Chelsea face Liverpool in a massive game in the Premier League title race on Sunday.
The Blues have slowed down at the top of the table in recent weeks and are now 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City after the champions returned to beat Arsenal on Saturday. Manager Thomas Tuchel has Covid and injury issues to work out with Reece James, the latest first-team star to be forced to sit on the sidelines. Of greater concern is Romelu Lukaku with the emergence of the striker’s controversial interview this week that cost him his place on the squad.
Jurgen Klopp has his own Covid issues with Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip joining the manager himself for missing the game with suspected positive tests. The Reds will be desperate to get back on track after losing to Leicester the last time with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane set to feature for the last time before flying to the Africa Cup of Nations later this week.
Follow all of the latest Premier League updates and insights throughout the afternoon here:
Chelsea team news
Here’s your Chelsea lineup for today’s game: Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic.
Subtitles: Kepa, Sarr, Hall, Jorginho, Saul, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Vale, Ziyech.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:30 PM
Chelsea players back Tuchel amid Lukaku scandal
Regarding Thomas Tuchel’s handling of the Romelu Lukaku situation, Miguel Delaney of The Independent said: “I told myself that the Chelsea team largely supported the way Tuchel had handled all of this.”
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:27 PM
Liverpool’s statement regarding the three presumed positives reads: “Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip were excluded from Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea today after returning suspected positive tests for COVID-19.
“The line won’t play a role in the game at Stamford Bridge and are isolating themselves now.
“It follows that Jürgen Klopp will not be present at the meeting after also recording a suspected positive test.
“All other members of the Reds’ playing team were subsequently tested and tested negative.”
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:25 PM
Alisson, Firmino and Matip thoroughly
Latest from the squad as the three Liverpool players suspected of positive Covid tests have been confirmed as Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino.
Big blow for visitors.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:20 PM
Leeds 1-1 Burnley
There was also another goal at Elland Road where Maxwel Cornet equalized for Burnley against Leeds.
The booty being shared in the relegation to six points in its current state.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:13 PM
Everton 1-2 Brighton
Anthony Gordon pulled one off for the hosts eight minutes into the second half and suddenly Everton are back.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:12 PM
Klopp will miss Chelsea clash
Jurgen Klopp will miss Liverpool’s crucial game at Chelsea on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19.
The Liverpool manager is showing mild symptoms and is now joining the list of three staff members and three players who tested positive this week.
At Friday’s press conference, Klopp did not disclose who tested positive but hinted that the cases would affect his opening XI for the Stamford Bridge game between second and third in the Premier League. “It’s not that cool right now,” Klopp said. “I’m not in a position to say who it is, but it will be pretty clear on the roster.”
Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders will lead the team in the critical match. Liverpool are one point behind second-placed Chelsea with one game less.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:10 PM
Lukaku on the tip of all tongues
The name of Romelu Lukaku is everywhere ahead of today’s game … as illustrated by Miguel Delaney.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 3:05 PM
Chelsea vs Liverpool team news
No confirmed lineup at this time – this will happen at 3:30 p.m. But here’s a reminder of what we already know.
Chelsea are without Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Reece James, while Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are both still on the path to a full recovery from Covid-19.
Romelu Lukaku is set to be dropped after his controversial interview angered boss Thomas Tuchel.
Liverpool have most of the key players available, with only Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino, Nat Phillips and Harvey Elliott on their injury table.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are available before going to the Africa Cup of Nations. Thiago Alcantara was ruled out of the defeat at Leicester and is still expected to be out.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 2:59 PM
Here are the half-time scores for the Premier League’s three kick-offs at 2 p.m. ET:
- Brentford 1-1 Aston Villa
- Leeds 1-0 Burnley
- Everton 0-2 Brighton
Danny Ings’ opener was called off just before the break by a brilliant forward from Yoane Wissa as Brentford and Aston Villa clash.
Jack Harrison’s goal gave Leeds a valuable advantage over Burnley in a six-point relegation game at Elland Road.
And goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Dan Burn gave Graham Potter’s Brighton a health lead over a sorry Everton side. Dominic Calvert-Lewin also skied a penalty on his return to the side.
Dylan terryJanuary 2, 2022 2:53 PM