Liverpool’s title defence has ended in tatters as an injury crisis and poor form have seen the champions slip well off the pace, leaving Champions League qualification as the most realistic aim for the run-in this season.
Concerns about Chelsea’s own hopes cost Frank Lampard his job at Stamford Bridge, and replacement Tuchel will have been told in no uncertain terms that a top-four finish is expected given the attacking riches at his disposal.
Fellow hopefuls Manchester United and Leicester City have both hit runs of poor form, meaning a win for either team tonight on Merseyside would thrust them back into the race.
With kick-off at 8:15pm GMT, follow the action on our LIVE blog with James Robson at Anfield.
We have since had it confirmed that Craig Pawson will not referee tonight’s game following the Covid-19, with Martin Atkinson to take over.
Liverpool vs Chelsea referee switch?
According to early reports, referee Craig Pawson is being stood down tonight after being informed he has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Liverpool vs Chelsea head to head (h2h) results
And this is how the two sides shape up in Premier League history…
Liverpool vs Chelsea prediction
Fabinho’s return would be a major boost for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp knows they can ill-afford another defeat in their pursuit of a top four spot. For Chelsea, a draw would be a decent result.
Liverpool vs Chelsea predicted lineups
Here is how we expect the two sides will line up…
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Thiago; Mane, Firmino, Salah
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Havertz, Mount; Werner
Early Chelsea team news
Thiago Silva will miss out for Chelsea, with the Brazil defender not yet ready for match action after a thigh issue. Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is fully fit after a minor knee problem though, and will be in the squad.
Striker Tammy Abraham remains a doubt due to an ongoing ankle complaint that he has managed over a number of weeks.
Chelsea provisional squad: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Havertz, Ziyech, Giroud, Arrizabalaga, James, Christensen, Emerson, Alonso, Kovacic, Gilmour, Pulisic, Werner, Abraham
Early Liverpool team news
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker will return to Liverpool’s starting lineup after sitting out their last match following the death of his father.
Midfielder Fabinho returns from injury while forward Diogo Jota, who would have been in the squad for Sunday’s win at Sheffield United but for late illness, is set for his first involvement in three months after a knee problem.
Klopp has to decide whether to keep the inexperienced centre-back partnership of on-loan Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips after they became the 17th different central defensive pairing of the season at Bramall Lane.
Liverpool provisional squad: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Adrian, N Williams, Phillips, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner, Shaqiri, Jota, Origi.
How to watch Liverpool vs Chelsea
TV channel: Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports’ Main Event and Premier League channels.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can watch the game online via the SkyGo app.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s huge Premier League clash between Liverpool and Chelsea!
Kick-off is at 8:15pm GMT, and James Robson will be at Anfield to bring you all the latest team news, match action and analysis as Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel go head to head in a game that could have a big bearing on who finishes in the top four.