Preview: Premier League, Liverpool versus Chelsea, 28 August 2021

SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to a classic Premier League rivalry, as Liverpool play host to Chelsea at the Anfield Stadium on the evening of Saturday 28 August 2021.

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This meeting of the Reds and the Blues will serve as a litmus test for each team in terms of their ability to challenge current Premier League kings Manchester City for the title.

(TOP: Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku reacts after scoring the 0-1 goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at the Emirates Stadium in London, Britain, 22 August 2021. Photo: EPA/NEIL HALL).

“We are a good football team, that’s all I know. I do not know who will be the best. But some clubs have the opportunity to join it, and we’re going to do ours to join the race for the league title,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have emerged as arguably the most potent threat in the title race and left-back Ben Chilwell has admitted that winning trophies (as they managed in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup in recent times) is addictive.

“If you can win the Champions League, which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest tournament in European football, it gives you the confidence that we can go and win more silverware. The hunger once you’ve had the feeling of winning a trophy makes you want it again,” said the Blues’ defender.

Key players

Sadio Mane – The Senegalese struck two goals against Chelsea in a win for Liverpool in the first half of last season, and he will be itching to get at the Blues again. Some pundits argue that Mane is past his best, but the Senegalese remains a mobile, speedy and intelligent forward capable of damaging even the best defences.

Romelu Lukaku – Following his mega-money move from Internazionale, Lukaku will be expected to score big goals in big games – such as this one against Liverpool. The Belgian forward will look to use his speed, power and smart movement to pick open Liverpool’s defence and his showdown with Virgil van Dijk promises to be an epic battle all on its own. 

Head-to-head stats 

In head-to-head stats, Liverpool and Chelsea have met in 188 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1907. The Reds have claimed 82 wins compared to 65 for the Blues, while 41 games have been drawn.

The teams’ two Premier League meetings last season both produced away wins: Liverpool won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in September 2020 (with a brace from Sadio Mane), while Chelsea won 1-0 at Anfield in March 2021 (thanks to a strike from Mason Mount). 

Battles to watch 

Jurgen Klopp v Thomas Tuchel – These two German managers have so many similarities in career terms, yet their differing style of plays – Klopp’s ‘heavy metal’ football vs Tuchel’s desire for control and tactical discipline – makes for a fascinating contrast.

Fabinho v Mason Mount – The Brazilian defensive midfielder will be glad that he no longer has to fill in at the centre-back position, though he will be tasked with keeping a lid on Chelsea’s energetic and perceptive Mount, who makes the Blues ‘tick’ in attack.

Mohamed Salah v Ben Chilwell – The Egyptian continues to be an endless source of goals and attacking threat for Liverpool, and he’ll back himself to get the better of Chilwell, who is perhaps a better player going forward rather than in one-v-one defence.

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Match broadcast details

All times CAT

Saturday 28 August

18:30: Liverpool v Chelsea – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 1


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