Chelsea vs Liverpool preview: Team news, possible lineups and predictions

Chelsea (5) vs Liverpool (3)
When: Sunday, May 6, 16:30 BST
Where: Stamford Bridge, London

Liverpool will still be recovering from the euphoria of making the Champions League final on Wednesday, when they visit Chelsea on Sunday looking to seal a top 4 finish.

For The Blues, this game is simply a must-win if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. They are currently 6 points behind Liverpool in 3rd, having played a game fewer. They will be level on points with The Reds if they can both beat them on Sunday, and then win their game in hand over Huddersfield Town in midweek. Antonio Conte’s men come into this game on the back of three consecutive victories in the Premier League, easily their best run in 2018. They will need to keep that up and win all their remaining games to have a chance of sneaking into the top 4.

The Reds will have to be careful not to get carried away, as it is very difficult not to be distracted by the date with Real Madrid on the 27th of this month. They have a better goal difference than Chelsea, and even if they lose at Stamford Bridge, a victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on the final day of the season should see them keep their top four place.

This will Mohamed Salah’s first return to Stamford Bridge since leaving Chelsea back in 2016. The Egyptian has had an unbelievably good debut season at Liverpool, and will be looking for his 32rd league goal of the campaign, to go past the record of 31 held jointly at the moment by himself, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Chelsea team news

Marcos Alonso returns from a three-match suspension, but could see his place in the starting line-up taken by Emerson Palmieri, who has really impressed while filling in for the Spaniard.

David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu are long-term injury absentees, while Ross Barkley’s recuperation from a hamstring problem is still ongoing. He did feature on the bench last week, but hasn’t played since late January.

Liverpool team news

Jurgen Klopp has a wafer-thin squad at the moment, with Joel Matip, Emre Can, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana all out. He will therefore have to play more or less the same teams in the two games before the Champions League, thereby taking the risk of further injuries.

Joe Gomez could return from an ankle injury. It will be interesting to see whether it is him or Trent Alexander-Arnold who features in the final against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Possible Chelsea line-up

Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Emerson Palmieri; Kante, Fabregas; Hazard, Giroud, Willian.

Possible Liverpool starting line-up

Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Ings, Mane.

Prediction

Chelsea simply needs to win to keep their chances of a top 4 finish alive. They will go all out, and with home advantage on their side, should be good enough to edge past Liverpool. The Reds have had an incredible week, and the fatigue from midweek could show through, especially with the lack of backup players at Klopp’s disposal right now.

Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool