Match points: Chelsea v Liverpool

Antonio Rudiger
Antonio RudigerTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Mohamed Salah
Mohamed SalahTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Eden Hazard
Eden HazardTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Jordan Henderson
Jordan HendersonTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud TEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van DijkTEXT: RICHARD JOLLY PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Key battles


Antonio Rudiger v Mohamed Salah

Roma team-mates last season and opponents tomorrow. Rudiger has taken Gary Cahill's old spot on the left of Chelsea's back three. As their quickest centre-back, he may be the best equipped to stop Salah, especially as he is right-footed, while the Egyptian tends to cut inside to shoot on his left. But Salah does have 11 goals in nine games.

Eden Hazard v Jordan Henderson

Henderson's spectacular goal proved to be Liverpool's winner at Stamford Bridge last season. The captain will have more familiar duties as he is charged with subduing Hazard, who was terrific in Chelsea's 1-0 win at Swansea last Saturday. Antonio Conte has to decide whether to recall Willian for a must-win game. If not, Hazard has more responsibility.

Olivier Giroud v Virgil van Dijk

If Conte had got his way, van Dijk might be lining up for Chelsea tomorrow. Instead, the world's most expensive defender has flourished for the Reds. Giroud was a rather cheaper January signing than the £75 million (S$135 million) man but has displaced Alvaro Morata from the attack. He had a good scoring record against Liverpool in his Arsenal days.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'Match points: Chelsea v Liverpool'. Print Edition | Subscribe