EGO-CLASICO! Stamford Bridge on fire as Chelsea host Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will face Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in an English Premiership League match tomorrow afternoon that will surely ignite the on-going rivalry between the two coaches and also see two heavyweight teams facing against one another. The Reds will harbour hopes of keeping their winning ways intact after beating Leeds United 4-3 in their last outing. On the other hand, Chelsea will be keen to deliver a solid performance against Jurgen Klopp’s team after defeating Brighton 3-1 in their away game.
The managers’ tiff against each other started at Liverpool’s home ground when Lampard lost his temper for the first time as Chelsea boss when his side were defeated 5-3 by the Premier League champions.
The Blues’ boss was furious a foul was awarded when Sadio Mane went down outside the area – a free-kick which was subsequently buried by Trent Alexander-Arnold. His expletive-ridden rant at Klopp and his coaching staff came after a member of the Reds’ coaching staff allegedly told Lampard to ‘shut up.’
“It’s not a f***ing foul,” Lampard yelled at Klopp, who proceeded to tell him to ‘calm down’. You can f*** off and all,” Lampard added “Only title you’ve ever won and you think you can give it the big one, f*** off.’”
Lampard later said he regretted swearing during the touchline bust-up, but refused to apologise for his passionate defence of his side.
“In terms of the language I used, I do regret that,” he said. “These things get played a lot on social media. I have two young daughters on social media, but in terms of my passion to defend my team, then no [regrets].
“I would have had a beer with Jurgen Klopp to toast their success. There were things I didn’t like from their bench, not Jurgen Klopp, but their bench. Emotions run high in this game.”
After a couple months of calm, the feuds between the two managers reignited once more when Klopp insisted Liverpool were ‘not run by oligarchs’ and couldn’t afford to spend like Chelsea in the market.
The Blues have spent in excess of £200m this summer on six new arrivals, while the Reds have only seen full-back Kostas Tsimikas arrive at the club – a deal financed by the sale of Dejan Lovren to Zenit Saint Petersburg.
“We live in a world at the moment with a lot of uncertainty,” Klopp said. “For some clubs it seems less important how uncertain the future is. Owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, that’s the truth. We are a different kind of club. We got to the Champions League final two years ago, we won it last year.
“We became Premier League champions last season by being the club we are. We cannot change it overnight and say: ‘Now we want to behave like Chelsea’. They are signing a lot of players. That can be an advantage, but that means they have to fit together.
“You cannot bring in the 11 best players in the world and just hope a week later they play the best football. It’s about working on the training ground. That will probably be an advantage for us. We’ve worked quite a while with each other.”
Lampard later responded: “I was less annoyed with it, I found it slightly amusing. “You can go through the Liverpool players — Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah. Incredible players that came at a very high price. Liverpool have done it over a period of time.
“What we have done is come off the back of a ban and probably try to address the situation to help improve us. We know that Liverpool have spent at a high level. We know they have an incredible coach. We know they have incredible players. The really smart thing Liverpool have done is believe in their coach and believe in their system for a number of years. It’s a great story but it’s a story where they’ve spent money on players.”
Chelsea should be wary of an in-form Mo Salah who scored a hat trick previous game. His hat trick rescued Liverpool from their poor defensive display in their season opener.
Lampard is expected to make little or no changes from his side that won at Brighton although it is to be seen whether Hudson Odoi starts the match or Olivier Giroud gets the chance. Pulisic and Chilwell will be out with an injury while Silva and Hakim Ziyech will not feature due to lack of match fitness. Werner is expected to play even though he suffered a knee injury during the Brighton match while Kovacic might return after suspension.
Liverpool’s clash with Leeds showed they need to tighten up at the back and Chelsea also have defensive shortcomings from last season to iron out.
Both the Blues and Liverpool possess a plethora of attacking options, and goals at both ends could well be on the agenda. Previous head-to-head battles suggest a clean sheet for either side is unlikely.
In the last 20 meetings between these two English giants, both teams have scored on 15 occasions, and that run is expected to continue tomorrow.
Meanwhile, an impressive Arsenal side takes on London rivals West Ham United in an intriguing derby at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have kicked off their campaign with an emphatic victory 3-0 away win at Fulham and will look to build on an excellent start to the season.
West Ham were not at their best in their opening game and suffered a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United last weekend. The Hammers need to improve under David Moyes and cannot afford to make sloppy mistakes against an efficient Arsenal side.