Liverpool are back in Premier League action against Chelsea this week, and there are plenty of important things to note ahead of the contest.
Liverpool vs. Chelsea
Premier League (22) | Anfield
January 31, 2024 | 8.15pm (GMT)
The Reds are looking to complete a perfect January of seven wins from seven on Wednesday night, but they will face a Chelsea side with a renewed sense of confidence after a poor start to the season.
A win would keep the pressure on Man City at the top of the Premier League table, with their meeting against Burnley kicking off 45 minutes earlier.
Here are the 10 main things you will need to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Chelsea.
1. Team news
Things have been looking up on the fitness front in recent weeks, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dominik Szoboszlai and Andy Robertson all returning to the pitch against Norwich.
The manager also told us in his pre-match press conference that Alexis Mac Allister “should be fine” and that Thiago has finally made his return to full training.
2. Chelsea injuries
Former Liverpool target Levi Colwill is likely to miss out on Wednesday as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.
The defender picked up the issue during the warm-up for his side’s FA Cup clash with Aston Villa and is facing a race against time to be ready for Anfield.
Malo Gusto, Reece James, Marc Cucurella, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu and Wesley Fofana are all absent for this one, while Christopher Nkunku and Trevoh Chalobah could make the bench.
3. Cup final rehearsal
The two sides met in both domestic cup finals back in 2021/22, with Liverpool emerging victorious on penalties on those two occasions.
A Wembley rematch awaits at the end of next month, with the Reds set to face Chelsea yet again in this season’s League Cup final.
With both sides still involved in the FA Cup, it couldn’t happen again, could it?
4. Klopp nears milestone
Jurgen Klopp could write another piece of history if he is to take all three points from the midweek encounter at Anfield.
The Liverpool boss is one victory away from racking up 200 league wins with the club, and would reach that landmark faster than any Reds boss in history with a win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Trent Alexander-Arnold could also put his name in the record books again, with his next appearance set to be his 300th in all competitions, making him just the third-fastest Liverpool player to reach that tally.
This has been a famously dry fixture as far as goals are concerned in recent years, with the two sides yielding seven straight draws from the last seven meetings.
Last April saw the sides draw 0-0 for the fourth consecutive game, before the deadlock was finally broken in a 1-1 draw in the season opener at Stamford Bridge back in August.
6. Palmer the danger man
Much has been made of Chelsea‘s need for a new centre-forward this month, but the current biggest threat in front of goal is a former Man City man.
Cole Palmer has 13 goals to his name in 27 appearances so far this season, along with seven assists to boot.
A goal on Wednesday would take him up to double figures in the Premier League for 2023/24, having registered an impressive six goal involvements in his last four outings.
7. Team picks itself?
The luxury of having the majority of the senior players back in action means the selection on Wednesday night could potentially be a straightforward one.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai are expected to come straight back into the side.
Andy Robertson may be forced to wait a little longer for a return to the starting XI given the length of his lay-off and the impressive form of Joe Gomez.
Likely Liverpool XI vs. Chelsea: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Diaz, Jota, Nunez
8. Lucky escapes
Klopp joked back in December that the club were “lucky” not to have spent big on Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo, with both ending up at Stamford Bridge instead.
The former has registered just 32 minutes of Premier League football due to various injuries, while the latter is failing to live up to his British-record £115 million fee.
We’re more than content with Wataru Endo for £16 million, thanks!
9. Tierney’s back… again
Our good friend Paul Tierney will take charge of this one, the joys!
The Kop chanted “F**k off, Tierney!” at the official following a string of questionable decisions during the 3-0 win over Brentford. It’s not every day a referee gets namechecked in the stands.
He will be assisted from the sidelines by James Mainwaring and Scott Ledger, while Andy Madley takes on fourth official duties.
John Brook is in charge of VAR at Stockley Park, where he will be assisted by Sian Massey-Ellis.
10. Keep up with the action
As always, This Is Anfield will be on hand to provide full, live-text coverage of everything happening at Anfield.
Our matchday liveblog will be available on our website from 7.30pm (GMT) ahead of kick-off at 8.15pm.
Another big one, this. Up the Reds!