Friday Night Football returns this evening and what a heavyweight clash it is with Chelsea playing host to Liverpool. Antonio Conte’s side lost their 100 percent record on Sunday after being held to a draw away at Swansea, it was a frustrating afternoon for The Blues and they will be looking to take out their frustrations on Jurgen Klopp’s side tonight.
They may have dropped two points in South Wales and lost ground on Manchester City but Conte will take comfort from the fact that Diego Costa is back amongst the goals. His brace last Sunday saw him take his tally for the season to 4 in 4 matches and we are now seeing the kind of player whose goals helped Chelsea to the title back in 2015.
He in all fairness should have scored a hat-trick against Swansea after missing from just three yards out, at the time it looked as if Chelsea were going to cruise to victory but they allowed Swansea a foothold in the game and had to rely on Costa to once again dig them out of a hole late on. Only this time they had to settle for a point.
Costa is seemingly walking a disciplinary tightrope in every game that he plays, that will probably come as no real surprise as if the Costa of old has returned not only does that mean goals but it also means a nasty streak and one that Liverpool will look to spark off this evening.
Liverpool arrive here off the back of a very comfortable 4-1 win over champions Leicester. That liked their opening weekend win over Arsenal has showed what they can do going forward but defeat at Burnley and dropped points at Tottenham have also highlighted their inconsistencies.
But looking at the positives the partnership of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is already bearing early fruit. Mane put Liverpool ahead last Saturday evening while Brazilian Firmino was on hand to score a brace and wrap up an emphatic win for the red half of Merseyside.
Simon Mignolet looked like the walking wounded on Saturday night so you have to wonder if now may be the time to give Loris Karius his first start of the season. His debut has been delayed after breaking a hand in pre-season when colliding with his own player.
Another player who is line for a debut or a second debut in this instance is David Luiz. He didn’t feature last Sunday but with John Terry out for 10 days due to injury sustained during that match, the £32m signing will take his place in the Chelsea backline.
Chelsea have won both their games at home but this will be the first real test for Antonio Conte since taking charge. They didn’t make easy work of West Ham but breezed past Burnley so it will be interesting as to how much Liverpool can test them.
In the four Liverpool performances so far this season, we’ve seen all manner of varying performances so it’s hard to say as to how they will perform tonight as it’s near impossible to say. Then again that what makes the side so interesting to watch as of late.
Conte vs Klopp the next main event in a long line of Premier League tussles. I’m going to nail colours to the blue mast this evening. I think Chelsea will just about edge as even if they don’t play particularly well they are still in the main edging games and Liverpool are just to unpredictable at this early stage of the season. A home win for me.