Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has resisted the urge to rest some of his bigger stars at Stamford Bridge with a top four place on the line.
The Reds can still cement a Champions League spot with a win against Brighton next week, but Klopp evidently wants to get the job done today and kill off Chelsea’s late challenge for the spot.
To that end, the formidable front three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all start. The trio played in Liverpool’s 7-6 aggregate Champions League semi-final victory over Roma in midweek, and Klopp trusts that there are not fitness worries for the penultimate league clash of the season.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 6, 2018
Loris Karius, as expected, starts in goal with Nathaniel Clyne coming in at right back. The midfield virtually picks itself as Klopp has found his options in that area depleted of late – though Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named in the centre with captain Jordan Henderson rested.
For Chelsea, meanwhile, though they may have one eye on the FA Cup final, they refuse to give up hope of catching either Liverpool or Tottenham in that top four. Olivier Giroud starts up front alongside Eden Hazard, with Alvaro Morata left out of the matchday squad altogether.
Team to face Liverpool: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill (c), Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Giroud.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 6, 2018
Marcos Alonso comes back in at left wing-back at the expense of the benched Emerson Palmieri, while a back three of Gary Cahill, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta have been tasked with keeping Liverpool’s front three quiet.