The game against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon was always one of the most significant games of the season, but it has further importance after a video was recently circulated showing Chelsea fans chanting racist and Islamophobic abuse directed at Mo Salah.
As was always the case, however, Jürgen Klopp has insisted that Reds fans use the “power of Anfield” to get us over the line for our home meeting with Chelsea.
Speaking in his pre-match conference, the German declared: “We have to create the power of Anfield and use the power of Anfield again.
I am so happy with our crowd and how they deal with everything in the last month and maybe year since I’ve been in,” Klopp added.
“It’s a strong opponent and we need all our resources to win it.”
He’s not wrong. Historically, the fixture has been the bane of our winning ways. Our last win over Chelsea at Anfield was in 2016 and we all remember what happened five years ago as our title hopes came crashing down.
But that’s all in the past now. We’re two points above Manchester City with five games to go and the context is completely different. Between the two sides, the only player who started for either side from that 2013/14 meeting is Mo Salah – and he was at Chelsea then!
Chelsea come into this one off the back of four wins in all competitions. Despite an absolute worldy from Daniel Sturridge, we earned a draw with them earlier in the season and they knocked us out of the Carabao Cup at Anfield back in September.
“Chelsea is in a really good moment,” said Klopp. “We’ve had two opportunities to watch them during the week on Monday and on Thursday in Prague. They are in a good moment and that’s the truth.
“They can make seven changes between the two games and still win the games. [Eden] Hazard is in very good shape and it’s a big game for us. It’s not an easy one, we know that.”
Speaking of changes, we’ll likely be calling on Andy Robertson again after he missed out on the Porto game due to suspension, which makes the ever-present midfield conundrum a bit more confusing with James Milner gunning for a start.
With the front and the back fairly nailed on, it’s midfield that will pose a problem for Klopp.
With Naby Keïta finally finding form, the fine performances of Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum being rested, and Fabinho nearly always imperious, any on of the five could find themselves in our midfield three on Sunday.