League Cup preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool welcome Chelsea to Anfield for Wednesday’s League Cup third round encounter. The Reds have made the perfect start to the season with victories in each of their seven matches but they now face a tricky test on their hands with a double-leader against the Blues in the League Cup and the Premier League – the latter scheduled to be played at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

League Form:

Jurgen Klopp’s side have not dropped a single point since the season kickstarted and they are currently top of the Premier League table with 18 points from their opening six matches. Their recent meeting versus Southampton resulted in a comfortable 3-0 triumph.

On the contrary, Chelsea have likewise enjoyed a smooth transition under the management of Maurizio Sarri but they could not maintain their 100 percent start after their goalless stalemate against West Ham United on Sunday. With the result, they are now two points off the top of the standings while occupying the third position.

Players to watch for:

Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool: The England international appeared on course to leave the Reds during the summer until he was offered a lifeline after an impressive pre-season. Since then, he has had to patiently wait for first-team opportunities but this has not hampered his confidence with two goals already in the bag – one of which came against Paris Saint-Germain where his services were needed from the off amid Roberto Firmino’s eye concern. During the backend of last season, Sturridge spoke about the prospect of scoring against his ex-employers only to be subbed off within three minutes for West Bromwich Albion (on loan) with a hamstring injury and he will be hoping to make amends with a better showing for the Reds.

Alvaro Morata – Chelsea: The Spaniard’s form has been a worrying sign for the Blues since the turn of the year. Morata ended the previous campaign on a sour note with just two goals resulting from his final 10 matches and the new season has not witnessed any improvement with just one strike versus Arsenal to boost. In between this, he has been guilty of missing several clear-cut chances and the game versus PAOK comes to mind first, given he could have quite easily scored a hat-trick in the European meeting. With Olivier Giroud starting over the weekend, Morata is a genuine pick to lead the line against the Reds and the onus could be on him to find the breakthrough, should Eden Hazard fail to have his scoring boots on for the Cup tie.

Prediction:

Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

Image – Getty