Liverpool v Chelsea: Premier League preview
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will know he must adopt a different tactic entirely to Manchester United if they’re to break Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten record as Chelsea boss. Tuchel is widely renowned as one of the best tacticians in the game and he’s already made an instant impact at Chelsea.
Frank Lampard had built a strong defensive unit with the addition of Thiago Silva last summer, but goals were starting to leak before his time in charge came to an end in January.
But since Tuchel’s appointment, Chelsea are unbeaten in nine games across all competitions.
More impressive though is the fact they’ve conceded just two goals in that period, including last time out against United at the weekend.
For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, they missed out on a chance to keep the pressure on league-leaders Manchester City in a dire goalless draw.
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United have looked toothless all season long in matches against some of the league’s best sides, failing to score a single goal in their last six meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City or Tottenham.
That never truly looked like changing last Sunday as Edouard Mendy was barely troubled by United’s attack.
The result also highlighted how little Chelsea’s defensive unit has truly been tested since Tuchel’s arrival.
Liverpool will know that coming into their crunch match this evening and Klopp will likely be demanding everything from his forward players.
Mohamed Salah has been Liverpool’s talisman once again this season, but Sadio Mane and particularly Roberto Firmino have been off the boil.
There is some hope though that Diogo Jota could make his long-awaited return from injury to at least make the bench at Anfield which would come as a huge boost to Klopp.
The Portugal international added another depth to Liverpool’s usually potent attacking trident and was ruthless in front of goal before he suffered a knee injury in December.
But Klopp will also need a lot more creativity from his midfielders in order to help give the forward players the service they need.
Curtis Jones scored his first league goal of the season in the weekend’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United.
However, Liverpool’s array of options in midfield have only scored four goals between them in the league all season long.
Their creativity hasn’t been much better with just seven assists coming from Liverpool’s midfielders in the top flight.
Fabinho’s potential return to playing in midfield may well free up the likes of Jones, Thiago Alcantara and Georginio Wijnaldum to venture further forward.
Liverpool realistically need all three points against Chelsea to put them in the best position moving forward to clinch a top-four spot and breaking down the Blues’ rigid defensive unit will be key.
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