We’re about to find out which team between Chelsea and Liverpool will be the biggest contenders against Manchester City in the race for the 2021-22 Premier League title. The winner of the head-to-head confrontation at Stamford Bridge will reduce the deficit from first place to single digits, sparking some hopes heading into the new year.
Chelsea (second, 42 points) have been late to the decline with three draws in the last four matches with positive cases of COVID-19 and injuries not helping the Blues. A rough situation could not be better than the controversial comments of star striker Romelu Lukaku, who criticized coach Thomas Tuchel. That led to Tuchel dropping him from the squad entirely against Liverpool, even though he has scored in each of his last two appearances.
Liverpool will also be missing an important figure, coach Jurgen Klopp, who was absent after testing positive for COVID-19. But the Red Devils will still be interested in capitalizing on the final game for attacking stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who will depart after the game to join their respective nations for the Africa Cup of Nations. .
Sporting News will follow the matches live, updating scores, commentary and highlights as they unfold.
Chelsea vs. Liverpool
LIV – Sadio Mane – 9th minute
(All Eastern Ages)
17th minute: CAUTION – Pulisic is booked for a reckless foul on Diogo Jota. Good referee’s call.
9th minute: Goals for Liverpool! Defender Trevoh Chalobah couldn’t handle his head after misjudging the ball, and Sadio Mane picked it up, circled around Mendy and scored. Mane, who was lucky enough to be on the field, did what Pulisic couldn’t. That ended a run of nine games without a goal.
7th minute.: What an opportunity for Chelsea! Trent Alexander-Arnold was stripped of the ball in the box and Pulisic was alone against Kelleher, but he couldn’t get past him. What a stop because the backup keeper pierced it.
6th minute: Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy with the first save of the game by Mo Salah. It ends so far. Lots of energy from both sides.
First minute: After only 30 seconds, Sadio Mane was able to see red! He leads by forearm/elbow in sizing Cesar Azpilicueta. But the referee gave him a yellow shirt. Thomas Tuchel was angry.
– Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 2, 2022
11:07 am: What Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders had to say when he took over as manager Jurgen Klopp:
🗣 “He’s going to be a big miss, he’s our leader.”
Jordan Henderson wants Liverpool to get a result for Jurgen Klopp, who won’t be on the line today pic.twitter.com/c2sZ0TZbKo
– Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 2, 2022
11:05 am: Here’s how Thomas Tuchel explained his decision to drop Lukaku in his pre-match interview:
“It’s too loud – that’s why he’s out.”
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Super Sunday game against Liverpool, Thomas Tuchel explained why he left Romelu Lukaku out of the matchday squad. ❌ pic.twitter.com/MwpDcsn2wT
– Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 2, 2022
9:33 am: The game will be notable for what’s happening on the field, but it’s also important for what’s happening in the stands.
Chelsea squad vs. Liverpool
Lukaku’s absence will weigh heavily on Chelsea as the team is struggling with serious injury problems. The Blues lost two other key players in the final game against Brighton, like Reece James and Andreas Christensen has now been shelved. They participate Ben Chilwell and Ruben Loftus-Cheek beside. Thiago Silva get it back from hamstring breakdown.
Edouard Mendy was in his last game for Chelsea before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations, but Hakim Ziyech will be available throughout the next month, as he has been dropped from the Morocco squad. Kai Havertz came back from the duel with COVID-19, that is Timo Werner potentially not far behind, although he is not in the squad compared to Liverpool.
Chelsea starting line-up (3-4-3, left to right): 16-Edouard Mendy (GK) – 14-Trevoh Chalobah, 6-Thiago Silva, 2-Antonio Rudiger – 3-Marcos Alonso, 8-Mateo Kovacic, 7-N’Golo Kante, 28-Cesar Azpilicueta (captain) – 10 -Christian Pulisic, 29-Kai Havertz, 19-Mason Mount.
Chelsea substitute (9): 1-Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), 31-Malang Sarr, 75-Lewis Hall, 5-Jorginho, 17-Saul Niguez, 18-Ross Barkley, 20-Callum Hudson-Odoi, 68-Harvey Vale, 22-Hakim Ziyech
Klopp previously indicated that there are three players who will miss the game due to COVID-19 and the club have finally named them: Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip.
Thiago was struggling with a groin problem. Back left Andy Robertson remains unplayed, the last of his three-match ban for picking a direct red. Takumi Minamino questionable due to muscle pain, after missing the match against Leicester City. Divock Origi sidelined with a knee problem.
Liverpool starting line-up (4-3-3, left to right): 62-Kaoihmin Kelleher (GK) – 21-Konstantinos Tsimikas, 5-Ibrahima Konate, 4-Virgil Van Dijk, 66-Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7-James Milner, 3-Fabinho, 14-Jordan Henderson (captain) – 10 -Sadio Mane, 20-Diogo Jota, 11-Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool substitute (9): 97-Marcelo (GK), 13-Adrian (GK), 12-Joe Gomez, 76-Neco Williams, 8-Naby Keita, 17-Curtis Jones, 63-Owen Beck, 15-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 80-Tyler Morton
How to watch Chelsea vs Liverpool
- Day: Sunday, January 2
- Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
- Channel: US Network
- Spanish TV: Telemundo
- Streaming online: fuboTV, NBCSports.com (authenticated user)
Sunday’s match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge will be broadcast on USA Network (English) and Telemundo (Spanish) in the United States.
Chelsea vs. betting tips, picks and predictions. Liverpool
Odds by DraftKings
The news that Lukaku had been dropped from the squad and that Klopp would not be on the bench for Liverpool did not leave everyone feeling nervous. It’s still a lot.
Draw bets are not at -110 for both sides (tie is one). That presents an opportunity for Liverpool if you believe the Lukaku-Tuchel controversy surrounding Chelsea will continue to drag down a Blues team that has been underperforming towards the end of the game and is still struggling with fitness and form. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will also have plenty of incentive to leave fans with a memorable performance.
Pick: Liverpool draw no bets (-110)
Guess: Chelsea 0, Liverpool 2
- Cash flow: Chelsea +160 / Draw +245 / Liverpool +165
- Spread (Asia Handicap): Chelsea pick’em (-110) / Liverpool pick’em (-105)
- Total goals is O/U 2.5: Above -125 / Below +105
- Both teams scored: Yes -165/No +125