Updated: Sep 28, 2020
That's right, Chelsea are in the hunt for the Premier League title. And not solely because of their 3-1 win at Brighton to open the domestic season.
The Blues have strengthened their squad incredibly over the summer and must have their sights set on Premier League title contention. And an early sign of that possible contention comes against Liverpool this weekend.
Sunday at Stamford Bridge
In what will surely be an epic early season clash, Chelsea host the title holders with each team looking to impress after opening weekend wins which raised questions.
Chelsea Team News
The Blues will face the champions without Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, or Christian Pulisc who all missed the opener due to injuries or lack of match fitness. After seeing a surprisingly hard-fought effort to beat Brighton, Chelsea will certainly miss those absentees.
The Blues failed to impress against the Seagulls, never fully getting into a rhythm in attack, especially new signing Kai Havertz. However, newcomer Timo Werner looked great at times using his pace to his advantage but failed to score any of his chances. And, of course, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga disappointed again.
Chelsea have to find more fluidity and chemistry in attack in order to beat a strong Liverpool side. "I don't feel like it's a game for making a statement," manager Frank Lampard said in his prematch interview.
"It's a nice challenge for us, to go head to head with them. I think we played pretty well head to head with them last year, maybe not always getting the right result we felt we deserved. So it's a challenge for us to try and get three points. It's as simple as that, against a good opposition."
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool made a splash earlier in the week when they signed Thiago from Bayern Munich for a reported £20 million, a move that will bolster their midfield beyond belief.
Against newly-promoted Leeds to open the season, the midfield was not the issue for the Reds. Instead, it was, surprisingly, the defense that let the champions down as they conceded three goals to the upstart Championship champions.
An error from Virgil Van Dijk and other defensive miscues will give the Blues hope they can capitalize on a defense that is, possibly, vulnerable.
"We had a really intense training week, worked really on, for us how we see it, decisive stuff. A lot of things were good in the first game. Some things were not that good, I know that. But, it's the first game, so don't make it bigger. We don't make it less important or more important than necessary," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said about his team's preparation for the game.
"We have to make sure we can transform that on the pitch because we should be at our best," he continued.
Klopp also said there are no injured players for this Sunday's match and he should have everyone at his disposal, except Thiago who he refused to answer questions about as his transfer had not officially gone through at the time of the presser.
The Spaniard is available for selection, but expect him to start on the bench if he makes the squad at all.
The two sides showed attacking might in the first weekend of the year and all last year. So, expect this one to be a thriller.
Prediction? A 2-2 thriller in which neither team stops attacking.