weekend by resting Alvaro Morata and rotating in Willian, Pedro, David Luiz and Rudiger against Qarabag.

"We have a big game on Saturday so it was good for some players to have a rest today," admitted Eden Hazard.

"I came off [in the second half], N’Golo also. We are ready for Saturday."

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last five Premier League meetings with Chelsea, though both their victories in that sequence have come at Stamford Bridge.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • On average this season, Liverpool have allowed their opponents the highest quality goalscoring chances in the Premier League; with their xG against total suggesting that the opposition should be expected to score with 14.6% of their chances.

  • In fact, Liverpool have allowed their opponents to score with the highest proportion of their total shots this season in the Premier League (18.7%).

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  • 15 of Chelsea’s Premier League goals have been scored by Spanish players this season – only two teams in the Spanish Liga have seen more of their goals scored by Spaniards than this tally in 2017-18; Real Sociedad (18) and Valencia (16).


TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


Kick off is at 17:30 BST and the match will be televised live in the UK on BT Sport.

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