When Chelsea and Liverpool faced each other in the league last September, both sides had started their campaigns with five successive wins – a feat previously achieved only eight times at the start of a Premier League season and never by two teams within the same year.
It was a difficult match to predict the result of, but even though the teams go into Sunday’s match with a gap of 8 points after just five games, it still has the feel of a game which could go either way.
Chelsea wouldn’t realistically have expected to challenge for the title after losing their best player in a summer during which a transfer ban prohibted the club from signing a replacement.
But since a heavy opening weekend defeat at Man United, Frank Lampard’s team have looked more than capable of keeping up with rivals for the top four and were also impressive in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool last month which took a penalty shootout to decide it for the Reds.
With Liverpool looking to put Man City under serious pressure for the title again, the league season could hardly have started better for last season’s runners-up, with a five point lead already established.
And if their 100% record is still intact after an early season trip to Stamford Bridge, it will only help to reinforce Liverpool’s title credentials and maintain a healthy lead over City.
Having seen Chelsea both score and concede 11 goals, and Liverpool conceding in seven of their eight matches so far, I don’t expect a goalless draw and would be surprised if both teams don’t score at least once.
But Liverpool’s away results in the Premier League have been exceptional since losing to Man City at New Year, and if the likes of Mane, Salah and Firmino are on form, I can see the current leaders edging it and taking all three points.