Liverpool and Chelsea go head-to-head this weekend in what is a vital game for both sides.

Should the Blues win they go six points ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s side, whereas if Liverpool pull off a stunning performance they will draw level with the reigning Premier League champions.

Here are three battles which could play a decisive role in the way the game goes. 

3. Phillipe Coutinho vs Cesc Fabregas

Both Coutinho and Fábregas have been instrumental in creating opportunities for their respective clubs. 

Although the pair will likely be operating in slightly different roles – Coutinho more central and Fábregas in an advanced midfield role – they will be looked at to provide the chances for their team-mates. 

Even though the Brazilian was linked with leaving the Reds in the summer, he has got his head down this season and cracked on. Fábregas has become a favourite of Conte’s and things are looking up.  

But Saturday won’t bring many chances, Chelsea will be less open than the hosts, and it will be down to these two to find the gaps.

2. Gary Cahill vs Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah will be playing one of his former employers on Saturday and will be up against a few familiar faces.  

He has been lethal but critical for Liverpool since his arrival, especially with Sadio Mane absent for a few months through injury. 

He will be up against Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill. The centre-back has received a lot of stick on social media this season but will once again be looking to prove them wrong this weekend.  

Cahill isn’t known for his speed but will need to find that extra burst of pace against Salah to keep tabs on him. The whole Chelsea defence, not just Cahill, will need to be alert as Salah will take advantage of any sloppy defending.  

He, alongside Mane, will be the Reds’ main threat and if Chelsea can keep him quiet, then they will have a great chance to take all three points.

1. Eden Hazard vs Jordan Henderson

The Liverpool captain will be playing the defensive role in midfield on Saturday and will have the task of stopping Eden Hazard, who will be sitting just behind Alvaro Morata. 

The Belgian has been sensational for Chelsea and showed his qualities in the last two games against West Brom and Qarabag. He’s been a handful for teams and has got the better of them more often that not. 

Liverpool’s defence is certainly not secure. Seventeen league goals conceded is not something to be proud of and with Hazard on fine form, he could really hurt them. 

Henderson will be the last line of the midfield and he’ll need to make sure nothing gets through, as anything that does is likely to lead to an opening.

If they keep Hazard quiet, Chelsea as a whole will struggle on Saturday.

Source: http://www.90min.com/posts/5839743-3-key-battles-which-could-decide-liverpool-s-showdown-with-chelsea-on-saturday-evening?utm_source=RSS