Chelsea v Liverpool: team news and how to watch the game

Chelsea face Premier League champions Liverpool at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. 

There are likely to be home debuts for new signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, with the Blues having radically improved their attacking options ahead of the new season.

The match will give an early indication of Chelsea’s credentials following their eye-catching transfer business.

How to watch Chelsea v Liverpool

The game kicks off at 4.30pm and is being screened on Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Ultra HD

West London Sport will have live text updates throughout the evening; build-up, team news, updates during the game and all the important reaction as well as our player ratings.

Chelsea team news

Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have been ruled out along with Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva.

Timo Werner, who picked up a knock in Monday’s win over Brighton, has been passed fit to play.

Mateo Kovacic is available again after suspension.

Pulisic went off with a hamstring injury during the FA Cup final against Arsenal and recently suffered a setback, while Ziyech picked up a knee injury during the recent pre-season friendly at Brighton.

Chilwell is recovering from an injury he had prior to his move to Chelsea from Leicester and veteran defender Silva is still building up his fitness following his recent arrival at the club.

Chelsea striker Timo Werner
Werner impressed on his debut against Brighton

Frank Lampard said: “Ben Chilwell’s not ready for the game. Christian Pulisic is not ready for the game – similar to Ben, we hope they’ll be training and progressing over the next week or so.

“Ziyech is also not ready for the game. Same story. But Timo Werner’s fit.

“Thiago has been training with us for the last three or four days. We’re just working on his fitness at the moment.”

Midfield options for Lampard

With Kovacic back, Lampard has extra options in midfield and faces a decision over whether to persist with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who was below par against Brighton.

Lampard says criticism of Ruben Loftus-Cheek was both “harsh” and “reactionary”.

Sky Sports pundits and Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were disparaging in their assessment of Loftus-Cheek’s efforts against the Seagulls, saying he failed to take his chance to impress.

But they neglected to mention the Achilles injury which saw the England midfielder sidelined for 13 months.

Lampard said: “If there is harsh criticism of Ruben in the game against Brighton then it is certainly very harsh because coming back from an injury like that is difficult.

“He has put in a lot of hours into it and he is a hugely talented player, a great lad, and there will be lots more to come from Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard
Lampard has plenty of midfield options

“Unfortunately the nature of this game is very reactionary and people will say it is as they see it, but knowing Ruben’s story behind the scenes he has fought back really hard to get where he is.

“I know Ruben’s story probably second best to how he knows it.

“Ruben had a terrible injury – one that he worked hard to come back from over the course of last season.

“He was just about to play under-23s games when lockdown came in.

“He worked incredibly hard in restart and got a start against Aston Villa and was due to start against Bayern Munich in the last game of the season but had a bit of an issue on the day of the game.

“He has trained brilliantly again to get fit for the start of the season.”

Feud? What feud?

Much of the build-up to the game has focused on a supposed feud between Lampard and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp.

The relationship between the two managers has filled plenty of column inches in recent months, with Lampard accusing Klopp’s coaching team of arrogance after their last Premier League meeting at Anfield.

Klopp further fanned the flames last week when he appeared to aim a dig at Chelsea’s ownership model and spending this season, claiming Liverpool had to operate in different ways.

But both men have dismissed any notion of a feud.

Klopp said at a press conference this week: “I can’t help with the rivalry, I have no problem, not at all, with Frank Lampard.

“When you ask me a question and I answer it, everyone takes it how they want to take it.

“It might be a language issue or whatever, you all make a story that I said something about the transfer behaviour of Chelsea.

“What I said was, in the situation we are in we can’t deal with the situation like other clubs, one of them was Chelsea maybe, I don’t know.

“Then you make a story about it and then you make a rivalry between Frank Lampard and me when we meet two or three times a year.

“I respect a lot what he is doing. He is probably a really nice guy, I don’t know because I don’t know him in private.

“On the sideline we are quite animated and emotional and sometimes you say things you shouldn’t, but that’s life and that’s how football is. There is nothing more than that.”