Stalemate as Liverpool, Chelsea continue to struggle

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Out of form Liverpool and Chelsea battled to a subdued draw which helps neither team in their quest to get back into the top four conversation.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool failed to score in a game at home in the Premier League for the first time in over two years, as Chelsea had the better chances and Graham Potter will be much happier with this point than his counterpart.

The draw still leaves both heavyweights languishing in midtable (on 29 points) as neither Liverpool nor Chelsea played with any real confidence.

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Liverpool vs Chelsea
Liverpool vs Chelsea

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Five minutes added on. A couple of chances late on for both teams but they can’t make the most of them.

CHANCE! Trent Alexander-Arnold lashes a shot way over. That was a good opportunity but he never looked comfortable.

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A reminder of the players who weren’t available for both teams today.

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20 minutes to go. Neither team looks that bothered about going for the win. Given their recent form, both would be happy with a draw.

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Mudryk is on for his Chelsea debut! The $108 million signing has a big role to play in this game. Can he get Chelsea going again? Well, his first real piece of action is a heavy touch which sees the ball go out of play. Things can only get better.

We are underway for the second half and Liverpool look a lot better already. Cody Gakpo puts a difficult chance with a header over and both Keita and Gakpo have shots blocked. Jurgen Klopp would have had a few strong words at half time and it seems like they’ve worked.

HALF TIME: Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea – The Blues were better in the first 45 and thought they had gone ahead early on but Kai Havertz had a goal ruled out for offside, while Liverpool got a little better as the game wore on. Still, not a great half for either side who are really struggling for confidence.

It is all getting a bit scrappy before the break. Liverpool having a bit more joy building attacks but Chelsea snapping into tackles. Mohamed Salah with a swing and a miss and Thiago Alcantara’s deflected shot is easily saved. That spell basically sums up the game so far. Very frantic with not a lot of quality.

SAVE! Great chance for Chelsea to take the lead as Benoit Badiashile heads towards goal but Alisson saves well. It is all Chelsea. Liverpool can’t get out of their own half.

Meanwhile in Orlando…

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CLOSE! From a tight angle Lewis Hall flashes an effort across goal after Mason Mount had a glorious chance to shoot, but instead decided to play it wide to Hall. Chelsea looking slicker on the ball.

Liverpool and Chelsea are both going long with the ball trying to catch out the shaky defensive units. Confidence is very low on both of these teams.

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CLOSE! Cody Gakpo fires well over after slick play from Liverpool. He has to hit the target.

NO GOAL! Early drama as Chelsea think they have taken the lead as Thiago Silva’s shot from a corner hits the post and Kai Havertz slots home… but he was just offside. VAR rules it out. No goal but an early warning sign for Liverpool.

KICK OFF! Anfield is rocking and we are underway. Also, hello to everyone in Orlando at the Fan Fest! What a sight this is.

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Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Liverpool have been all over the place at the back and if it wasn’t for Alisson, they would have lost a lot more games this season. They are struggling for the right balance in their team and even the dependable trio of Mohamed Salah, Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk have struggled this campaign. Liverpool have big injury issues to cope with too and Klopp has to find a way to make Liverpool hard to play against again.

Chelsea have been solid enough defensively but haven’t looked dangerous in attack since the World Cup break. That is partly due to injuries and also due to their current forwards just not delivering for multiple managers. Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix have arrived in January to add real pace, trickery and directness to their attack, while Kai Havertz is getting back to his best and center back Benoit Badiashile played very well against Palace after his January arrival from Monaco. A special mention for Kepa Arrizabalaga as he continues to star in goal for the Blues.

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

Where do we even start with this injury list? Liverpool are without Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Arthur Melo, while Darwin Nunez has a chance to return after his thigh injury. Kostas Tsimikas is a doubt, while so too is Virgil van Dijk after picking up a thigh injury against Brentford on Jan. 2. All of that means that Klopp starts Salah, Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott in attack, with Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate starting at center back and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench as James Milner starts at right back.

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Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

Joao Felix has two more games out with suspension, while Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, N’Golo Kante, Reece James, Denis Zakaria, Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell, Armando Broja and Edouard Mendy all remain out. That is nearly a whole team of injuries. Mykhailo Mudryk could make his Chelsea debut as he’s on the bench, while Graham Potter has kept Ziyech, Mount and Havertz together in attack, plus Conor Gallagher looked very good in midfield last time out and he starts again.

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Stalemate as Liverpool, Chelsea continue to struggle originally appeared on NBCSports.com