There’s plenty of shared history between the two head coaches in this one, with Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel inexorably linked through their times at Mainz 04 and Borussia Dortmund, and also in their big battles in the Champions League as Liverpool and PSG head coaches, respectively.
As will be the case for much of the remainder of the year, it’s a season-defining week for the Reds, starting with a chance to overtake Chelsea and take a big step closer to Champions League qualification.
Much has changed for both sides since Liverpool comfortably outplayed the Blues at Stamford Bridge back in September, but given their recent managerial change, it’s inarguable Chelsea have had more upheaval.
Thomas Tuchel has replaced fan-favourite Frank Lampard, bringing with him an expansive, possession-based playing style that has seen his new club win five and draw three since his appointment, conceding only two Premier League goals in the process. It hasn’t necessarily been exhilarating to watch, but points have been earned, and given Liverpool’s recent form troubles, the Blues have bypassed tomorrow’s opponents in the table.
Date: Thursday, March 4
Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
Location: Anfield — Liverpool, England
Live stream: Peacock
Odds: Liverpool +125; Draw +255; Chelsea +210 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Liverpool team news: Liverpool put an end to their four(4!)-match Premier League losing streak with a 2-0 win against Sheffield United over the weekend, so we no longer have to worry about them turning the corner against us (like so many others seemingly have done so in recent months).
On the other hand, if they’ve turned the corner, then that means we would have to face the “true” Liverpool, which might be a problem seeing as how we’ve not won at Anfield in the league since Klopp’s been there (the one win we do have since 2014 was against their B-team in the League Cup in 2018). With Alisson, Fabinho, and Diogo Jota all possibly back in contention to lessen the team’s frankly ridiculous injury troubles a bit, Chelsea’s task could only get tougher. Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Jordan Henderson remain out.
Liverpool’s title defense may have collapsed rather spectacularly, but it still would be a massive surprise if they were to miss out on the top-four at the end of the season. But even if we assume West Ham will fall away in the final dozen games, there are still at least four teams (us two, plus the aforementioned Leicester and Manchester United) vying for three spots — and that’s not even counting those who are just below us and still not really out of it. The winner of this one would get a tremendous boost in that fight.
Jürgen Klopp: “You have to be patient in moments, you have to be lively in other moments. You have to be creative in moments and you have to show your desire for defending in all the moments because this is a top team and they will ask for a lot, and we should try to make sure that we have all the answers. ”
Thomas Tuchel: “This is the challenge, this is the benchmark in terms of league wise and of course in Liverpool at Anfield, we are absolutely aware of this that we step into the biggest challenge.”