Chelsea Host Liverpool In Opening
Match Between Premier League Favorites
Chelsea’s major summer spending spree has resulted in some people tipping them off to fight for the Liverpool crown this season, and today’s match against the champions at Stamford Bridge will be an early opportunity to show whether they are ready for a challenge for the title.
Many of Chelsea’s newcomers did not play Brighton and will not be ready again in time for this match, with German internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz the only players to receive their debut.
Frank Lampard will be sure the duo could wreak havoc if Liverpool allowed them as much space as Leeds allowed, and it is less than two months since Chelsea visited Anfield and scored three times before greatly bolstering their attacking ranks.
Of course, the problem in that most recent meeting between the two sides was that they conceded five times, and defense remains the big concern for the Blues heading into the new season.
The imminent arrival of Edouard Mendy could help in that regard, as Kepa Arrizabalaga was again not covered in glory by Brighton’s tying goal at the Amex.
Had Lewis Dunk’s scoring radar been working as well, Monday’s game could have easily ended differently for Chelsea, and Lampard will warn his team that Liverpool will not be as merciful in front of goal.
However, victory over the champions would be an early declaration of intent for their season and, having become the third club to break the 2,000 point mark in the Premier League on Monday night, imagine their chances of increasing that. figure in upcoming matches against West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace and Southampton as well.
Having seen the contender at the start of the season’s game at Anfield on opening weekend, Lampard will at least be sure to create chances against a Liverpool defense that, while the best in the league last season, has seen a lot. less impenetrable recently.
Since ending their 30-year wait for the title in June, the Reds have yielded 15 goals in their eight Premier League games, as many as they had conceded in their previous 23 before that.
Some of that may perhaps be attributed to taking your foot off the pedal after winning the title with seven games to spare, but the new season has hinted at those same issues: They gave up the lead three separate times against Leeds, while even in pre -season fell 2-0 to Red Bull Salzburg and Blackpool due to a disorganized bottom line.
Liverpool will know better than anyone what damage Werner could do if that’s the case again, having scrutinized it intensively before finally deciding against a move due to the financial implications of the lockdown.
However, the arrival of Thiago Alcántara will quench Liverpool fans’ desire for a big-name signing, and even without the Spanish international, who won the treble, the Reds would have had a chance to beat most teams as they did. against Leeds.