Liverpool vs Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri can join elite group of managers if he beats Reds at Anfield on his first visit
Facing Liverpool at Anfield has always been challenging, but this season has proved even more difficult with the league leaders unbeaten at home thus far.
In fact, Jurgen Klopp’s side have not lost at home in the top-flight since former Red Christian Benteke struck twice for Crystal Palace who fought back to win 2-1 in April 2017.
Chelsea are the next side to visit when they travel to Merseyside this Sunday and they will be out to spoil the party, having memorably done so before.
Back in 2014, with Liverpool on the verge of an unlikely title triumph, a depleted Chelsea won 2-0 after Demba Ba capitalised on Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip to score, before Willian was on target in stoppage-time.
This will be no easy feat for the Blues however, despite their recent resurgence under Mauruizo Sarri, which has seen them win their last three successive league matches to climb into third.
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Should Sarri defy the odds to leave Liverpool victorious this weekend, the Italian will become just the fourth visiting Premier League manager to do so on his first trip to Anfield.
Of the 32 who have tried, only Louis van Gaal in March 2015, Slaven Bilic in August 2015 and most recently, Paul Clement in January 2017, have inflicted defeat on the Reds.
A Juan Mata double gave United all three points in Van Gaal’s maiden trip, which was also notable for Steven Gerrard being sent off 38 seconds after coming on.
In August that same year, the Hammers were even more emphatic in their winning margin, putting three past Simon Mignolet without reply, while there were red cards for both Philippe Coutinho and Mark Noble.
Two years later, Swansea lifted themselves off the foot of the table, after edging a five-goal thriller, despite leading 2-0 courtesy of Fernando Llorente’s brace.
Roberto Firmino replied with his own double, but Gylfi Sigurdsson scored from close range with 16 minutes left, in what was their first ever away win at Liverpool.
While Liverpool may be in great form overall, their recent Anfield record against Chelsea may cause concern among the home support.
On Sunday, they will be seeking to earn their first home success against Sarri’s side in seven matches, their longest ever winless run against an opponent, since they won 4-1 back in May 2012.
If Liverpool are to get those elusive three points against Chelsea, on paper it would be their toughest match of the five they have remaining out of the way, it would give them a considerable advantage towards pipping Manchester City and winning the Premier League.
Source: SportsLatest TS