Liverpool strike back ?
FC Liverpool were the first to be hit in their eighth compulsory game. In the League Cup, the Reds conceded their first season’s defeat against Chelsea after seven wins in a row. On Saturday (18.30 h) there will be a chance for a quick revenge in London. However, Jürgen Klopp fears for his defensive boss.
On Wednesday, Liverpool had to leave the field as a loser for the first time this season. The Reds, like Tottenham and PSG, failed to close the bag early despite good chances. This time it was revenge: an outstanding individual action by Hazard gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory on Anfield Road. The end of the League Cup – maybe not so bad considering the busy schedule? “At the moment, I don’t see much good in losing this cup game,” said Jürgen Klopp on Friday. Nevertheless, the game was the best preparation: “We will try to use the information from Wednesday to be better on Saturday. Being able to strike back right away is a great opportunity.”
Klopp knows that both teams at Stamford Brigde on Saturday (6.30 p.m., LIVE! on the stream at DAZN) will look a little different from the first duel of the week: “Hazard will not only play for 20 minutes. He will probably ask us 95 minutes before questions. Also Jorginho will come back”, the Reds coach is sure: “How do we defend these two? And then there’s Willian, Kovacic, who runs like a Formula 1 car – and don’t forget Kanté. They’re all important. We simply have to be at 100 percent,” Klopp demands, stressing: “When WE play football, we present our opponents with problems.
The use of defence chief van Dijk is questionable
Especially as the Reds during the week gave several top performers a break. Klopp is still afraid for one thing before the duel on Saturday evening: Head of defence Virgil van Dijk couldn’t train with the team again after his injury suffered at the 3-0 home win against Southampton. “We’ll have to wait and see,” Klopp said, but he wouldn’t be afraid if his “world-class player” (O-tone) in the central defence were to be eliminated. Dejan Lovren, who had run up for the first time since the World Cup final on Wednesday after a ten-week injury break, played an outstanding game, Joel Matip played strongly twice in a row.
First Chelsea, then Napoli and Manchester City
For Liverpool, the Chelsea comparison is the beginning of a week that may well set the tone, with the Champions League visiting match in Naples on Wednesday and the home match against Manchester City on Sunday. “It will be a tough and intense game for both. Chelsea versus Liverpool, that sounds good. Now we have to make sure it’s good,” Klopp said: “It was always clear that this would not be a children’s birthday party.