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Chelsea v Liverpool: Preview, Team News and Possible Playing XI

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Jose Mourinho

They say, when it’s time to go, it really is the time to go, with no excuses permitted. And when the final whistle at a packed Stamford Bridge will be sounded on a Saturday afternoon, the world will get to know as to whether its time for Jose Mourinho to go or not. It’d be a day when ‘The Chosen One’ and the self-proclaimed ‘Normal One’ will come face to face, at a time when the ‘The Chosen One’ is gradually assuming the form of ‘The Agitated One’, as speculation regarding his future continues. 

Chelsea have endured a horror start to the season, as the Blues stand at the 15th spot in the league, having won just 3 games so far. Their previous two games yielded painful defeats, the 2-1 loss at Boleyn Ground which saw Mourinho sent off to the stands and deliberately skipping the post-match press conference, resulting in a fine, and an elimination from the League Cup at the hands of Stoke City.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

For Liverpool, the excitement regarding Klopp has subsided. He’s still without a loss in the Premier League, but their League Cup win over Bournemouth with a bunch of kids would provide some encouragement to the Anfield faithful.

And when both teams take on each other come Saturday, both will have a mission to accomplish.

Past Meetings

Liverpool have been facing rather tough times against Blues in recent times, with the Merseysiders having won none out of their previous five, losing three and drawing two.

When the last time both sides met, it was a 1-1 draw, as veterans John Terry and Steven Gerrard got the goals for their respective sides.

But, Klopp has never been beaten by Mourinho in the past, as the German’s Borussia Dortmund side had overcome Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the Champions League twice. More so, Liverpool have conceded defeat at Stamford Bridge in this fixture only once in five encounters.

Team News

Diego Costa is supposed to undergo a late fitness test, as per multiple reports while other reports suggest that he might well start the game and play through pain. If he doesn’t we can expect Loic Remy to start for the Blues.

Diego Costa
Diego Costa

Nemanja Matic will be back after serving a one-match suspension but Branislav Ivanovic would still be out with a hamstring problem, and it’s up to Chelsea fans whether to treat this as a good news or a bad one. Period.

As far as Liverpool are concerned, Christian Benteke who was deemed a doubt for the heavyweight clash and declared that he’ll feature at the Bridge and we can expect him to start up top. Klopp himself has announced Benteke as being fit to play.

The second positive for Klopp would be the fact that James Milner will be back after being suspended for the Bournemouth game, providing much-needed impetus to the Reds in the heart of the park.

Predicted Line-up

Chelsea possible starting line-up: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Zouma; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Hazard, Pedro; Costa

Liverpool possible starting line-up: Mignolet; Moreno, Skrtel, Sakho, Clyne; Can, Lucas, Milner; Coutinho, Lallana; Benteke 

Predictions

It’s clear that Mourinho’s siege mentality tactics have failed to work and his ability to induce this feeling about ‘Us against the World’ among his players hasn’t existed now. He has gone into self-destruct mode and looking at the players’ performances, they’ve lost belief in the Portuguese gaffer. And in must win games such as this, which are as hugely important as this one, this was the mentality and tactic that used to work. The Jurgen Klopp system of high octane football is still slowly creeping in and by the looks of it, Klopp has realized how tough a task it is to rebuild Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

Not more than three goals have been in the past meetings between the two clubs, and I’d expect this to be a tight affair. I’d predict another 1-1 draw for the Kopites.