The Reds travel to Stamford Bridge looking to avenge their mid-week Carabao Cup exit at the hands of the same opponent.
Liverpool have a 100 per-cent record in the Premier League this season and top the table after six matches but will see their perfect record well and truly put to the test this weekend.
Eden Hazard in particular will be a major threat to their winning streak and demonstrated his abilities with a stunning solo run and finish to win the game for Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night.
And Liverpool’s challenge of containing the in-form Belgian could be made all the more difficult by the absence of Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman has helped transform Liverpool’s defensive woes since arriving from Southampton in January and has been a major part of Liverpool’s defensive resilience this term – having conceded just two goals in the top flight so far.
But amid reports Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of the 27-year-old, Van Dijk himself has provided a positive indication he will be available for the Merseyside outfit.
Posting to his official Instagram account, the Netherlands captain said: “Focussed and looking forward to another big game tomorrow against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge #LFC”
That followed manager Jurgen Klopp’s admission that he would much rather have the world’s most expensive defender fit – though he also declared that they have options to fill in if he is ruled out.
“We have to wait. He didn’t train with the team so far but I can’t say anything more about that. Virgil is a world-class player, there is no doubt about that, and if you miss a world-class player it is not cool,” the German admitted in his pre-match press conference.
“But Dejan Lovren made his first appearance after I would say around 10 weeks. Most of that time he was that injured that he couldn’t even think about training because when you have something in that part of your body, you cannot do fitness, nothing.
“And after that long period, he played an outstanding game. Joel Matip, two games in a row, played fantastic.
“If Virgil is fit and can play then he will play, but if not then obviously we have options. His impact is always obvious, but we could play football before Virgil van Dijk and we can play without Virgil, thank God.
“But I prefer that he is fit and available and I can make decisions, if he needs a rest or not in one of the other games. For the last game he was not available but now we will see for tomorrow.”
A late decision will be made early today to determine whether Van Dijk will be involved having missed training yet due to continued mid-rift discomfort.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright thinks that Van Dijk’s possible absence might not be all that important considering Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud’s form although Hazard will be a concern.
“It’s going to weaken them without a shadow of a doubt. His presence in the Liverpool team has elevated them,” Wright told Premier League Productions.
“Yes you can probably bring Lovren in with Gomez and you have to say with the form of Giroud and Morata, goal-scoring-wise they’re not hurting teams too much, you’d probably think if that was the case they might be able to get away with it.
“But then depending on Hazard or Willian or Pedro, if those guys hit form and are running at a Liverpool defence that’s got a Lovren in it maybe without Van Dijk next to Gomez, it could cause them more of a problem without a doubt.”