Friday pressure briefing: Chelsea and Liverpool to renew rivalry

Shaun Botterill
The two old Premier League and European rivals clash at Stamford Bridge this Sunday in the pick of the weekend's fixtures

Chelsea may well have felt a sharp twinge of nostalgia this past week as Liverpool came through a thrilling UEFA Champions League semi-final against Roma.

For it was not so long ago that they were duking it out with the Reds for a place in European football’s showpiece event.

On Sunday, they meet again – but in very different circumstances.

Indeed, even a draw for Jurgen Klopp’s side at Stamford Bridge would secure third-placed Liverpool’s Champions League berth for next season and end the Blues’ very slim hopes of a UCL return.

And recent history doesn’t bode well for Antonio Conte’s charges. 

Chelsea are winless in their last six Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D3 L3). They last had a longer winless run against them in the top-flight between 1985 and 1990 (10 games).

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Liverpool, meanwhile, have won their last two Premier League games at Stamford Bridge – the only side to win three in a row away at the ground in the competition were Blackburn, between 1993-94 and 1995-96.

And Jurgen Klopp has won both of his Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge so far – no opposing manager has ever won their first three visits in the competition.

Chelsea’s hopes will likely depend on their ability to stop a rampant Liverpool frontline. 

Liverpool’s run of 13 league games without a clean sheet against Chelsea is their longest such run against a specific opponent in the top-flight since a streak of 17 against Blackburn (between 1947 and 1995).

They were held goalless by Stoke last time out, but Liverpool haven’t failed to score in two consecutive Premier League games since August 2015, vs Arsenal and West Ham when Brendan Rodgers was manager.

The stakes are high. The pressure is on.

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