LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Liverpool are unchanged going into today’s English Premier League vital clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool are seven points behind fourth place Manchester United with three games left (including today) to be played on their schedule and the Reds know that a defeat will end their top four hopes.
Despite reports about a possible return, there is no Mario Balotelli for the travelers, with Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana supporting Rickie Lambert in the attack.
Jordan Henderson will play the holding role alongside his captain Steven Gerrard, as Brendan Rodgers try to motivate his group to keep pressing for a Champions League place.
For Chelsea, meanwhile, manager Jose Mourinho has given a first English Premier League start to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who starts in midfield.
Mourinho makes five changes from the last outing against Crystal Palace.
Loic Remy starts up front, Kurt Zouma is in defence, while John Obi Mikel starts in the midfield.
Willian, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard all start as well with 19-year-old goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney is on the bench.
There is no Petr Cech in the match day squad.
Rodgers also confirmed that his side will give the new champions a guard of honour before kick-off and Mourinho was delighted with the respect.
“When the respect [guard of honour] comes from a giant club like Liverpool it is something really nice,” Mourinho said.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Can, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Lambert. Subs: Ward, Toure, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Ibe, Sinclair.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Luis, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Fabregas, Hazard, Remy. Subs: Beeney, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ake, Matic, Cuadrado, Drogba.